So, answer the age-old question: How old do you have to be before your parents stop looking critically at the way you dress?
Throughout Ryan’ʹs life, his father’ʹs commanding presence had filled every room he entered. Some things never changed, even after a heart attack, so Ryan was glad when Justin made himself comfortable in the chair by the window.
“I want to talk with you. I know your brother warned you to keep me out of it.” He snickered. “Thinks I’ll live longer if I don’t get upset.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “Can this wait until I’m wearing pants?”
“We can talk while you get dressed.”
His father shot a pointed look at the towel. “What? You got something under there you didn’t have when I was changing your diapers?”
Muttering under his breath about a few more inches and a lack of personal space, Ryan pulled on his briefs, then hauled on a pair of well-worn blue jeans with holes in the knees.
Justin ran a critical eye over his son’s choice of attire. “You know, you can get a decent pair of jeans at AJ’s General Store for under twenty bucks.”
“These are my favorite jeans, Dad.” Ryan shoved his wallet into the only pocket without a gaping hole. “I’m just breaking them in.”
Justin shook his head. “Looks more like you’ʹre breaking out of ʹem, but suit yourself.” He drew a deep breath, let it out slowly. “I figure your brother caught you up on some things.”
Ryan fastened the button on his shirt cuff without looking up. “What he told me, Dad, was you had a heart attack and wouldn’t let him call me.”
“Wasn’t any point. It was over almost as soon as it started. I wasn’t in the mood for any deathbed nonsense.”
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