2 FEB 2015
On the outskirts of west Chicago suburbia on a quit cul-de-sac, sitting in a blue worn over lazy-boy chair with a corona in one hand and a remote in the other hand, watching the early morning news, sits Axel Gates. Its 0400 in the morning and the room is filled with darkness, except for the illumination of the television. The snores of his wife Marla and their only son Jackson can be heard faintly behind the voices of the local newscaster presenting with the day’s most intriguing stories. There were two murders last night on the east side of Chicago in the district Axel has worked for the last 10 years. Two gang members from opposing factions apparently fighting over turf. Axel is on leave and is enjoying the reality that his phone didn’t ring last night. He’s the lead homicide detective in one of the most decorated homicide units in east Chicago, legendary for their reputations of always getting their man. This day is special for the family because his son Jackson is becoming sixteen today and they are planning for a big celebration amongst family and friends.
About two hours have passed and Axel starts to hear the scurrying of his wife in the bedroom. The brightness of the lamp shines from the room and the sound of water running in the sink fades in the background as she calls for him and says, “ Are you ready to get this day started, our baby is getting grown”.
“Yeah babe, I’m so excited for him. I know he’s going to have a great time”.
I have the DJ already booked and a great music selection planned for everybody.”
There gone be a good mixture of oldies and hip hop music for all, believe that”, Axel explained.
“Why you ordered some oldies for these kids?, you know they don’t wanna hear that mess.”
“It isn’t about them, it’s about us old folks”, Axel laughed.
No sooner than Axel said that he could hear yawning coming from the room across the hall. It sounded like a grizzly bear awakening from his winter hibernation, clearing the sleep from his eyes, looking for something to eat. Jackson said, “Dad why you tripping?, this party is for the kids and the kids only.” “I don’t even want to notice that all y’all old folks are even around.”
“Whatever son, you know I’m about to act a fool this afternoon”, Axel proclaimed.
Jackson just laughed and went on his way to the kitchen. He grabbed the biggest bowl he could find and poured it full of fruity pebbles. “The breakfast of champions!” Jackson yelled.
Neither Axel nor Marla heard a word Jackson said because they were too busy jumping down each other’s throats. Axel’s phone rang and Marla knew what it was about. Axel just looked at the phone with this empty look in his face and butterflies in his stomach. The department head was on the other end of the line and he told Axel that he needed him to come in ASAP.
Jackson grabbed a black pair of slacks, his 9mm Glock, his holster and a blue tie. He thought this call may be in reference to what he had watched on the news earlier. His wife Marla was steaming like a hot kettle on the kitchen stove. She grabbed a Virginia slim from her purse and lit it up. She took one toke and let the smoke float in the air light a butterfly on a hot summer’s day before she lit into Axel. “You know this is some bullshit! she yelled. I have been planning this boys 16 year birthday celebration for months and know you got to leave for work.” Why couldn’t you just tell them you couldn’t come in?” Jackson explained, “Babe you know this comes with the territory and the last thing I wanna do is miss junior’s birthday bash.” You are though, just like you missed his birth and his first steps and his first words and every damn thing else since he’s been on this Earth.” Ho w I am I going to explain to him yet again…