“Hey Captain!” I said into my phone.
“Hey Sailor!” my dad said.
“How are they hanging?” I queried.
“One in front of the other, for speed!” He’s a fighter pilot, that’s the standard reply. “And yourself?”
“I’m high speed, low-drag sir!” We both chuckled. I’m not in the Navy, just going to college, but I know the lingo pretty good.
“You’re going home for Mother’s Day, right?” he asked.
“Oh yeah, dad. I’m going home, uh, Friday afternoon. After class gets out. Please tell me you sent something?”
We both laughed again. Dad once had the impression that since his wife wasn’t his mother, he didn’t need to get her anything for Mother’s day. That is the wrong impression, believe me! He’d been over-doing it every year since, but I still teased him about it.
He had to send something because he was TDY (temporary duty) in Italy. Dad was a Captain, bucking for Admiral, so he was very busy. The house is in Alexandria, Virginia, so he can be near his job at the Pentagon. I’m down the road a bit at the University of Virginia.
I’m not ashamed to say it; Dad’s my hero. He shot down a MiG-27 in the first Gulf War. He was a Blue Angel for 3 years, including serving as Flight Leader. He was the CAG on the Ronald Reagan, he’s cool under fire, great under pressure, and a fucking funny guy and a great dad.
The only problem is that he’s not around much. He’s probably missed more than half my life.
My brother and me were pretty tough customers as kids growing up, but we were no match for Mom. I’m not saying she ruled with an iron fist, but you learned early on when ‘enough was enough’. Or rather, I learned early on. My older brother never quite picked up on that and always pushed way passed the boundaries. He’s now living in New York with his new wife. She and Mom are cordial but a little strained.
Anyway, I was finishing up my last class of the day on Thursday, Psych, when I got an e-mail blast from my History professor that the Friday class was cancelled.
Cool. I went to the frat, packed up my shit and laundry and sped for home. My girlfriend and I broke up last week so I had no reason not to go home early. Speaking of fucking retards, god she was needy. Texting me all fucking day, getting angry when I didn’t return the “I love yous” within seconds. Hey babe, I was taking a test, calm down. No! You don’t love me blah blah blah, christ what a chore.
We’d lived in Alexandria only a couple years, and with Dad being gone so much, Mom really looked forward to my time at home with her. She’ll be happy to see me home early, I thought. I’ll surprise her.
The two-hour drive went by pretty quick, and I pulled into our little mansion. It’s a Navy-owned house that they have for use by certain Pentagon-ers. We pay rent, but not what it’s really worth. Just a perk that we don’t tell the taxpayers about. Anyway, the house is 5 bedrooms, colonial style, big in-ground pool in the huge backyard. I stepped out into the heat. It’s weird, being so hot in early May.
I unlocked the door and stepped into the cool house. I heard some funny noises upstairs; is that the TV, or does Mom have some people up there?