Pirates, in general, are not known for their generosity. Whether referring to Blackbeard or some fifteen year old kid downloading the lastest blockbuster with Bittorrent, the statement is the same. And so it is for Mike Gordan, a teen-aged pirate all grown up.
The acne is gone and the social skills have improved a bit, but deep down, he still considered himself a pirate, a rebel. However that part of him is slowly being killed off by a mediocre job as a shoe store manager, a pregnant wife, and a mortgage. It’s hard to be any sort of pirate when you have a mortgage.
His days of scouring the internet for the latest and greatest illegal goods are long since over but some part of him still yearns for the thrill. He frowns when his wife buys movies and music, wishing that he hadn’t decided to become a responsible adult.
Life is somewhat boring these days for poor Mike, which might explain what happened next. One day, a perfectly ordinary Tuesday by any account, Mike left for work and never came back. The bank account was emptied and his car was found outside of a motorcycle dealer. All of his credit cards had been maxed out on cash advances and then abandoned. He just disappeared.
Becky, his wife, was devastated. For all his quirks, she truly loved Mike and never, ever expected him to abandon her. His debts became her debts thanks to the community property laws and she had to sell her house and move back in with her aging parents to stay on top of it.
Two months before the baby was due she hired a private investigator, though she could barely afford it. The trail came back cold. Mike had completely and thoroughly vanished. Still she persevered, thinking he would return.
After little Jacob entered the world, Becky found she didn’t have time to dwell on her missing husband any longer. Being a single mom–even one living with her parents–was rough. Her days were filled with feedings and changings and baths and naps and getting a few minutes of work in whenever possible. She was lucky that her boss at the newspaper was so compassionate.
She filed for divorce on grounds of abandonment when Jacob was one. It was a legal quagmire but she had a friend of a friend helping her for free. The divorce was granted and suddenly she was something she never thought she would be–a divorcee.
When Jacob turned four she had saved enough to move out, though her parents assured her she could stay. It was weird being on their own, just Jacob and her. It was quiet and lonely, though she fought to keep Jacob from seeing it that way.
At Jacob’s sixth birthday party she met Vick, the father of one of Jacob’s friends. He was a widower and his little girl Beth was his world. They hit it off, both single parents just struggling to get by. He invited her out for coffee. She accepted.
Writing prompts: pirate, shoe, generosity