Chapter 2 – Home Again

“Good bye Gretchen, please don’t work to late. I’m off to see my mother.” “Goodbye Edward. I’d take the back elevator if I was you. I heard Ana is on a rampage today and is not happy about the changes you made to the scope of the project.” “Thanks Gretchen. Her bark is worse than her bite,” Edward said with a smile. Edward wasn’t afraid of Ana, but he knew any run in with Ana would delay him at least 30 minutes and he really wanted to see his mother. In a way he felt sorry for her. He thought it must be horrible to live in a state that was two seconds from anger. Edward walked with a quiet quickness cadence to the back of the office, past the storage room, to the freight elevator. His mind had already left the office and was mentally preparing for the visit with his mother. Edward loved his mother, but the years after his father’s death left her a broken version of herself. She was still a loving mother who never forgot a birthday, or holiday. In fact she still gave Edward a Easter basket even now, and Christmas stocking . The issue was in her role as head of the family. Edward being the most responsible sibling she leaned on him heavily and in some cases unnecessarily. Edward’s father left his wife with a very generous pension, but some how she was always short of money and neglected many of her bills. Instead she donated much of her time and money to the local church and other family members. Because of this Edward always had some apprehension when visiting his mother. He really wished he could just visit his mother without hearing about someone else’s trouble or having to deal with some financial obligation his mother neglected. Regardless Edward was always there for his mother no matter the need. “I only have one mother, and she is doing the best she can,” he would remind himself before walking through the front door. Edward pulled up and noticed an black sedan in the driveway with company plates. “Oh great, what is Jack doing here,” Edward thought to himself as he stepped out of his truck. “Hi mom.” “Hi son. Guess who is here?”, Edward’s asked as she gave Edward a kiss on the cheek. As Edward’s eye’s adjusted to the darkness of his mother’s house, he made out a male figure standing in the doorway of the kitchen. It was Jack. “Hey Jack. Long time now see.” “Hello Edward. I just thought I’d stop by to and visit your mother. It been a long time, and I thought it was shame I only see your mother at weddings and funerals.” “Smells great mom, what are you cooking?” Edward asked as he took off his jacket and placed it carefully on the arm of his mother’s couch. Edward’s mother as all mother’s loved to feed her son, and even though she always used to much grease and left Edward with a bad case of heart burn Edward always looked forward to her cooking. “Are you staying for dinner Jack?” Edward asked as he lift the top of a large pot on the stove. “No I have to get going. I am leaving to Utah tomorrow to inspected our new power plant and need to finish up some work.” “Well it was nice seeing outside of the office. Good luck in Utah,” Edward tried to hide relief over Jack’s departure. Edward never really knew why, but he never trusted Jack around his mother. Jack was never disrespectful when he was around Edward’s mother, but there was something about the tone of Jack’s voice when he visited. There was an insincerity to his words and action. Jack and Edward’s father were colleagues in the early days of the corporation and long time friends. Edward’s father was forced to retire early because of the cancer, and despite their long time friendship Jack never visited his father in the hospital. Edward always thought this was odd, but his father’s condition progressed so quickly there was never a right moment to bring it up. Jack wasn’t the type to feel guilt. Edward had watched Jack negotiate and navigate the corporate world for years and he never showed any signs of a conscious. Even a few year’s back when Jack’s own mother came down with a terminal illness he seemed almost bothered when he had to cancel the corporation’s yearly off site trip to the Cayman Island’s to plan her funeral. So now that suddenly Jack actually cared to see check in on Edward’s mother just seemed beyond strange. “So what did Jack want Mom?,” Edward inquired as he set the table for their dinner. “Oh nothing he just wanted to see how I was doing.” “That’s strange he never cared before Dad died.” “Be nice Edward. Jack has had issues with personal relationship’s. Maybe now that he older he is seeing things differently. People can change Edward.” “Yeah maybe.” Edward didn’t want to waste anymore time talking about Jack so he changed the subject. “So I was thinking I am going to make some time this summer to work on Dad’s old truck. I promised him I would get it running one day.” “Let’s eat first Son, I told Father Killeen I would help teach tonight’s teen bible study,” she said as she place two large pieces of meatloaf on Edward’s plate. “I really wish you would take some time for yourself. Maybe go on a date one day. I worry about you Mom. It not good you spend so much time alone in this house.” “I’m not alone I have my children.” Not wanting to argue Edward ate his meatloaf and change their conversations to superficial topics about his workday and the weather. After dinner he drove his mother to church for her bible study class, and returned to his family home to have a look at his father’s old truck. The garage door opened with more than a little resistance, the rusty hinges making a large screech, and as the door opened he could see the rays of the evening sun burn through the heavy dust as it illuminated this father’s truck. There it sat, a 1958 Apache Chevy truck, dark green with cloud like patches on the each door. As a child Edward always wondered why there were clouds painted on the door, but he realized now this was a service truck of some type and before selling it the previous owner painted over the companies name and logo with white spray paint. The garage was packed with boxes of long forgotten items. It took sometime to arrange the boxes before Edward was able to open the driver side door, but eventually he worked his way from the front of the truck to the side door. “God my mother is a pack rat,” Edward said to himself as he made a mental note to call Goodwill to pick up some of this clutter. He worked into the night clearing space and sorting through boxes of his families memories.

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