The sun wasn’t up yet, wouldn’t be coming up for another couple hours, and here he was driving almost two-hundred miles to go see Frank Calavera. Like the man was worth a damn. Like he wasn’t a walking pile of shit. Like he wasn’t almost certainly living in the same hole he’d been living in all Richard’s life. Seventeen years he’d been trying to get away from the man. He’d wanted to get away from him so bad he’d convinced Frank to sign the release form and let him enlist early. Frank had done it without a moment’s hesitation, too. “Let Uncle Sam feed and house your worthless ass for a change,” he’d said.
Four years not seeing or speaking to the man. Four years of anger and resentment festering inside him look a wound that wouldn’t heal. Four years of drill sergeants and commanding officers who’d tried to put the fear of God into him but never quite managed to match the senseless cruelty of Frank Calavera. Four years was too few. A lifetime would be too few.
It didn’t matter. Richard would call in sick to work when it did, and he’d already resigned himself to missing the afternoon’s classes. He’d talk with Frank. Get him to admit what he’d done. And probably he wouldn’t, but he was an old, spent alcoholic now. If nothing else, he’d get some photos to show Louis how pathetic the man really was, get some evidence to confirm that he had no idea what had become of his children and didn’t much care anyway. Maybe that’d be enough. Maybe that would bring them both some peace.
Shit’s a long time coming. Should have done this years ago. Should have killed that fucker years ago. Too late for that now, but we’re going to have a little talk. Yes, we are.