With Drawn: Part 16 — Words Unheard

Jacob's HouseContinued from: With Drawn: Part 15 — Into the Den

Jacob stood at the top of the stairway, just outside his bedroom door. He was listening to his mother and Dennis, who were arguing downstairs in the living room. Jacob heard his mother saying, “Dennis, I’m tired. I worked a double shift at the hospital. I don’t want to argue about this right now.”

Dennis said, “Your son threatens my friend’s son, and you don’t want to hear about it?”

Joanne said, “No. I don’t. What was Tommy even doing here? You know he tortures Jacob at school. And then he points a gun at Jacob? What’s the matter with you? Why would you put Jacob into that kind of a situation?”

Dennis said, “So now, what, I’m not allowed to have my friends visit my own house?”

“Your friends? Yes. Tommy Rogers? No. That little shit’s lucky I don’t shoot him.”

“Oh, that’s real nice, Joanne, threaten a kid.”

Upstairs, in the stairway, Jacob turned and walked into his bedroom. He lied down on his bed and he continued adding details to a portrait on which he’d been working. The portrait was of Jacob’s father. Sergeant First Class David Grist was dressed in full dress uniform, his hair cropped close to his scalp, his angled jaw jutting with militaristic determination. Sergeant First Class David Grist’s age in the portrait was frozen at the time of his death four years prior.

Jacob stopped working on the drawing, and he stared at the portrait of his father. He stared at the portrait in the focused-unfocused, Magic Wallpaper way. And after a moment, the portrait of David Grist shifted. David’s head tilting slightly, his shoulders straightening. Then David’s eyes focused onto his son, and he smiled up at Jacob.

Jacob said to the drawing, “Dad, what should I do?”

The portrait of David Grist began talking, but Jacob could not hear his father’s words.

Jacob said to the drawing of David Grist, “I can’t hear you, dad.”

The portrait continued to speak words that Jacob could not hear.

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 17 — KIA

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