[CLOSED] Improvised Therapy

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[CLOSED] Improvised Therapy

Post by Jimmy Cohen on Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:34 pm

Jimmy returned to his room and sat down on the bed. He looked around for a few minutes in an attempt to acquaint himself with his new home. It wasn't helping. He got up and unrolled the poster Ayuko had left him and grabbed a small ball of blu-tack that had been in with the other random trinkets from the box. It had taken him a moment to realise its intended use, as most of the other things Ayuko had given him seemed to be (mostly successful) attempts at baiting his nostalgia. He opened the poster up to find it was for a band he loved. No real surprise, but it was nice to see which one his stepsister had picked out for him.


As Jimmy was tacking the corners of the poster to the wall with the soft blue putty, his phone rang. The loose corner of the poster slumped down as Jimmy rushed to answer.
"Hello?" He answered.
"Cut the Japanese. It's your old man." A man with a thick Australian accent responded in English.
"Hi Ray." Jimmy replied, switching to English.
"Hey Jimmy. I wanted to talk some things over with you, buddy."
"You still know I'm in no rush to forgive you, old man." Jimmy said flatly.
"I know. I'm not expecting you to. Who are you calling old man?! I was-"
"Top scorer in the league last season? I know. They're still retiring you at the end of next season, so you're old for a footballer, at least. What do you want to talk about?"
"Heh. I suppose so. Well, I feel shitty for not talking to my boy enough."
"You didn't call once while I was in hospital. Why do you suddenly give a shit now?" With most other people there would be at least a hint of bitterness or anger as they said these things, but Jimmy's voice was flat as though he was simply stating opinions. He still felt bitter and angry, but he was good at hiding it.

"Sophia's pregnant. You're gonna have a baby brother soon." Ray announced, his enthusiasm was evidently hurt by Jimmy's previous statement. Sophia was the young model Ray had left Jimmy and his mother for, now in her early thirties. She was nice enough, and drop-dead gorgeous, but she was the blandest person Jimmy had ever met. How his father could be so smitten with such a boring person and not only be in it for the sex was well beyond Jimmy's comprehension.

Wait... Did he say pregnant?!

"Fucking hell."
"Language, Jimmy."
"You can't even be a father to me, how the hell do you expect me, or anyone for that matter, to have any faith in you this time around?" Jimmy snapped. He was extremely pissed off now, and he couldn't hide it.
"I'm older, Jimmy. I'm smarter, more mature. I'm happy with Sophia." His father said, confidently.
"Smarter? More mature? Your own son got shot and you didn't give a shit! I don't expect you to be some loving, caring father but you could have at least pretended you gave me a single thought then. I had more dedication to my fucking high school girlfriend than you've had to anything but yourself your entire life! I took a bullet for Hikari, and I would have taken more if I could have. I would have given my life to save her, I wish I had. What have you sacrificed for anyone?!" Jimmy couldn't take any more of his father's bullshit. He let out this torrent of spite that he had been holding onto for years, crushing his father's delusion that he cared for anyone or anything more than himself. This outburst left Jimmy close to tears, trembling in anger and sorrow. There was a long monent of silence as Ray sobbed quietly down the phone. Jimmy took a breath from the oxygen tank, yelling like that had messed his breathing up big time. Ray still had things he needed to say, some emotions he needed to articulate. He knew he would lose his son forever if he didn't try to say something.

His guilt was crushing everything he had worked for. Ray knew he had been lying to himself for years about Jimmy and Azumi, and having those dark thoughts that ate away at his mind screamed at him by his own flesh and blood made it so much more visceral. Ray's defenses broke and he poured his heart out through his tears.
"I'm sorry, Jim. I was running away from you and your mother, I hoped if I ignored it I could trick myself into thinking that I hadn't been that way. That I hadn't been a selfish fool, that I hadn't failed you as a father. I shouldn't have done that. Pretending it hadn't happened just made it worse. You shouldn't have had to keep all this in all these years. I'm sorry for expecting you to act like it was nothing. None of this was fair, least of all pretending you didn't exist."
He paused briefly to collect himself before carrying on.
"It's funny, the day you were born I was so proud. I looked into your eyes and thought about teaching you to play football like me, helping you with girl problems through your teenage years, seeing you settle down with a gorgeous woman, growing into a great man, a great father, I imagined you bringing my grandchildren over to visit me. All of that flashed before my eyes the moment I saw you. I wanted to do everything I could to make that happen for you, but I got scared, Jim. I was blinded by the money, drugs, sex and greed. I let that get in the way of that vision I had when I first saw you. I just hope you're nothing like me, that you can manage to live that life I wanted you to in spite of everything I did."

