The next day Sam made one last shopping trip and picked up the last of the items he needed. He did some grocery shopping on his way home. He was out of frozen dinners. He picked up a bottle of wine as well. He felt like treating himself.
When he got home he laid everything out and went online to review all of the information he had gathered. He was ready to begin. It took the rest of day but after a few false starts and some minor frustration he finished up his project. He sat back and admired his handiwork.
He had never lost sight of what the completion of this project meant but now that he saw it whole before him the gravity of the matter sank in fully. He thought once again about why he had done this. What it meant in the grand scheme of things. He remained as resolute as ever.
This is what he had to do. Matters had to be set straight. Balance needed to be restored to the universe. This was for Johnny, so that he could rest easy. He put his project carefully into a box and put it aside. There was no need to contemplate it any more this day.
He was driven to commune with his son’s spirit once more. In the bedroom he stared at the photos on the dresser. Each one in its place, a timeline of Johnny’s life. The day he pitched a perfect game for the All Stars and was voted MVP. The day he graduated university, so tall and handsome in his cap and gown. In front of the building he had opened his first business in. Standing in front of the brand new Ferrari. He and Johnny on a fishing trip, smiling into the camera.
He had had so much to live for. The tears were streaming down Sam’s face now. He picked up the photo of the two of them and sat on the edge of the bed. He spoke to the photo in a soft voice promising that all would be right with the world soon. When he could bear it he put the photo back in it’s place and went back to the living room.
He looked about, lost and uncertain what to do with his time. He supposed some fresh air would do him good so he put on his jacket and headed for a nearby park that always gave him a sense of peace when he sat under the oak trees and watched the squirrels at play.
As he strolled through the park he saw fathers and sons playing everywhere he looked. He thought back to Johnny’s childhood and how they had played together on the weekends. Such fond memories they were, he had always been so proud of his son. Certain that he would grow to be a fine man one day and make his old man proud.
That he had. Why was life so cruel? Why hadn’t it been someone else that had been taken? Someone more worthy of the tragedy that had unfolded. This was what he found the hardest to live with. That and the fact that those responsible, those who could have made the outcome different hadn’t done so.
To add insult to injury they had not been punished. Mitigating factors that could not be made public, that’s what the court had said. It was all lies. It was a cover up to protect the guilty, that’s what Sam knew. It would not stand. He had waited. He had tried to comprehend, but there was nothing that could relieve his grief. Nothing except the plan that gradually formed in his head.
Sam wandered home and micro waved a frozen dinner, opened the wine and poured himself a glass and engaged in his usual routine before retiring. Tomorrow would be a different day.
Part 3 Tomorrow