Dennis sat on the railing of the police station stairs, waiting for his son to get back. Sagebear sat next to his feet, obediently waiting alongside him.
When Shark finally returned, his face was stained with tears. Dennis knew right away how it went.
“Aw, boy,” he said as he descended the steps, “What happened?” He knew he wouldn’t get a positive answer, but asked anyway for clarification.
Shark reached out towards his father. He almost stumbled over his own feet.
“He wasn’t there, Dad,” Shark managed to choke out. “He was…”
‘Gone‘, was what Dennis knew Shark wanted to say. He motioned for Shark to come closer, and gave him a big hug. Sagebear sat down next to them, whining for whatever it was that was making Shark upset.
Dennis patted Shark on the back, letting him cry into his shoulder. He carried him that way all the way home.
That night, Shark cried himself to sleep, burying his face into Sagebear’s fur. Dennis could only watch sadly as his son did so.
It was early morning by the time Sinbad, Marc, and Harwood reached the city. All three of them were sore and cranky when they found their new apartment building.
“Ta ma de!“ Harwood exclaimed as he cracked his back. “Remind me never to sit that way, that long, ever again!”
“So this is the place?” Marc asked his father. “Looks kind of…different than what I expected.”
Harwood straightened up before speaking. “What did you expect, a seaside villa? Trust me, the inside of the place will be a lot more impressive.”
Each one grabbed his own belongings to start off. It took longer than they cared to admit to get everything up to the place Harwood mentioned.
The apartment itself wasn’t too bad. It only needed to be properly furnished, and then could be called a proper home. Sinbad still wasn’t particularly wowed by it.
“You sure this is the place your agent got you, old man? Doesn’t look like the best place to live in while you do your artsy shit.”
“It’s good enough,” Harwood answered as he reclined on the couch. “And that ‘artsy shit’ as you call it won’t be done here. There’s a whole studio where that’s going to happen.”
He watched Marc pull out a few sets of bedding. “Bedroom’s the first door on the right. Right now we’ll have to sleep on the floor, but…”
Now Harwood began picking at his nails. “Well, it’s not like we can’t get mattresses for this place later on. Who says we can’t make it our own?”
Sinbad just ignored Marc and Harwood, and walked out to the balcony.
The skyscrapers that surrounded him now were massive, like rectangular colossi. Just seeing them brought back a checkered past for him.
It’d been several years since he left his original hometown. Returning to it brought a feeling he couldn’t really describe.
Said feeling was a mix of sadness, anger, and dread. Sinbad had only just returned to Bridgeport, and already he was beginning to become afraid of it.
He couldn’t even be properly distracted by Marc and Harwood discussing rent. Instead, he just slumped onto the railing, and sighed deeply.
All Sinbad could hope for was that the ghosts of his early years didn’t come back with a vengeance.