"Promise me one thing." Jimmy said after another long silence. He didn't sound angry anymore, just upset.
"Anything." Ray said.
"You do right by my baby brother. You give him that life. Hirokazu's had no obligation to me, but he's being a father to me anyway. I don't need you to be able to achieve what I want anymore. I have a father, and it's not the man that created me. It's taken me this long to realize, but you're not really my father. You walked out on that duty. But that'll be fine by me so long as you do right by my brother. Just promise me that you'll do it right this time." It seemed like in that moment of silence he had found some kind of peace. He sounded calm and confident now, like he usually did, although it was a little more subdued.
"I promise."
"Have you decided on a name yet?" Jimmy asked.
"Yeah. Joseph."
"I like it. When's he due?" Jimmy asked, smiling.
"He's due the middle of next month."
"You could have told me earlier..."
"I know." Ray replied guiltily.
"One step at a time, I guess. Maybe that was asking too much of you."
There was silence for a while.
"Hey, you remember when I first tried teaching you to kick a football?" Ray asked.
"Of course. The ball was too big for me and I kept tripping over it. You kept hauling me back up, telling me to try harder, encouraging me to do it."
"You did it in the end. You had hardly learned to walk properly . You always asked me what I did at work, you didn't really understand so I thought I'd teach you."
"That was two years before you left, wasn't it?"
"Yeah. You were four. God, I wish I'd had the balls to stay. I wish I could have tolerated your mother's problems. It was just... Too much for me."
"I understand, but that doesn't mean I like it. Maybe it's for the best that you left. From what Mom told me about the way you were, you probably would have done more damage staying. I have Ayuko and Hirokazu to help me with Mom now. But the number of times Mom's had her panic attacks and I've just wanted to walk out on her... I feel bad for having that thought for even a split second."
"Maybe you're more like your old man than you thought." Ray said with a small chuckle.
"I hope not." Jimmy replied. There was still a bitter undercurrent to his words, but his tone was more mischeivous than angry. Ray gave a loud laugh.
"How's the new school?"
"I don't know. It's my first day, I've only been here a few hours."
"Not made any friends yet?"
"I talked with another student for a while. He seemed cool. That's about it."
"Well, get out there and go talk to some more people!"
"I will! You're the one who called me, remember?"
"Yeah. I guess so. Bloody hell! Look at the time! I'd better go, Jimmy. I need to get some training in today." He said.
"Ok. Bye." Jimmy replied.
"Uhh... bye." They both sounded awkward as they said their goodbyes, but it was to be expected. They hung up and Jimmy sighed.

Something had happened while he was talking to Ray, he had somehow made progress after his outburst. It wasn't much, but maybe he could have a little less of a broken relationship with Ray. There was some sort of coming to terms with what had happened in that moment of silence. Maybe Jimmy had just realized that he didn't want anything to do with Ray. Hirokazu did perfectly well as a father to he and Ayuko, better than Ray could ever hope to.

Maybe I don't need as many therapy sessions as I thought I would...

Nothing was ever going to work out perfectly well between Jimmy and his father, but maybe it could end up going a little better than he'd thought. Just maybe. Whatever the case, Jimmy didn't want to think about it anymore. He felt better, less stressed and more eager about his new surroundings after the somewhat chaotic family therapy session that had just taken place. Now, he wanted to get out there and socialise, talk to some fellow students, make some friends and make the most of his time at Yamaku. He put his black hoodie on, pulling the hood up and grabbing his trolley as he put his earphones in and started playing an energetic drum and bass song.

He took another breath from the oxygen tank. He winced a little, feeling a sharp pain in his chest as the air rushed through the hole in his lung.

He left his room, oxygen tank by his side. He was headed outside again, feeling ready to face whatever and whoever he encountered. For the first time since the tragedy at his school, he felt in genuinely high spirits.
Jimmy Cohen

Posts : 228
Reputation : 5
Join date : 2014-08-02
Age : 22
Location : Yamaku Academy

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