Story:Back To Seattle
Back To Seattle
Written by Shataivian
Monday, January 21st. Seattle, Washington. Las Vegas vs. Seattle. The score at the end of the night: Las Vegas Wildcards 100, Seattle Summit 109.
Lisa scanned the stadium in search of her friend, Jason. He was at her last Seattle game, after all. This had to mean that he would be there this time. Sure enough, Lisa found him standing by the steps towards the back of the stadium. She frantically waved her arms and made a beeline for him, skipping a step or two at a time. With her excitement she rushed him and embraced him with such force it nearly knocked him over. At that point, it didn’t matter how the game went. Win or lose, the only thing that mattered was that Jason was there.
“Gross. You’re all sweaty,” Jason finally said. Lisa scoffed and punched his arm. “You keep abusing me like that, I’ll have to sue you for all you’re worth.” The two hugged each other again with Lisa desperately clinging on to every second. When they both decided that they had gotten their fill, Lisa softly informed her friend that she would go shower and meet up with him afterwards.
The cougar stood attached to his phone, scrolling through old messages. His face was emotionless. Unlike the blank face one would have standing alone with their phone out in public, his expression had been drained from him. He opened his voicemail app and pressed play on one of the messages stored there. With the phone pressed to his ear, any passer-by would only be able to make out from the tone of the voice that it was a professional speaking, and not, say, a friend or family member on the line.
Lisa rounded a corner towards the lobby where Jason was waiting, waving and shaking hands with some of the stragglers from the game. She approached him with her hands behind her back.
“Ready?” Lisa’s smile reached from ear to ear.
“Where’re we going,” Jason asked as he tucked his phone into his back pocket.
“Actually… You don’t mind if we stop by my uncle’s again? I’m sorry to keep dragging you along and not spending time with you.”
“What are you talking about? I’m spending time with you, aren’t I?”
“Yeah but…” Jason interrupted her with only a slight smirk and a tilt of his head. “Okay, okay,” she laughed.
“He doing okay? I saw his place was closed down.”
“That’s actually why I wanted to see him. I’m kinda worried about him.”
The cat and mouse approached a small home towards the outskirts of Seattle. It was a thin light blue, two-story house with the neighbors no more than two feet away. Lisa nocked on the dark red door and called out for her uncle. When no one answered, Lisa went for the doorknob. The door opened and the two cautiously entered. The home was updated and brightly lit. From the front door you could see all the way to the back of the home to the sliding door that opened to the small “yard.” To the right of the entrance was a small living room with a gas-lit marble fireplace that reached all the way to the ceiling. The dining room was, too, a small, but well decorated designated area to the left of the glass spiral stair case. Beyond that was the kitchen with probably the only large thing in the house. It was the island with a marble countertop that matched the fireplace.
“Eric,” Lisa called out.
“Anyone home,” Jason followed up with. They made their way up the stairs to three closed doors. “Lisa, you think this is a good idea,” Jason whispered.
“I mean, we don’t know what we could be walking in on.” Lisa smirked and shook her head. She started knocking on doors and opening them; one to the bathroom, another to a home office. She finally opened the last door and found her uncle a mound on his bed. She moved in close and slowly shook him.
“Eric,” she whispered. “Eric, it’s me. Wake up.” Eric’s eyes slowly blinked into focus.
“The fuck you doing in my house?!” Eric swung his body from laying on his stomach to laying on his back, bringing his left fist with him straight towards Lisa’s jaw. With his right-hand Jason stepped in to counter, pushing the trajectory of Eric’s fist away from Lisa. In that motion Jason grabbed Eric’s wrist and used his left hand to put pressure on Eric’s elbow, pinning him. “The fuck yous want?!”
“Calm down! It’s Lisa,” Jason firmly spoke.
“It’s your niece.” Eric pathetically looked over his shoulder to confirm what Jason had said.
“Lis?” Lisa stood silent with a frozen gaze. “Jesus fucking Christ! Why didn’t you say somethin’?” Jason slowly let Eric go. “Fuckin’ A, man! You’ve got a grip on ya,” Eric grumbled, rubbing his wrist. Lisa’s eyes darted back and forth between the men. “You okay?” She finally snapped out of her trance and nodded vigorously.
