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In this scene, it’s still morning and Rachel is preparing for a full day of errands she has to run with her son, Josiah, also known as Joey. He’s guilty of talking loudly into his headset of his videogames, waking up his step-brother, Sam, and also playing his games too early in the morning. I like this scene because it introduces who Joey is, and it also gives a little insight into where both Joey and Rachel came from before they met John and Sam.
I knocked on Joey’s door. The talking paused for a moment before starting up again. Not wanting to further bother Sam, I chose to just open the door rather than knock again. The door clicked but refused to budge, the lock firmly in place.
“Josiah, open up,” I called in a muffled tone against the door. I heard him get up from his bed to open the door. “Since when did you start locking your door?” I asked him, moving past him into the room so I wasn’t talking in the hallway.
“Since everyone likes to barge into my room,” he pointed out.
He was only a year younger than Sam, but at times his seriousness made him seem years older. If it weren’t for his lack of height or his youthful face, it would be hard to tell who was the older of the stepbrothers.
Joey still stood an inch or two shorter than my five foot four, although his shoe size had passed me up years earlier. He looked somewhat like me with his brown hair and wide amber eyes. But the similarities stopped there. Beyond that, he looked just like his father, a man I hadn’t seen in many years, and would likely never see again.
Tony had stepped out on me when I was still pregnant, visiting just a few times after Joey was born before disappearing altogether. It seems he decided that fatherhood just wasn’t for him, something he stated in a letter he sent me weeks after his last visit, explaining that he couldn’t handle the responsibility of parenting. At the time, I was grateful for even just a note. That feeling of gratefulness was later traded in for rage at a man who left me to shoulder the responsibility all by myself. However, time proved that things happen for a reason. Had I stayed with Tony, life would have been very different for Joey and me. Because he was out of our lives, I was free to raise Joey in a healthy environment, allowing my family’s values be the primary influence on my son’s young life. And, of course, my new path in life led me to John, a man who showed me what love was supposed to feel like.
I began to view Tony for who he was: the man who was meant to create Joey, and nothing more. For that, I would always be thankful for his part in my life.
“Sorry for barging in,” I apologized to Joey. “But you didn’t answer. Besides, you know you’re not supposed to be on the headset until after eight o’clock,” I said, citing the rule we had agreed upon to ensure he wasn’t waking the house with his early morning videogame play.
“It’s after eight now,” Joey pointed out, nodding toward the clock that lay on the floor beside his bed. Even upside down I could tell it was only two minutes past eight o’clock.