(This could have probably had a better ending, but…feh.)
“Okay, so you were freaked out by a TV episode. Was it really that bad?”
“Yes, it was! I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep for weeks. I was worried that Dad might, you know…”
Sinbad deeply sighed. “I don’t think your Dad’s going to turn you into a chimera. Like, not when you were nine, and definitely not now.”
Shark groaned. “True. Still. He may not go that far, but sometimes I get worried. Like, does he actually care, or is he just going through the motions that he does?”
Now there was silence. Sinbad was trying to figure out the best way to respond without blowing up.
“What are you saying? That the fact your dad’s called the ambulance for you, accepted the fact you’re gay, and is trying his damnedest to keep you off the streets…You’re saying you think he only did all that because he had to?”
The question was hard enough for Shark to answer under normal circumstances.
“I try not to think about it all that much, but yeah. Sometimes I think people only just put up with me because they have to.”
For whatever reason, Sinbad didn’t like that answer. He wanted to tell him, ‘Well you’re wrong!’ Instead, he bit his tongue and got to his feet.
Now Shark was the one to try and listen for anything. He heard Sinbad’s footsteps gradually recede, only to hear something being thrown.
He waited to hear anything else, then unlocked the door to take a peek.
The small table they used for meals had been hurtled across the room. Sinbad now sat facing the wall in the place it had been.
“Sinbad…?” His voice seemed far away now. Sinbad didn’t look over to see him. Shark opened the door further, at least enough to crawl back out.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, Shark tried to peek at his expression. Sinbad just tried to move away.
“Please, Sinbad, I’m sorry…” Sinbad responded by punching the wall. The sudden action was enough to make him flinch.
“Yeah. Yeah, I only hung out with you because I had to. I only dated you because I had to. I only proposed to you because I had to! Ever stop to think I did all those things because I wanted to?!”
“I know you did! And it’s not your fault I think these things. It’s just…I don’t know why I think this way. I try not to, I swear!”
Now both of them were quiet again. Then a few moments later, Sinbad turned his head to plant a kiss on Shark’s cheek. Shark noticed that Sinbad’s own cheeks were stained with running mascara.
Dennis quietly closed the front door after getting home that night. For what felt like the hundredth time, his daughter blew him off in favor of her school friends.
He stared at the door, before thudding his forehead against it.
For reasons he couldn’t understand, he still bothered to try and connect with Lolly. Now he was wondering why he was even trying anymore.
A part of him wondered if he really were a terrible parent. Sinbad’s ambiguous response to the earlier question didn’t really settle his nerves.
Sitting down, Dennis took off his shoes, and noticed the table seemed off-angle. He stood back up and righted it.
Then he heard sounds coming from the bedroom. Knowing what that meant, Dennis chuckled once and settled back down to watch some TV.
He had somehow fallen asleep during a commercial. When he did, he was jostled awake.
“No, I don’t know why Bill’s dressed like Donkey Kong,” Dennis muttered before opening his eyes. When he did, he saw his half-naked son at the end of the couch.
“When’d you get back? How was the movie?”
The older Racket sat back up and rubbed his eyes before answering. “Some time ago. The movie was…all right. Might’ve been better if I watched the first one, though.”
Shark nodded, and then took a seat next to him. Neither of them said anything, merely watching the end of the random show on. He then muted the TV and asked.
“Do you and Mom ever regret having me?”
Hearing this caused Dennis to look at him with wide eyes. “Now where in the hell did that come from? Of course not! Well, I certainly don’t. I’m not so sure about your mother, but…”
He didn’t know what else to add to it. Instead he wrapped an arm around his son and pulled him close.
“Look, boy. You’re twenty years old now. You’re a grown man. Still, you need to know that I’ve never regretted having you in my life. And I’m glad you found somebody to be with.”
He began ruffling his hair as he talked. “If anything, I’m more worried about how you feel about me dating Blaise. You know, do you approve of her and such?”
“Of course I do! She makes you happy, right? You have fun being with her, right?”
“That she does. She’s…Well, she’s everything your mother isn’t. Just about every way, she’s different. Like physically, emotionally, other ways…”
He trailed off. Even if Shark was an adult, he hesitated to find the right way to state the interesting night he recently had. In the end, he decided to just be blunt about it:
“Blaise and I were in a threesome.”
Apparently the feeling was mutual:
“Sinbad proposed to me about a month ago.”
Now there was more awkward silence. Then Dennis patted Shark on the shoulder, a little smile on his face.
“Congratulations, boy.” Shark also decided that he needed to return the sentiment. As unusual as it was, it somehow seemed right: