Tomorrow was graduation.
He remembered how his Mother worried;
he could tell the way she paced when she thought he wasn't watching.
She’d yell at Dad when he talked about it too. "No, absolutely not. It
isn't bad enough I worry if you’ll come back every
day when you leave for work, you want me to worry about my only son,
too. He should be a lawyer or a doctor or a writer. Lord knows he has
enough imagination to be a writer. His school counselor said so."
James hated it when they argued. He'd just turn the volume up on one his dad’s old viewer as he watched Sam Cade, Detective for Hire for
the hundredth time. He’d pretend he was Sam Cade - super detective.
“Yes, some day. Well, Sam Cade started in law enforcement, and then
went private. And all the women fall for him and the regular law
enforcers envy him. Yea, that's what I'll do. First, I'll follow Dad’s
path, but I won't settle for just that; no sir, not me. I'll get all
the training I can get from the pros and then I'll do what Sam Cade
did. James Harden, private detective. Well, maybe I can change my
name. James seems so, so ordinary.”
He remembered when he and his
Dad used to talk long into the night on their weekly hike up into the
mountains. He told James his fears and his aspirations, "I know that no
matter what happens I've lived a good life. Boy, that's all that's
truly important. Whatever you do in life, do it because you really want
to, and do it really well. If you marry, marry for love and because of
things and in spite of things. Your mom's a good woman and when she
met me, I was in law enforcement and she hated it. But I loved her in
spite of that and she me too. Do you understand? I mean, you can talk
yourself out of a lot of things just because you're afraid. Don't let
fear ever stand in the way of doing what you love and loving people who
may not love all the things you do.”
James wished he had written
it all down, now. But sometimes, he lay back on a dark night on the
side of a trail and let his mind drift back to those times and he could
hear the distant voice echoed in his ear. "Follow your dreams, boy.
Only a fool is never afraid, and only a coward lets fear stand in the
way of what's right for him."
James thought. Thanks Dad, I’ll make you proud. I’m doing it Dad. I’ll be the youngest detective ever on the force.