Happy Birthday, Son!

Beep Beep Beep Beep!

Richard looked at his phone.

“What the……”. He reached out for it, groggy and slightly disoriented. The calendar on the phone said it was the tenth of July. He had set the calendar event one year ago and had totally forgotten about it.

Yes, one year ago. One long year since he had last seen his son.

Did he even have his number? He fumbled around in the phone’s address diary….no, it was not there! He had Celina’s number. But he certainly wasn’t going to call his ex – wife at 12 AM. She would misunderstand as usual. Maybe scream, hurl a few curses over the phone.

His last attempt to meet Matt earlier this year had been severely thwarted. He had lost visiting rights after he had shown up drunk and uninvited on this very day. For his son’s birthday party. Needless to say even Matt did not want to meet him.

Who was to blame, except him?

Divorces happen all the time, but he had never tried to maintain a relationship with him. In fact, he had encouraged the separation.

“Its better for him!” He had justified to his mother when she questioned him about Matt.

How it was “better” was something which even he could not understand. Except that he knew that he did not have a positive influence on the child. No, he was a grown up man who still behaved like a vagabond, unwilling to settle down and take responsibility.

In other words, he had fucked up and he did not know to make amends.

He had grown up without a father. Was that why he felt apathy towards his offspring? He loved him, yes! But he wasn’t sure if he truly loved anyone.

“Richard, you shouldn’t do this, every child needs a father.” His mother, the only ray of light in his life had chastised him a million times. But the words seem to ricochet off him. In the end, she had given up trying to change his mind. He knew she secretly resented the fact that he had deprived her of the company of her one and only grandchild.

He sighed and deleted the calendar event. He’d ask Sally, his secretary to send a birthday card. Maybe it would reach him. Maybe it wouldn’t.

“Happy Birthday…Son…”

He whispered those words to himself and closed his eyes.


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