Thirty one

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"Hey." I smile into the phone.

"What's up son?"

"Nothing really, I just wanted to know if you want to go out for lunch."

"Father and son bonding time, ay?" He laughs and I laugh along with him.

"Of course, I need to see my pops. I'm having withdrawls."

"Where do you want to meet at and what time?" He questions and I quickly reply to him already having this replay out into my head millions of times.

"Little Italy. An hour."

"Alright, see you there."


When I pull into the parking lot, I spot my dads car a few down and close the car door behind me as I get out. I'm almost nervous for this chat today, but I have a sense of security knowing that it's just my dad and he is the easiest person to speak to about almost anything.

When I open up the car door for my dad, his smile beams up at me and it gives me such a warm feeling on the inside. At everything that has happened lately, I can feel myself getting emotional just at the sight of seeing my father.

"Hey pops." I smile and try helping him out the car but he quickly swats at me.

"I'm not that old." He smiles but I can see him struggling more and more each time I see him and it breaks my heart more and more.

We walk over to a table outside the restaurant and wait for the waiter to come over and take our drink order. I already know what my dad wants but I am undecided right now. I look over to the drinks and reread over them but nothing seems to be clicking to me. I feel my palms getting more sweaty than before and I can't seem to think of what I want.

"I'll have a water, no lemon." My dad says to the waiter and when I look up at them, they seem to be waiting on me and I spit the first thing that comes to mind.

"Dr. Pepper" I say and earn a disgusted look from my father.

"You hate Dr. Pepper, Michael."

"Tony recently got me hooked on it." I lie and try to steer the conversation into another topic.

"Tony, my favorite. How are the boys?" I open my mouth to speak but he keeps going.

"I also spoke to your brother Victor about 2 days but he seemed really out of it. I was going to call and ask you what is wrong with him but I guess I got a little sidetracked." He gives an apologetic smile, and I shug my shoulders.

"I'm not totally sure, but..."

"But what?" He presses.

"Here's your drinks." The waiter sets them down and I am thankful he interrupted the small talk.

"Are you guys ready to order?" He asks and my dad and I both place our order after taking the longest time to decide on which way he wanted his meat cooked.

"As I was saying." He looks at me and I know he won't give up on this.

"What's wrong with my son?"

"I'm okay, I swear." I blurt out and I want to punch myself in the face knowing he wasn't speaking about me but about Vic.

"Just because I'm old doesn't mean I don't know what is wrong, Michael." He shakes his head and I want to scream.

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