My Fathers Shadow

The kids call him ‘Bob’ out of meanness—it was his father’s name, and somehow the teachers, which were once his father’s classmates, allowed the stories of back then to trickle into the present.

His real name is Philip. His father has been dead for four years. Few know this, of course. Not even the teachers.

Philip sits in a garage watching Jim put the trucks on a new skate deck.

“This fuckin’ blows—do you have any tools?”
“Me?” Philip asks.

Jim shrugs and crosses to the shelves and starts batting haphazardly through a pile of junk.

“Are we going to that stupid dance?” Philip asks.
“Dances are for homos,” Jim replys, still looking for a proper screwdriver. He stops, then turns around: “Why? Did you meet some guy you wanna take?”
“Yeah. Your mom.”
Jim smiles and shakes his head: “That doesn’t even make sense!”
“I still wanna go.”
“Do I have to be your date?”
“Why can’t you take Sera?”
Jim turns back to the shelves. “I don’t think so. She does nothing but bother me. Anyway, I ain’t goin’.”

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