He sat there at the table, listening to his dad regale their dinner guests with stories of his “amazing” (dad’s word) voyages.
He was content to sit there and sulk, rolling his eyes and punctuating his father’s stories with the occasional bored sigh.
But then Dad went and said it.
No sooner had his father uttered the word “Indians” than Chris Jr. looked down and, under his breath but purposely loud enough for everyone to hear, mumbled “Yeah, those ‘Indians’ who interestingly don’t live in India.”
His father pounded his fist on the table and jabbed an index finger in his son’s direction.
“Christopher! I am warning you–”
“About what, Dad? That you’re going to go on another trip so you can come back and brag about how you totally didn’t find what you were looking for? Thanks for the heads up.”
Mom and his sisters looked down, blushing and silent. They knew better than to try and intervene at this point.
Another punch to the table. “CHRISTOPHER! I demand an apology THIS INSTANT. My travels–which you seem to think are such failures–have put food on this table and a roof over your head. And the Indians–”
“Who aren’t in India…”
“CHRISTOPHER! The Indians, I’ll have you know, were thrilled that we came to visit–THRILLED. We gave them food and blankets, which they gladly accepted. And we’re going back, whether you like it or not. There’s a whole New World out there, son, and I’m going to explore it. If that makes me a lame dad then so be it. I’m not going to apologize to you for being successful and providing for you and your mother and sisters. I won’t, so get over it.”
“Whatever.” Chris Jr. got up from the table and stormed out. He headed straight to his room and flopped on the bed. As he wiped his eyes, he said, quietly enough that only he could hear, “Don’t apologize for being successful. Apologize for caring about your stupid ships more than you care about me, a-hole.”