“Yeah… yeah,” she whispered.
“How the fuck yous guys got in here?”
“Your door was unlocked,” Jason answered.
“Fucking…” Eric readjusted himself to sit upright on his bed. “No, it was definitely locked. The stupid bolt sometimes stays in the door.”
“Kind of a useless lock then,” Jason teased.
“Yeah, just another thing I gotta get fixed.” Eric rubbed the corners of his eyes. “Sorry about that, guys.” He stood up, stretched and hugged his niece. “Sorry I swung at ya. It’s always good to see you, sweetheart.” He pulled away and shook Jason’s hand next. “You, too, man. It’s good to see you again. And thanks for not breaking my arm.”
“Any time,” Jason laughed. “Lisa?”
“Shit…” she whispered. “Jason, you think you could teach me moves like that?”
“Yeah! Sure,” he laughed. “I’d love to wrestle you.” Jason smirked and Lisa lightly pushed him.
“Alright, you two. Why don’t we head downstairs? Kinda awkward with yous guys hoverin’ around me in my bedroom.”
The three of them made their way down the stairs to the living room. Lisa and Jason sat on the couch together, and Eric plopped down in the armchair, grunting the whole way down.
“So! How you doing,” Eric asked Lisa.
“Good, good.” Lisa fidgeted in her seat.
“What about you, big guy? How’re you and the missus?”
“Good… uh… Sharice is pregnant?”
“What?” Lisa perked up in her seat.
“Yup. She’s pregnant…”
“Jason?!” She leaned over and hugged Jason.
“Well, mazel tov,” Eric applauded.
“Congratulations!” At this point Lisa was bouncing in her seat with excitement.
“I know how much you wanted to be a dad. Oh, this is so great,” Lisa continued.
“Yeah. She hasn’t told me yet, though.” Jason was staring down at the floor with a smile and his hands clasped together.
“Alright… How do you know, then,” asked Eric.
“Her doctor. He left me a voicemail.” Jason’s smile started to drop. “Her phone broke a little while ago and we haven’t gotten her a new one yet, so she gave everyone my number. Apparently, she’s got her first ultrasound next week.”
“Ah.” Eric leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. “There’s nothing quiet as amazing as bringing a baby into the world, I tell you what.” He opened his eyes and snickered to himself. “So, when are you having a baby,” he teased Lisa.
“Don’t even joke! I’ve got plenty of time to worry about that later. Besides, I gotta find a mouse worth being with first.”
“You know you can always go to a sperm bank,” Jason said.
“Yeah… but I sorta kind of always wanted to have a baby WITH the guy I’m with, you know?” It was Important to Lisa to have a child where both parents were related to the child, rather than only one.
“Then you’re limiting yourself to only falling in love with mice, you who only seems to date felines,” Jason said with his arms crossed.
“No, that’s not true,” Lisa defended
“Okay, Steven was a panther, sure…” she began. “And Malcom was a tiger… and Jake… was… a lion.” Her voice started to go quiet.
“And don’t forget Jake’s brother,” Jason added.
“Okay! Once and for all! I never dated Omar! It never happened! I don’t even think Melissa would have let me date him after what happened anyway.”
“So, you really think you can fall for anyone who isn’t a cat,” Jason challenged.
“You’ve got a boyfriend,” Eric chimed in.
“No… it’s a girl…” Lisa giggled, confusing Eric. “I have a kitten.”
“Wow, you really do only fall for cats,” Jason said throwing his head back and clapping.
“Shut up. She found me in San Jose. She’s a cute little chimera kitten. Half her face is black.” Jason just laughed and shook his head. Right about then a chime came from Eric’s back pocket. He leaned to one side to pull it out and stared at it for a moment.
“Oh. Look who it is,” he grumbled. “Excuse me.” Eric stood up and made his way to the kitchen on the other side of the house.
