• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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Weighing out the options

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m chilling in a hammock, enjoying the gentle warmth of an early October sun as it leisurely rolls over yet still lush green lawn.
My first born, now a teenager, is sprawled on the inflatable mattress in a shady part of the garden, armed with a notepad, pen and his phone. Long blond curls frame his too serious face, and I can’t help but wonder when did I blink and my baby turned into this handsome young man. He’s still the goofiest of the goofs, still writes letters to Santa and still allows me to hug him in public, but there's a new sense of manhood about him.
He scrolls through his phone, makes notes, then crosses out what he’s just written, blows out the air through his mouth and scratches his head.
It’s love, you see. The kind that sweeps you off your feet and possesses you, body and soul.
It took time but he traced her to a small music shop a 45-minute train journey away. It was the closest he could find to the one that Metallica’s frontman has. Hanging on the back wall of the shop, apple red with golden shimmer, it came with a heavy price tag, but it was love at first sight, sealed forever with first riff.
“How's it going?” I ask.
He gives me the look.
“Even if I save ALL my pocket money, cut the grass every four weeks, do the bins, do all my chores, be exceptionally good at school and get tons of house points, I’ll still only be able to afford it in about two and a half years.” He frowns. “Are you sure you can’t help me with that?”
“No, buddy. It’s all on you.”
“Right. Right.” He scratches his head again and disappears into the house.


Weighing out the options

He reappears a few minutes later with brain food – a bag of Haribos, two packs of crisps and a can of coke – and continues to scroll through his phone making notes and adding numbers, crossing them out and then starting again.
“What if you buy it for me and I’ll pay you back?” he asks cautiously.
“Within two and a half years?”
“No way, right?” He cackles. “Worth an ask, eh?”
He gets serious again then lift his eye up to me.
“I can sell my Pokémon cards or NERF guns collection!”
“Will you really?”
He shakes his head, energetically.
“Well, there’s always a backup option,” he says as a matter of fact.
“Which is?”
“I’ll ask Santa!” he grins. “I’m really, REALLY good at school, I tolerate my brother, and help with the cat and stuff. The old man loves me. He always gets me what I ask for!” he adds with a devilish curve of a brow.
“Yeah.” I gulp, slowly. “About that.”