Wearing only a pair of blue jeans, James was sitting at the foot of his bed getting dressed to go to work. A perfectly trimmed five o’clock shadow graces his strong chiseled jawline. His shoulder-length dark brown hair hung loose framing his face as he leaned down to slide on one of his socks. His hair and medium olive-colored skin were still slightly damp from the shower he recently took.
The muscles in his powerful wide back flexed as he pulled the sock up. There’s a single exit wound scar from a bullet on his left shoulder blade. Two more long scars stretch from his left hip up and across to the middle of his back. Multiple tattoos litter his body in various spots, mostly native American or tribal in nature.
Suddenly, his phone beside him begins going off with a phone call. He sits up brushing the hair out of his face and looks over at his phone. He grabs his phone and looks at it seeing that it says Brother is calling.
He clenches his teeth as he takes in a deep of annoyance. That is the last person he wanted to call him tonight, or ever really. He contemplates letting it go to voicemail, but he knows his brother would really only call if it was something important.
He swipes his thumb across the screen answering the call. “Hello”
“Hey Jay, it’s good to hear your voice. How have you been?” Carter asks, His voice has got much deeper since he last talked to him.
“What do you want Carter? I’m busy getting dressed for work” James responds, already regretting answering his phone. He leans down to slide on his last sock holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder.
“Well, I just wanted to call and let you know dad is dying. His body can’t fight off the disease any longer.” Carter says,
James grabs hold of one of his shoes, then sits up placing the shoe beside him. He then takes hold of the phone.
Now that he is sitting up more scars are revealed on his upper torso. On the left side of his chest just slightly above where his heart would be, is the other side of the bullet wound scar. Then there is also a three-inch long scar just above his navel.
“How much time does he have left?” James asks fighting back his emotions. He knew this day would eventually come, but he wasn’t expecting it so soon.
“I don’t know. The doctor said it could be a few days or a week at most. Dad was hoping to see you before he passes" Carter replies,
James runs a hand through his hair as he closes his eyes. “You know I can’t. I was banished, exiled here in Seattle. I’m marked as a rogue now thanks to you.” He says in frustration and anger.
“Well, I’m going to change that. I’m going to prove your innocence. Plus, once dad passes, I will be taking over as head of the family. I would like my brother beside me when I do.” Carter replies,
James lets out a single laugh at how absurd his request is. “You’ve got to be shitting me. It was you, and your friends who accused me of that disgusting incident. It was you, who convinced dad I was a murderer. So fuck you and the family. I don’t want anything to do with any of you anymore.” James furiously says as he stands up from the bed and grabs his work shirt that was laid out on top. The shirt is black with a steakhouse logo on the front.
“James, I’m sorry, I should have told the truth. I should have told them what really happened.” Carter says, which begins to infuriate James more as he walks over to his dresser.
He glares angrily at himself in the mirror looking into his crystal blue eyes. “Well, you didn’t. And the fucked up thing about it is, you actually had me convinced I did it. I’m guessing none of you expected me to get my fucking memory back now did you?” He says then slides on his t-shirt. The shirt isn’t too tight but it hugs his broad upper body well.
“Again, I’m sorry, I really am. That’s why I’m going to clear your name and tell them what really happened.” Carter repeats what he said before.
“And I guess you are just going to conveniently leave your name out of it?” James quickly bites back and Carter sighs but doesn’t respond. “That’s what I thought. Forget it, I’m not coming back, and why don’t you do us both a favor and lose this fucking number. Goodbye Carter”
“Jay, wait!” Carter calls out before James could hang up.
“What, I’ve got to finish getting ready for work.” James responds,
“Are you going to come see dad? He misses you James. You can hate me all you want, just please come see him before he dies.” Carter says,
James closes his eyes and takes in a deep breath. “Fine, I will come see him, but only him. I don’t care to see anyone else. I will stay there until he finally passes, and maybe for the funeral. But after that, I’m gone.”
“Alright, I understand. Well, when you get here why don’t you stay at the hunting cabin. I know how much you loved going out there with him. He wanted you to have it. The key is in the same hiding place it’s always been.” Carter says then they hang up.
James just stands there silently for a bit with mixed emotions. He is so close to the verge of tears knowing that his father only has a few days left. He is also so angry he has to return home, the place he hoped he would never have to see again.
He sighs and leans with both hands against the dresser staring at himself once more. Then his eyes drift to the top center drawer. He reaches down and slides it open.
It’s completely filled with multiple rolled up pairs of socks.He pushes half of them aside and pulls out an older model iPhone. He stares at it rubbing his thumb across the black powerless screen thinking about that dreadful night. Maybe this is his chance to prove his innocence. Can he bring himself to do it? Would things change if he did?
Suddenly, his phone buzzes with a text message. James tosses the older phone back in his drawer and covers it back up with socks. He picks up his phone and looks at the message, it’s from Carter.
“I’m sorry J. I will do everything to make things right between us.” The message reads.
James sighs and rolls his eyes. He exits back out of his phone and continues to get ready for work.