The Best Time of Ohmie's Life
: The Best Time of Ohmie's Life by Wayne Fowler
Book of the Month contest entry
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.|
My dad was away a lot. I mean a lot. I hardly knew him. Import/export was all he ever said. Well, for once, I guess I would find out just what it was he imported and exported.
Dad came home from a trip, and the first thing you know he and Mom were arguing. Loudly enough that I came downstairs to see if there was gonna be hitting. There never had been, but they’d never been this loud. I also came down because I knew it was about me. I’d been pretty much a lot for my mom the past couple weeks.
Dad missed my thirteenth birthday. I didn’t mind. I can’t remember him ever being home on my birthday. I didn’t care, really. It wasn’t like there was a party, or anything. There’s never been anything more than a cupcake and a new toy, or book, or something. Anyway, he missed it, and starting then, I wouldn’t play anything but fiddle music on my violin. And I had a recital coming up and Dad promised to be there. He even circled the date on the calendar, himself.
Oh, and I acted out at school and got suspended for three days. Mr. Sanders, my trigonometry teacher, was being audited by the principle. Mr. Sanders wanted to show out by putting me on display, his child prodigy. I wasn’t playing. I think it was the way Sanders said it, “Timothy, come up to the board and show the class how I’ve taught you how to find the cosine of the obtuse angle.”
“You never taught me anything. You just tell us what chapter to read. And my name is Ohmie. Let’s see you find the cosecant of that obtuse angle.” I kinda shot that obtuse at Mr. Sanders.
Everybody in class stopped breathing. Being a college prep class, it didn’t have anyone in there that would have seen humor in my outburst.
Mr. Sanders stood there simmering, getting redder by the secant. Hah! The principle stood up and very casually said, “Ohmie, come with me, please.”
I was out for the rest of the day and the next three. That was technically more than three days, but I was good with it. Also, I wouldn’t be going back to Sanders’ class. I was good with that, too. Mom had to come pick me up. I wasn’t good with that. I wanted to walk home. It wasn’t that far. Four-and-a-half miles is all. I guess they thought I might not.
So, when Dad got home the next day and they got to arguing, Mom lit out. Last thing I heard her say was, “He’s yours!” I didn’t know when, or if, she’d come back. That was when Dad got a call on his work phone. He didn’t say anything, just listened. Right after, he said to me, “One change of clothes, two, make that three sets of underclothes. Carry-on only. We leave in ten minutes.”
I knew that he meant airplane carry-on, no checked baggage. I hurried, but I took my backpack, too. For my tablet, chargers, external battery, and an early Tom Clancy paperback. An early one because he got all full of himself after his first successes and started preaching his flavor of politics. I’d already read the one I grabbed, but what the hey. I was ready in nine, but Dad was already in the car and out of the garage.
“You set the alarm?” he asked as he backed up like a crazy man.
“Uh, I …”
He took off out of our subdivision like he was James Bond.
We didn’t talk. I didn’t because I expected the subject to turn to the school business immediately. He didn’t because he never does. And I figured he was not too happy that he had to take his kid to work with him.
At the airport he gave a guy a $20 to park the car for him. I wondered how he would get it back. How they would know him, or which was his. I also wondered why he was so free with a $20. Mom counted out change almost, just so I could go to a movie. I figured that it must not be his money he was throwing around.
I was surprised when I saw that he had my passport. I knew I had one, but I’ve never been out of the country.
“We not going to New York?” I asked. We live fairly close to Reagan National outside Alexandria, Maryland. I knew Dad flew to New York a lot.
“London,” was all he said.
I hoped we could get to 221b Baker Street. I didn’t much care about the traditional tourist stops. But I didn’t say anything. Dad handed me my ticket, telling me to sit near the front, that he’d be in business class. Again, I didn’t say anything.
He was waiting for me when I deplaned. I thought their phrasing hilarious. Again, I didn’t say anything. It was all I could do to keep up with all the commotion of people and all my gawking. Dad gave a guy in a uniform $10 to get us a cab. Big spender. Maybe we could get some fish and chips. I was starving. I was almost about to say something about it when Dad asked, “Fish an’ chips all right?”
My head bobbed a couple times before my mouth worked. “Sure, I guess.”
We got out at a street vendor corner. The cab was gonna circle the block for ten minutes. I guess that’s how long I had to eat.
Dad must have made arrangements in flight because we got to a hotel, and as soon as he told them who he was, they gave him a key card. They also gave him a satchel that obviously had some heft to it. Not having luggage to mess with made everything way easier. I saw the benefit in that.
At the room door, Dad looked around. The only people in the hall were two gay guys all over each other. Dad was just getting into a fluster zone trying to make the card work when one of the dudes popped Dad on top of his head with some kind of weapon. From my reading, I’d call it a sap. While I stood there gaping, my mouth hanging open, the other one had the key card and opened the door. The sapper dude looked at me and raised his hand, his sapping hand. Hesitating, he just told me to get inside. I did, first grabbing the satchel Dad had dropped.
Once inside, I saw that the door dude had a small gun in his hand. Again, from my reading, I’d say that it was a .25 or .32 caliber. Not terribly powerful, but a double tap would kill you. Neither of them had yet to say a word.
The sapper dude got two pillows from the nearest bed. Just as he was about to put ‘em over Dad’s face. My hand in the satchel, I found a pistol. I thumbed the pistol’s safety. What else could it be, right there by my thumb? If there wasn’t a round in the chamber, we were screwed, Dad and I. From within the satchel, I shot them both right through the bag – center mass, their chests, that is. Boom, boom. Standing over them, I put another into each forehead. Boom, boom.
“Timothy, Timothy, honey. Time to wake up. Your dialysis is all finished, honey. I just need to get you ready for your chemo. We just have a few minutes.” She, nurse May, was my favorite. She gave me a whole body smile every week. In another life I think I’d marry her. Mom thought she was a shrew, but not to me, she wasn’t. I was thinking I’d check outta this world with her smile on my mind.
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