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Justin Campbell Justin Campbell
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'Sunglasses, Time-Travel, & Iced-Tea' Part 18

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18. – Leonard

       I was filled with shock. Iris’s mysterious rich step-father was my father.

       “Well, this explains so much!” Brian said.

       “I – yeah,” I breathed. Iris and I had had a distant kind of relationship – we didn’t see each other often and most of our relationship had been carried on through online chat and webcam, text messaging – but in all that time, both online and in person, Iris had never made the connection. Had she known that her stepfather was my biological one?

       My father helped the five-year-old out of her raincoat. “Did you enjoy Ace Ventura?” he asked in a sweet voice to her.

       “Yeah!” she exclaimed happily. Evidently they’d just been to see an Ace Ventura movie. Now that I thought of it, the second one would have come out this year.

       “I remember that movie!” Brian said in sudden memory. “That movie was hilarious! Remember when – “

       “Brian, this is supposed to be something I have to deal with,” I pointed out.

       “Oh. Yeah. Sorry. This is a real bummer, eh?”

       I didn’t know what to think. My ex-girlfriend lived with my father, in the same huge mansion. Thank god he wasn’t her biological father – evidently he’d married a single mother, and I always knew Iris had a stepfather. Those Iced-Tea Drinkers really had their facts straight – they’d managed to combine both of my emotional dependencies together based on real-life events and time-lines.

       None of the family glanced at us or gave us any attention. Maybe they were too wrapped up in each other’s loving company.

       “Well, what do we do now?” Brian asked.

       “I don’t know…I guess we just observe them and watch their dynamic or something. Maybe if I force myself to soak up their happy scene, I’ll be able to move on and accept it as just an irreversible fact of life – we get what we want now and then, but also lose what we love just as much.”

       “That makes sense,” Brian said. “Those guys really are rubbing off on you.” He spied the family moving into a different part of the house. “Oh – they’re on to the kitchen! Let’s get on their tail.”

       I sighed. I wouldn’t be surprised if, had we not gotten ‘on their tail,’ we would have surely lost them in the large house. “Alright. Let’s do this.”

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