Twenty-three year-old Jacob Reynolds stood in the foyer of his father’s mansion, casually dressed in jeans and a navy button down shirt; and ready for a night on the town with good friend Wayne Braxton. They became friends while attending Westmore University, and found they had a lot in common; both came from rich families and were being groomed to take over the family business, well Jacob was anyway. The only difference between the two of them; their fathers. Unlike Wayne; Jacob had a good relationship with his father, his only parent. His mother, Helen died when he was three and he didn’t remember much about her, but he learned a lot through photos and stories told by his sister and father. Looking into the mirror, he wondered if his mother would’ve been proud of the respectable young man he grew up to be.
Stan entered the hall and watched his son; amazed how much they were alike. He was proud of himself for raising a remarkable son. Tough times bestowed Stan after his wife’s death, left to raise his children all by himself, of course the nannies pitched in to help, yet he did most of the work himself. He often questioned his parenting skills, but he knew he did something right. In his opinion his children turned out exceptionally well. His daughter Laura became a realtor, married a doctor, and was raising a daughter in Stamford, Connecticut. Now with his son joining Stan’s real estate business, he couldn’t be happier.
As Jacob straightened his short light brown hair, he caught a glimpse of his father in the mirror; he turned to face him.
“Another night out with the boys?” Stan asked.
“Yeah, you don’t mind do you?”
“Not at all, go out and have fun.” Stan walked to his son and patted him on the back. “Come Monday morning, you and I will be selling houses. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.”
“So am I.” Jacob didn’t have the heart to tell his father he had second thoughts. The main reason he agreed to take the job was to make his father happy. Laura used to work with their father until she moved. Jacob felt obligated to take the job, even though he didn’t want it. No turning back now, Jacob Reynolds was going to be in the family business whether he liked it or not.
Stan lounged on the couch in his den, dressed in navy silk pajama and matching robe, drinking a cup of almond flavored coffee and catching up on the latest news in Westmore Gazette, a nighttime ritual for the sixty-year-old. As he lay there, reading the business section, he couldn’t stop thinking about how blessed his life was. He had a successful real estate business he ran with his son. His daughter Laura followed in his footsteps and was happily married raising a rambunctious daughter of her own. As he thought about everything special in his life his mood suddenly changed.
He looked at the fireplace, where pictures of Helen lined the mantel. In their wedding photo, she wore a white long-sleeved dress and her dark brown curls cascaded down her neck. Then in the family picture taken when Jacob was one, Helen looked so happy in the picture, but little did they know at the time she would have less than two years left to live.
Stan bowed his head, thinking about her made him sad, it was tough losing Helen; the love of his life. They spent fifteen blissful years and raised two wonderful children together. It was hard watching her confined to a bed, slowly slipping away the last few months of her life. The years afterwards didn’t make things easier. The house seemed so drab and empty without her presence. He missed how Helen stroll the halls humming her favorite songs and the faint way she laughed at his jokes. Laura and Jacob made things somewhat easier by running around and playing tag, filling the house with their laughter, however it just wasn’t the same.
Stan sat and looked around his big house, which was empty now. Laura moved out when she was twenty-three, the same age Jacob is now. He wondered how much longer his son would be staying with him because after Jacob leaves, he’ll be all alone in his house with nobody to share it with. Stan looked at his empty coffee mug, and set the paper on the table and then got up to go to his bedroom. As he entered the foyer to ascend the stairs, the doorbell rang.
“Did you forget your key?” he opened the door expecting to see his son instead standing on the porch was a chestnut-brown haired woman holding a sleeping girl. “Laura, what are you doing here?”