Lisa adjusted in her seat to turn slightly towards her friend. She had a huge smile on her face again. “So, you excited to be a dad?”
“Yeah…” Jason spoke softly.
“You sound nervous. You worried?”
“Something like that…”
“Do you really think you won’t be a good father,” Lisa assumed.
“What…? Well, actually…”
“You know you’re going to be a great dad, right?”
“Oh? And how do you know that?”
“The same way I know I’m gonna be a great mom someday. I know what I wish I had in a mom, and you know what you wish you had in a dad.”
“Plus, now you’ve got the added bonus of reuniting with your dad. I know things are still kinda tense between you two, but you can always ask him for help.” Lisa put her hand on Jason’s knee. “I’m sure he’ll be excited to hear that he’s gonna be a grandpa.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Eric’s voice could be heard from the living room. “Okay… okay… yeah.”
“That doesn’t sound good,” Jason said to Lisa. Eric slowly walked towards the living room as he wrapped up his phone call.
“Everything alright,” Lisa asked.
“Guess who that was.” Eric’s voice was sharp and irritated.
“That was your dad.”
“Oh.” Lisa’s smile vanished.
“What did he want,” Jason asked Eric. Eric began to pace a bit and rub his hair.
“Things have just really hit the fan over at the pub.”
“Oh no no no! It’s not the ‘Devil’s Den’ anymore,” Eric said through angry laughter. “Now it’s the ‘Devil’s Lounge,’” he mocked. “Like that wouldn’t rub any salt in the wound…”
“Eric,” Lisa apologized.
“That black mold fiasco really made a bad situation worse. Turns out nothing was worth salvaging. The entire brewery was too contaminated, so they had to get rid of it. The pub had to be stripped down to the studs. He even bought out the upstairs apartment that started the whole thing, so now he’s got a two-story lounge!”
“You think it be too much to ask to work there?” Jason tried to make the situation better for Eric. “I mean-“
“Ha!” Eric interrupted. “Yeah! He wants me to be ‘assistant’ manager! He’s sending one of his people to be the manager. Guess it serves me right. Couldn’t manage my own business…”
“Eric… I’m so sorry,” Lisa apologized again.
“Ahh, it’s whatever. Now I’ve got so much time on my hands, I spend the day cleaning and recleaning. Isn’t that pathetic…?” Eric plopped back down in the armchair. “I’m sorry. You were talking about your wife. So! You think she’s gonna try and surprise you with the news?!” Jason laughed, taken aback by the sudden switch back to his wife.
“Oh, it’ll be a surprise alright.”
“Have you actually told your dad,” Lisa asked.
“You should. It’s such a good thing you two got back in contact with one another.”
“Yeah,” Jason laughed again. “’cause it totally was on purpose that that happened.”
“Okay, but still.” Lisa tried to convince her friend that having his father back in his life was a good thing.
“Yeah…” Jason’s voice wavered.
“Come on! He seems so nice. Oh, and you know what? You should change your name back to Braxton.” Jason guffawed. “Oh! And speaking of which. ‘Janovski?’” Lisa shifted her attention towards her uncle.
“Yeah.” Eric had changed his name on Tweeter, adding “Janovski” to his user name.
“So, what? Is that your real name? What’s the story?”
“Janovski is the name I was born with.”
“Where did Johnson come from?”
“It’s actually an alternate version of Janovski.”
“Was Janovski too hard to say,” Jason joked.
“No… I just got into a big fight with my family. So, I stupidly had it legally changed.”
“Whoa, isn’t that hard to do?” Lisa leaned in. “Like, isn’t it expensive and a huge hassle to change it?”
“Mmmm-no,” Jason shook his head.
“No. Actually it’s a whole lot easier to legally change your name than you would think,” Eric began. “And nowadays it’s very common for people to change their name.”
“Mmm hmm,” Jason confirmed. “It wasn’t hard to change my name to Micheals. But,” he started to laugh. “I had lots of things anagrammed as a kid so that’d be a hassle.” Lisa slapped her friend’s arm. “At least your initials stayed the same.”
“That’s true. If you’re not careful you could end up with Lisa’s initials.”
