9/14/15 Breeze (Part 4)

They kept showing the crash. Usually the second one. Footage of the first plane hadn’t been available. The second plane hit the second tower again and again and again. Tyler was sick of seeing it. He was sick of his soggy cereal and he was sick of Brent’s constant movement.

Brent would sit down, then stand up, grab a glass of water from the kitchen. Sit again. Stand again, pace back and forth, answer the phone. Talk to someone. Sit down. Stand up. Get another glass of water.

The phone rang again. Brent answered it. He seemed eager to do so.

“Yes,” he said. “Yes, she went to work. No. I don’t know. . . yes. He’s here. Here. Tyler it’s Grandma. She wants to talk to you.”

Brent walked the phone over and handed it to Tyler.

“Hello?” he said.

“Hey Tyler, how’s it going?” asked Grandma. Her voice was creaky like wooden floors or the front door of their house.

“It’s okay,” he said.

“Are you scared?” she asked.

“No.”

“You’re not?”

“No.”

“That’s good. Is Brent looking after you?”

The doorbell rang. Brent went to get it.

“Yes,” said Tyler.

“Come in, Andy. Thank’s for coming–I—”

Tyler could hear Brent talking. Then his father’s voice. “Thank you for agreeing.”

“You know I love you very much,” creaked Grandma.

“Okay,” said Tyler. “My dad is here.”

“Oh, you’re father is there?”

“Yeah.”

Brent came back from the front door. Tyler’s dad right behind. He was dressed in a long black coat that almost reached his knees. His hair was short and slick. His smile was wide, but Tyler could tell it didn’t reach his eyes.

“Hey buddy,” he said bending down and opening his arms.

“Dad’s here!” Tyler nearly yelled into the phone, and lept off the couch into his father’s arms.

Without saying goodbye Tyler handed the phone back to Brent, who took it and said something into it, but Tyler didn’t care what it was.

“Good to see you, dude,” said his father. “You keeping Brent company on your day off from school?”

“Yep,” said Tyler, as though he was only there because Brent needed him. Tyler’s dad always made him feel brave and strong and really tough, because Dad was so tough also. He was the toughest person Tyler knew.

“That’s good, tough guy,” said Dad. “Has your mother called yet?” he asked.

“I don’t think so.”

“Okay. Okay.”

For the first time Tyler saw Dad’s smile falter.

“Dad,” said Tyler, “Guess what?”

“What?”

“Mom is getting married.”

Dad’s renewed smile faltered once again. “–She–She is?”

“Yeah, Brent showed her the ring yesterday.”

Dad paused a moment. His eyes darted past Tyler where Brent was on the phone. “Well,” said Dad. “That’s great. She must be excited.”

Tyler nodded. “Did you see what happened?” he asked.

“The planes?” said Dad.

“Yeah, it was like,” Tyler made a flying sound and his hand turned into an airplane before it crashed into an imaginary building.

“Yes,” said Dad. “I saw the TV.”

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