The sound of footsteps caught Mr. Parker’s attention. He tilted his head up and saw his other son going down the stairs.
Jae Parker noticed his father’s thinking face from the upper floor. He had been rubbing his thumb against his chin, staring hard at nothing. His father paid no attention to his surroundings when he did this. He could hit a wall if something really bothered him. A memory Jae could never forget.
When his father looked at him, Jae grinned.
“Morning, chief!” His voice boomed throughout the room. A frown appeared on his father’s face just like he expected.
“Jae” he heard him say as he reached the floor. He turned towards the front door but it seemed like Steve Parker had other plans, “I need to ask you about something.”
Jae stopped in his tracks and turned around. Two hands in his front pockets, he tilted his head to the side, “Isn’t a little too early for favors?”
His father frowned, “I’m your father. What I say goes.”
Jae bit his tongue before he could say something out of line. Playful banter was never a thing between them. Both were easily provoked by the other—to which Jae doubted his old man noticed how he actually spoke to him.
Today though, Jae wasn’t in the mood for a fight so he answered him, “What is it then pops?”
“Have you noticed anything unusual at school?”
His eyebrows shot up, “No, not really. Why? Something with Logan?”
It usually was. This was the one topic he never minded with his father. He cared about Logan dearly. He worried about him as much as his father does. If his father knew something then, damn it, he had to know too.
His father had his thinking face again. This time, his gaze was on the ceiling, “Now that you mention it, could you keep tabs on him? He seems awfully cheery.”
So it wasn’t about Logan? Jae turned skeptical, “Isn’t that a good thing?”
Why would a cheery Logan be worrisome? Logan had always been cheery. Not as energetic as he was when he was a kid but hey, kids grow up in different ways. Who was to say it was wrong for Logan to lose his kangaroo energy? The house certainly benefited from that the most.
Jae then wondered what else could be weighing on his father’s mind. Rarely did their principal showed concern about the gossip and dramas between students. His father, on the other hand, only listened to the ones about his sons.
What else was there?
“It is. I just want to know why” Mr. Parker responded and started to walk towards the exit. Jae followed him out, “Maybe one of my sons found someone they want to commit to.”
Jae raised his arms and halted a step, “Woah, talk about pressure.”
Steve finally looked back at his eldest son. He glowered, “I’m not fond of the rumors going around about the girls you take out each week.”
“Not that it’s any of their business anyway” Jae walked past his father, brushing off the disdainful tone in his voice.
Mr. Parker sighed. He refused to believe the rumors at face value but Jae never cleared his name—not even to him. Since when did his son become independent and distant? What was he hiding? What was he planning?
“Jae” he walked up to him and placed a hand on his son’s shoulder, “Keep an eye out on your brother, alright?”
In response, Jae looked over his shoulder and smiled at him.
“You know I always do.”
Steve nodded, satisfied at his answer. He let go of his shoulder and headed for his car. Jae watched his father drive away. Their conversation swirled in his head. He wasn’t lying. He did keep an eye on his brother. If his father noticed something then, there must be something. The more he thought about it, the more curious he became.
Found someone to commit to, huh? Jae pondered for a bit. Could it actually be possible?