"Shut up, Jim, and sign it."
"I'm not signing anything!"
Blair Sandburg stared into his partner's angry blue eyes. "Listen to me, James Ellison. You're going to sign this card, take it and the present that I wrapped to your Dad's, and you’re going to spend Father's Day with him. Take him out to eat at a nice restaurant or something."
Jim blinked at the commanding tone in his Guide's voice. "I'm going to do what?"
"Sign. The. Card. NOW!" Startled at Blair's vehemence, Jim turned to the kitchen table, leaned down and scribbled 'Jim' on the card before he knew what he was doing. Then he threw the pen down on the table in disgust.
Blair reached past him and shoved the card into its envelope. He slid the envelope under the ribbon around the brightly wrapped package. "You are going to be nice to your Dad today. You will not, under any circumstances or because of any provocation, argue with him. You may disagree politely, but that's all."
"IT'S FATHER'S DAY, JIM! DEAL WITH IT! YOU HAVE A DAD! I DON'T!"
Jim started to quip 'Want mine?' but held his tongue. Blair's anger was obvious. What wasn't so obvious was the pain in the younger man's eyes. Then Jim remembered that has roommate's mother had called the previous day. He softened his voice and said, "Chief? Talk to me. What's wrong?"
Blair took several deep breaths. "I'm so furious with Naomi, man." He turned away from Jim and began pacing. "Every time I asked her about my father, she said she didn't know who he was. EVERY TIME! Then she calls from out of the blue and tells me that he's dead! SHE KNEW! ALL THE TIME!"
Blair angrily waved his hands. "She tells me 'Oh it would never have worked out sweetie. He was so establishment. Can you imagine living like that?' HE WAS MY FATHER, DAMN HER! I HAD A RIGHT TO KNOW!"
"I'm sorry, Blair."
Blair stopped, hearing the softly spoken words. Turning to Jim, he pointed at the present on the table. "Take that and go spend the day with your Dad."
Jim eyed the present then his partner. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm not fit company to be with right now," Blair grimaced. "And I want you to do this."
Jim nodded and picked up the present. "Okay." He hesitated, "Blair…"
"Just go Jim. Please."
Sadly, Jim grabbed his jacket and quietly left the loft. When he got to his truck, he looked back up at the loft windows and automatically extended his hearing. He flinched when he heard Blair's quiet sobs. Opening the truck's passenger side door, he placed the present on the seat then closed the door. Taking out his cell phone, he dialed his father's number.
"Dad? Uh…happy Father's Day."
"Jimmy? Uh…thank you, son."
"Dad, I know it's Father's Day and…well, I was on my way over to take you out for lunch but…"
"I understand. Something's come up." William spoke in a precise tone of voice.
"It's Blair…my roommate. He just found out that his father died."
There was a pause, then William Ellison's voice softened. "I'm sorry to hear that. He must be very upset. Especially today."
"Yeah…so…how about we do lunch next Saturday? I think I should sorta stick close to him today. He says he wants to be alone, but…"
"Of course, Jimmy! Take care of your roommate and give him my condolences. We can have lunch anytime." He hesitated, then cleared his throat. "In fact, invite Blair to join us if you want…if you think it would be appropriate, I mean. Under the circumstances."
Jim stared at the cell phone in shock. "Uhh…thanks, Dad. I appreciate it."
"Take care, son."
"I will." Jim closed his cell phone and slipped it back into his jacket pocket. Resolutely, he turned around and walked back to the loft. Quietly approaching the front door, he hesitated and extended his hearing again.
"Not fair…not fair…just not fair…"
Blair's sobbing words tore into Jim's heart. 'I'm not sure I can live with my father and you never got the chance to live with yours. What a mess.' He was very glad that Naomi wasn't around to hear Jim's opinion of her. Quietly opening the door, Jim entered the loft and closed the door behind him.
Blair, lying on the couch, sat up and wiped his eyes. "Jim! What are you…"
"Dad and I postponed lunch," Jim quickly explained as he took off his jacket. "I told him why and he understands. He also says he's very sorry about what happened. And he'd like you to join us next weekend if you'd like."
"That's…uh…" Struggling for words, Blair looked away.
"That's my dad," Jim shrugged. "Maybe I should just stop looking for hidden reasons and go with the flow." He sat on the couch next to Blair.
"That'll be the day," Blair sniffed.
"Then today's the day." Jim put his arm around his friend and pulled him close. "Because today I'm just gonna sit here and go with your flow."
Blair hesitated then leaned into Jim's embrace. "I don't know what's worse," he muttered. "Never knowing or knowing and never having."
Jim felt his friend's silent tears against his shirt and patted Blair's arm. "Both," he finally answered. "Both."
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