After healing Emily, Father Mike gives Kyle some news he wasn’t expecting to hear. It isn’t good news and sends Kyle into a tailspin. By some quirk of Fate, Kyle has finally found his long, lost father—the man who left when he was a kid. The story he tells greatly upsets Kyle.
He left the room, resisting the urge to slam the door. On the way down in the elevator, the pain hit. It felt like his heart was exploding, but he knew it was the anger and grief he’d been holding in for the last twenty-six years. He couldn’t break down and cry in public. He wouldn’t embarrass himself like that. He wanted a quiet place to get drunk and forget the man who had given him life.
He couldn’t bring himself to call the man his father. Maybe one day, but not today. Stumbling out of the elevator, he nearly ran over the young woman from the tour company. She caught him, helping him stand.
“Mr. Scott, are you all right? Is Emily okay?”
“Emily’s fine. The priest did what he promised. She’s healed.”
“That’s wonderful! But you don’t look well. What’s wrong?”
“Is there somewhere we can go for a drink? I need a drink.”
“Sure. Come this way. There’s a lounge. We can have a couple drinks and I’ll take you back to the ship.”
“Thanks. I can’t remember your name, but you’re a real peach.”
She smirked. “Thanks. My name is Vera. Let’s get that drink, Mr. Scott.”
“The name’s Kyle. So, Vera, how long have you worked for the company?”
They laughed and chatted through the dinner hour, sharing quite a few drinks. By 10:00, Kyle was very drunk and Vera was nearly as bad off. Kyle was amazed at how witty she found him. He didn’t think it was just because they were drunk, he was really being very charming. Vera loved to dance, so they took advantage of the dance floor in the lounge and he used his skill to seduce her. By the time the bar closed, she had invited him back to her place.
However, since it was obvious that neither of them could drive, they took a room at the hotel. Completely forgetting his children, his late wife and Emily, he took Vera to bed.
* * *
Kyle woke the next morning with the mother of all hangovers. Vera was gone, having left a note for him beside the bed.
“Had a fab time last night! You’re a great dancer and even better in bed. Call me next time you’re in Cozumel! Vera.” Followed by her phone number.
“Oh, God. What have I done?”
He showered, then realized he had no fresh clothing to put on. It was pretty wrinkled and he’d spilled something on his jacket that looked like it had left a stain. He walked back to the ship hoping that the morning air would clear his head, but it was already hot and humid. It only served to make him nauseous. He returned to his cabin while Carmelita and the children were at breakfast. Taking another shower, he dressed in clean clothing and ordered breakfast to be served in his room. He was just finishing when the family arrived.
“Cindy, you take them up to arts and crafts,” Carmelita said after one look at Kyle.
“I wanna see Daddy,” Mindy protested.
“You can see him later,” Randy responded. “Come on, munchkin. I’ll race you to the elevator.”
Their voices faded down the hall. Carmelita slammed the cabin door, hands on hips. Every line of her body radiated fury.
“Where the hell were you?” she bellowed.
“Don’t, Lita. No third degree. Give me a second for my head to stop spinning and I’ll tell you.”
“Don’t give me any lip, boy. Your kids were frantic when you didn’t come in. I thought little Mindy was gonna have a conniption this morning when you didn’t show up at breakfast.”
“I’m an irresponsible, insensitive prick. Okay?” He yelled. “Are you happy now?” He stopped yelling because it hurt his head. “Emily’s fine, thank you.”
“I know that already, Thad called last night. She woke up and was asking for you.”
“There were complications afterward.”
“With Emily? Is she okay?”
“She’s fine. The complications were with me.”
“You got drunk.”
“Yeah. Very drunk. I danced awhile and I’m pretty damn sure I got laid. Considering how my back feels, I overdid that too.”
© Dellani Oakes