People look at me strange when I tell them I have an 18 year old son. I’m 33. When James and I go out it isn’t uncommon for people to ask if he’s my little brother. He could easily pass for being in his twenties and so could I. The past 18 years haven’t been without their trials but I like to think I did the best I could given the situations.
During my freshman year of high school I knocked up m girlfriend. Her parents were going to put the baby up for adoption, but my mom stepped in and helped me get custody. My son is a straight-a student. He’s a point guard for the school’s basketball team. I scrounged enough money to get him a halfway decent car. He’s popular in all the way’s I wasn’t.
By the time I was his age I had a two year old son, a GED, and a job at the local Pella factory. We live in a two bedroom apartment duplex a few blocks down from his high school. He does his homework without much prompting and spends his downtime with friends or in the living room kicking my a*s at call of duty. At one point I thought he might be gay, I wouldn’t have cared but I thought it was weird that a boy of his age never had a girlfriend. I asked him about it and he smiled saying, “No dad I’m not gay, I just want to wait until I’m a little older to get out there, wouldn’t want you to be a grandfather in your 30s.” That… was our s*x talk. Between the internet and the s*x ed classes I had to sign a permission slip for, I figured he knew the basics.
A few months ago he told me he was going out late. When I asked why he told me he had a date. I didn’t have any questions. I slipped him a hundred dollar bill and told him to be home in time for breakfast. He was a good kid, I trusted him. After that it became a semi-regular thing. He’d let me know Friday afternoon that he was going to be out late that night. Each Saturday morning he’d be home and sitting on the couch playing the Xbox before I climbed out of bed. I never met any of his dates but I figured he was keeping it to himself. Like I said , I trusted my son. He had a good head on his shoulders and I had no reason to suspect that anything was amiss. I don’t normally watch the news, between my Facebook feed and Twitter I usually knew enough about current events not to care.
For whatever reason I found myself sitting in front of the television at five in the afternoon and decided to watch the news. I kind of wish I hadn’t. The television switched from a commercial to showing the anchor sitting there with a somber face. She looked at the camera and said, “Later tonight we’ll cover a developing story. Several area women are still missing as police look for clues as whether or not the disappearances might be related.” We live in a sleepy little town so the idea that something like that could be happening so close to home shook me a little. The idea that my son could be out and about with something like that happening in town scared me a little too much. I talked to him about it. He told me not to worry. James was a big kid, he stood just under seven feet tall and had a wide frame. I wasn’t worried about someone getting the jump on him but as a big guy myself I knew that having a large frame meant very little if someone else had a gun. James had shown me that I had nothing to worry about.