“Don’t start,” Lisa shouted.
“What,” Jason eagerly asked. Eric leaned in close to Jason.
“You’ve heard of an SBD? Well Lisa’s are LBD.”
“Eric!” Lisa attempted to swat at her uncle, but he was just out of reach.
“Oh my god! I never thought of that!” Jason was rolling in his seat.
“Stop it! I hate that joke!”
“I mean, it’s not wrong,” Jason taunted.
“Oh, don’t test me, you ass.”
“Not mine,” Jason quickly countered.
“I’m gonna kick your-“
“My what?!” Jason and Eric were both enjoying Lisa’s torment.
“Shut up! Hey! You know whose initials are actually kind of funny,” Lisa shouted, desperately trying to change the subject. “Dad’s!”
“Oh, that’s right,” Eric realized. “You know what would have been perfect, though? If his first name was actually Dan.”
“Wait. What? Why?”
“’cause then his name and his initials would be the same. He’d be Dan Avellino Na… DuPont! DuPont.” Lisa looked at her friend and back to Eric.
“What the hell are you on? Where did you get DAN from?”
“No. No, I was thinking of someone else… His initials would be D.A… D! Ha! His initials are DAD! Look at that! He was destined to be one!”
“You’ve known him your whole life and you’ve never thought to make fun of him for that?! And yet you can remember LBD. Thanks a lot,” Lisa pouted.
“Yeah… Well, anyways, I’m thinking about changing my name back to Janovski. I’ve gotten back in touch with my parents and I feel like maybe it’s time to grow up, you know?”
“Yeah, I hear you…” Jason nodded in reluctant agreement. Lisa looked down towards her lap. The laughter in the air started to naturally die down a bit.
“I’ve been thinking about mom, too…” she admitted. “Like, I know she lives somewhere in upstate New York, but… I don’t know…” Her tail started to swish back and forth at the tip. “Dad said I shouldn’t find her. He made me promise.”
“You know you’re an adult, right?” Jason’s words weren’t so much an insult as they were a reminder.
“Yeah, but he sorta scared me out of it. He said that I would be heart broken if I found her.” Jason leaned back in his seat.
“Well, no, it wouldn’t be easy, but if it’s something you want to do…”
“Was she really that bad,” she softly asked Eric. “You knew her, right?”
“Sandrine? Yeah…” Eric answered.
“What do you think? Should I bother going to see her?” Eric’s chest slowly rose and fell.
“Well, like Jason said, it’s really up to you sweetheart.” He bent forward to lean on his knees with his forearms. “But I’ll be honest with you.” He made direct eye contact with Lisa. “Sometimes ignorance is bliss. If you’re content with the way things are now, then I’d say leave it be. But. If you absolutely need to find her, if it’s something you need to do, then do it.”
“What happened between her and dad?” Eric shook his head.
“That isn’t my place. I love you, Lisa, but that’s between family, between blood.” Jason slowly crossed his arms. His head faced forward, but his chin was slightly tilted towards Eric. His eyes were narrow and focused on Eric as he continued to speak. “Like I said. If things are fine the way they are, then drop it and let it go. But, if you decide to go, then steel your heart, because your dad is right, you will absolutely get hurt.” Eric's eyes connected with Jason’s. They stared each other down for about a half second before shifting their gaze.
“Lisa, If I were you, I would really, really think hard about it,” Jason added. “But you shouldn’t worry about it right now.”
“Yeah… Don’t worry about it. Instead, yous guys want something to eat? I ain’t got much but I can order some pizza or whatever.”
“Actually, I’m gonna have to go pretty soon. And I’m sure Jason’s gotta get home to his wife.” Lisa started to gather her things.
“Well, hold on. We can stay for a bit, can’t we? We don’t have to leave just yet, right?” Jason had his hand on Lisa’s wrist, gently trying to convince her to sit back down.
“Yeah…” Lisa smiled. “Yeah, I guess I can stay for a little while longer.”
“Great!” Eric held up his phone. “You like pepperoni?” The two smiled and nodded.