Quinn woke up to a quiet household. He came down from his room and started his pot of coffee in a daze. He wasn’t sure what to think, but he had already known Jet wouldn’t be home. He knew he wouldn’t see much of Jet anymore.
Thoughts buzzed around in Quinn’s head. He had heard the words Jet had said, he knew on a logical level Jet cared, but at that moment all he knew was Jet had taken the superhero life over the normal one. The life with him.
His legs felt like molasses. His chest was heavy. He knew Jet would come by periodically, but Jet also wanted to keep his Uncle safe. A thought that contrasted with the feeling Quinn had that his nephew didn’t care for him.
But Jet was a boy, and worse than that a teenager. The more logical thought that took over all others to Quinn was that Jet was never going to properly express to Quinn what Quinn wanted to hear.
That Jet cared.
With a sigh, Quinn sat down. That was the first time he saw it. Sitting on the table across from him was a package that was poorly wrapped in red paper. It wasn’t entirely covered in the paper, revealing a wooden exterior, and the tape was strewn all over the package. Quinn reached across the table and pulled the package in close.
It didn’t take long for Quinn to realize it was a picture of some kind. But as Quinn unwrapped it, he realized the frame was familiar. It was the frame he had put the Alpha news article in from Jet’s birthday all those years ago. He didn’t have the same love of superhero history that his nephew did, but he knew how much Jet loved that stuff. So when he had the opportunity to do that for Jet’s birthday he dished out the extra money for a nice frame. Jet had hugged that framed news article so tight when he opened it, Quinn remembered. Even when Jet returned home, it was the first thing that was hung back up. It was his prized possession.
That’s why it was so shocking what was in the frame. The Alpha news article was still in there, but it was only visible due to how large it was. The headline: Rise of the Super Hero was still visible, but in place of the picture Alpha and overlaying most of the text was the picture of Quinn and Jet for one of Jet’s birthdays.
It could have been an accident. Jet could have slipped the picture over the top of the news article by accident. But then why would it have been wrapped? A few teardrops fell onto the glass of the frame.
Quinn then placed the frame in the living room, near the television. So whenever he sat down to watch Jet’s exploits on the news, he’d be able to see the picture and he’d have his answer. He’d know how Jet felt.
And he’d know his nephew was doing incredible things.