“What in the bloody hell are you wearing?” My father’s angry whisper carried over to me before I could even sit.
“What? I was at work. It’s Where’s Waldo day.” I smirked at him.
Pulling out the chair, I sat across from him. Nearby tables stared at us. For once I knew it was me they were staring at and not my father. It was close though. He looked ridiculous. He wore a baseball cap with a long wig underneath. A shadow of stubble covered his face. His customary leather jacket was replaced with an old concert tee. To top off his whole ridiculous ensemble a pair of aviator sunglasses perched on his nose.
“You could have changed before meeting me.” He crossed his arms.
“Didn’t have time. Plus, I have to go back to work in…” I looked at my phone then said, “Forty-five minutes.”
“Fine. Let’s order then we can talk.”
Dear old dad waved a waitress over and placed his order of a kale salad with water. I raised an eyebrow. He was either getting ready for a tour, which I knew he wasn’t even close to a tour yet, or he was hungover and couldn’t stomach anything with flavor. When the waitress turned to me I ordered a cheeseburger, a side of onion rings and a chocolate shake. All the things I knew he’d want but couldn’t order for one reason or another. The waitress nodded then strode away.
I pursed my lips. “So…you wanted to see me. What’s going on?”
My father finally took the stupid sunglasses off and placed them on the table. “I have some exciting news.”
“Ok. If it’s so exciting why didn’t you ask Miranda to be here too?”
He grimaced at my sister’s name. “Your sister hates me. I need someone who is going to be supportive not a Debbie downer.”
Anger filled my veins. I hated when he bashed Miranda. She wasn’t perfect, but he had no right to talk shit about her.
“Are you dying?” I asked spitefully.
He blanched. “What? No. Why would you ask such a thing?”
I just shrugged and crossed my arms in front of my chest. “What do you want then?”
“I’m being inducted.” He whispered.
“Inducted to what? Father of the year?” I spat at him.
He glared at me. “Do you have to act like a dick right now, Chord?”
“No but I want to.”
Rolling his eyes, he chose not to take my bait. “I’m being inducted to the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday.”
“Don’t you mean the band is being inducted?” I corrected.
With a wave of his hand he dismissed my comment. “There wouldn’t be a Furious Storm without me.”
Now, it was my turn to roll my eyes. My father was the lead guitarist of a pretty big rock band. Pretty big was probably a bit of an understatement. They have been wildly successful since the 70’s. That’s how he met my mother. She was a groupie when she was eighteen. Toured with Furious Storm for one wild summer. When most people find out I’m the son of the Johnny Ray of Furious Storm their first assumption is that I must be a huge fan of their music. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong I love Rock ‘n Roll but Furious Storm is not my favorite band. In fact, if my father ever realized that Blue Vengeance was my go to he’d have a coronary.
I thought about that for a moment. If I dropped that bombshell I wouldn’t have to have any more of these painful lunches. But, then I’d probably be charged with murder and I am way too pretty for prison. I sighed giving up on that dream.
“That’s exciting. What’s it got to do with me?” I asked.
“I want you there with me.” He beamed.
I let out a bit too loud of a laugh. The couple sitting at a nearby table shot me a dirty look. “Why do you want me to be there with you?”
His eyes looked everywhere but at me. “They said it would look good to have family there.”
I cocked my head looking at him. “So, you only want one of your children there to represent your family?”
“No, your cousin will be there, too.”
This man was unbelievable. I shook my head disgusted for even being related to him. Then an idea struck. If he wanted me there were going to be conditions.
I smirked. “Alright, I will go.”
He sat up straight and clapped his hands. “Fantastic.”
Raising my hand, I stopped him. “You want me to come. You invite Miranda and Alice, too.”
I watched as my sperm donor father blinked at me. He looked like an owl that I’d seen at the zoo when I took Alice. Watching my father squirm was one of my favorite hobbies when I was forced to be around him. Mr. Rockstar could play in front of thousands of people but have a normal interaction with his children and he looked like he’d rather go through Chinese water torture.
“Uhm…I don’t think she would come.”
“No Miranda. No, me.” I said with a smirk.
Before he could answer, the waitress delivered our food. I dug into my burger while my father pushed his salad around on his plate. He was formulating a plan. I could see the wheels turning. He was trying to figure out how he could get what he wanted without bending to my demands. It was fun watching try but then give up.
“What happens if I ask and she says no?” He smirked.
“I’ll go then, but you need to call her in front of me before we leave today. I don’t trust that you won’t say something douchey just to get out of having her come.”
He bit his lip then said, “Fine. I will call right now.”
He retrieved his phone from his pocket. I watched as he scrolled through his extensive contact list. When he finally landed on her name he pushed the call button. The ringing of the phone was loud enough for anyone to hear. Thanks to those years playing next to an amp his hearing sucked.
“What do you want? Did you make Chord cry? If you did anything I will find you and kill you.” Miranda screeched into the phone.
Our father glared at me. “Hello, pumpkin. How are you?”
For fucks sake. Miranda was going to reach through the phone and strangle him.
“Are you dying?” She asked after a long pause.
“Why do you and your brother keep asking that?”
“Wishful thinking.” Miranda and I said at the same time.
Through gritted teeth he said, “I’m being inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame. I’d like for you, Chord and Alice to be there.”
Silence stretched over the phone. It ended up being so long, he looked at the phone checking to make sure he hadn’t lost the call. “Well?”
“Well, I’m going to need to know soon. It’s on Saturday. I will understand if you can’t come due to it being short notice.” He rushed out.
I held back a laugh. I knew exactly what he was trying to do. Only he didn’t my sister like I did. She was too smart to fall for that. She was about to call him out and do exactly what he didn’t want her to do.
“We will be there.” She said then hung up.
A daze look painted the great Johnny Ray’s face. “They are coming.”
I smiled broadly at him. “Guess you will have all your family there.”
Looking down at my phone, it told me I’d better get a move on it to make it back in time. I wiped my mouth off then threw down my napkin.
“Thanks for lunch. It was a real blast. Gotta get back to work before the toddlers glue Mary to her chair.” I stood and turned to walk away but stopped and said, “See you Saturday, dad.”
With pep in my step I left the café just in time for the few people who recognized my father to rush him for an autograph. I may have won but Saturday was going to suck no matter what happened.