The constant: The slow crunch of grass broke Jeffery’s concentration. A step was the culprit. It came slowly, inevitable, so sure of itself. Jeffery didn’t look back.
He knew this day would come.
“Jeff…” said a heavy, light voice. Two more steps followed. Until the voice was right behind him.
A pair of arms reached out and embraced Jeffery from behind.
“April.” His eyes began to water. She laid her head into his back. He felt the moist spots of her eyes as they seared into his shirt and onto his back. Warm.
“How long, April?”
“How long do I have to see my son?”
“Not long. You have to go now.”
April held him tight and released her grip. He turned to see her and saw the same girl he fell in love with years ago, with the same tears that filled her eyes when they first met. He slid his thumb on her cheek and cleaned the mascara off her face.
“Just like the first time, April?”
Their kiss was short. He pulled away and kissed April on the forehead before breaking away for the last time. He mind began to sink back into a cold, process-oriented mode. Back to the basics. Back to figuring out his next move. His belt was back in the house, along with his plasma gun.
He came back through the back door, where he found his family scattered around the television. Most had tears, others were pale, white faces where expressions used to be. Atleast one of them looked as tough they were ready to blow. Face as red as a red star.
All eyes were on Jeffery. He grabbed his belt off the table, reloaded his gun and trembled.
“I’m going. Anyone that’s coming, call it now. We’re saving Danny.”
All the men stood up. Uncle Don, Phil, Ronnie, Ed, even Fat Roger stood up. Jeannie was up before any of the men. Only a handful were still sitting down.
“There are more weapons in the shed out back. Grab one, check yourselves and your chambers, and stock up on ammo. Bring a shit ton, we’re going to need them.”
The men plus Jeannie scattered. Jeffery stayed behind to witness what he had created. The family was united, even if just for a moment. There were 4 final people that wished to say behind. His mother was one of them.
“You imprudent little bastard!” She got up and slapped him.
“Ma, you know I can’t sit this out. I have to try.”
“So, I’m going to lost two sons today? Is that what you want? Just point that fucking gun at my head and spare me the pain, Jeffery!”
“He’s me brother, ma! He saved me life! He saved Ellie’s life and April! He’s part of this family and I’m not giving him me back when he needs us the most!”
“Saul will kill you, son! He’ll know you’re coming. And he’ll be ready for you!”
“I know, Ma. I know me father.”