Morning writing output
Still working on some nonlinear writing for whatever floats my boat/plot thoughts i’m having. This is my first stab at Eddie working through learning about why Buck filed the lawsuit... probably not going to be the final version as it’s clunky and Eddie’s a bit too choppy to make sense but we’ll see.
From uncertain chapter, Family, Familia, ‘Ohana. Hawaii 5-0/911 crossover, Buddie, McDanno. Borrowed SWAT characters. Navy Seal Evan “Buck” Buckley.
Warnings: first draft. Eddie angst. Inaccurate references to child custody arrangements. Deacon is the voice of reason here.
Sometimes Eddie wished Deacon would take offense—he was being unreasonable. He thought he’d worked on not being this way but the backslide rankled. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Again with the reasonableness.
Eddie struggled a moment internally with how to, as Frank said, use his words. He could almost see Buck saying that to him too. Looking at his hands, they were covered in sand that clung to his skin making it dusty and rough. “Some days... all I can do is focus on making sure Christopher is getting what he needs—that he’s taken care of. Everything else? It’s... I just don’t....”
Deacon was quiet and listening attentively but didn’t interrupt despite Eddie’s struggle. Maybe he should just explain...
“I.... I didn’t know that Bobby had made the recommendation to bench Buck that set off... everything.”
“What do you mean?”
Eddie licked his lips, feeling the grit of the sand that had been blowing around in the wind. “Every day.... some days are worse than others. After Afghanistan I really.... it was tough coming back to a civilian life. I couldn’t stay in Texas.... my parents tried to file legally to take Christopher away from me and my wife—Shannon—was gone.”
Deacon sharply inhaled. “They what?”
He felt like he was swallowing glass it hurt so much to talk about this but he needed to get it out. Frank had been poking around this a bit lately but Eddie hadn’t been able to verbalize it to the shrink—it was why he was pretty sure he wasn’t made to go to a therapist. He really just wanted to talk to Buck but maybe Deacon... yeah. “They had the paperwork all filled out and asked me to voluntarily sign Christopher over to them.”
“Eddie....” Deacon had a horrified look on his face. “Why would they?!?”
Swallowing against the tightness again, Eddie shook his head in denial. “I wasn’t doing well when I got back and Shannon had just left. I had... I was trying to just focus on doing what was right for Christopher and we had a few disagreements about... about what a kid with a disability should be able to do. They kept it from me right until they put the paperwork in front of me asking me to sign them. To give them full custody of Christopher because I wasn’t being careful enough with him. I was seeing a counselor at the VA then and they said.... I was worried that they’d use my own medical records against me. I wasn’t diagnosed with PTSD or anything but I had some symptoms and... I couldn’t keep talking to the counselor and risk that.”
“Eddie... they couldn’t... it doesn’t work that way.”
“It was voluntary they said. It would be doing the right thing for Christopher. That I was being too... dangerous with him. I....” He struggled to find the words to explain. “I didn’t want Christopher to be held back. He’s capable of so much and they wanted... want to put him in this protective bubble so he’ll never...”
“They want to limit him,” Deacon guessed and Eddie nodded in relief that Deacon understood.
“Yes. But that’s not what Christopher needs. Buck gets that.”
“So what does that have to do with Bobby?” Deacon cocked his head, not seeing the point Eddie was trying to make. He was making a mess of trying to explain. This was why he didn’t want to ever talk to anyone—it was so messed up even in his own brain how could he adequately explain his fears?
“So I moved from Texas to LA. Got a job at the 118. I.... I had my Abuela and Pepa but I couldn’t....”
Eddie shrugged. “No... they supported me. It’s why I moved here... but I...”
“You didn’t have a partner,” Deacon guessed and then tilted his head back when Eddie nodded. “It’s not the same having family versus a spouse or partner who’s always there.”
“No it’s not. I thought maybe Shannon.... but I didn’t know what to do or how to reach out. She’d been gone for two years by then.”
“That’s a long time to be raising a kid by yourself when your family isn’t supportive,” the other man observed sadly.
“Yeah. I missed the.... the way that I was with my unit before everything happened. Trust is big you know? I thought when I got home that my family would... that they’d support me but nobody was interested in just... in just letting me be and letting me figure it out. They all wanted something from me or didn’t have time for me. Then my first day at the 118 Buck is all in my face and I thought for a second that LA was going to be the same as El Paso that I’d have to move along at some point—that it was just a stop for now.”
“But it wasn’t?”
“No. I.... I told myself that letting anyone close was just going to end up like my parents or my wife.”
Deacon brushed his shoulder against Eddie’s in support. “So what happened?”
Eddie found himself smiling sadly at the memory. “Buck and I.... our first day we had to pull a live grenade out of a guy’s leg.”
“I knew what I was doing,” Eddie protested. “Buck... he didn’t hesitate. He jumped in the ambulance with me despite us having had a few words earlier that day.”
“He trusted you?”
“Yeah. And he... he didn’t hesitate. I told him that he could have my back any day....”. He’d meant it then and he still meant it. Eddie knew he hadn’t done a good job of it lately but he still very much meant it with everything he had. “Buck he... when he found out I had Christopher the first thing he did was tell me he loved kids.... then he tried to reassure me that Chris would be fine at school.”
“I sense there’s more to that story...”
“Yeah. It was during that big earthquake almost two years ago. I couldn’t get a hold of the school but Buck knew all these building code facts about how Chris was probably in the safest place he could be in. He kept it up until I believed him....”
Another nudge of the shoulder in support. “Sounds like Buck really had your back.”
“He did. I... I didn’t realize it but he just jumped right over all the barriers I’d made to keep people out and made himself at home before I could figure out how to keep him out. He... I trust him more than I did Shannon—my wife,” Eddie let his voice trail off. He hadn’t really thought it out until he said it but it was true. Buck had easily avoided all the mental barriers that he had constructed to keep people at a distance—family and friends—since Afghanistan. Buck had made himself right at home next to Christopher in his life without him even having time to notice or protest. This made Buck’s absence even more painful as it was a gaping hole in his life. He’d screwed up so much.
“Your dead wife?” Deacon prompted him.
The chuckle that escaped sounded pained. “Yeah. My dead wife. Although she wouldn’t have been my wife for much longer....”
Deacon frowned. “What do you mean?”
Deciding he might as well just tell Deacon the whole sordid mess, Eddie hunched his shoulders but tried to get it all out at once. “Shannon tried to get back into Chris’ and my life—said she was going to be there for us again and I foolishly let myself hope that maybe... maybe I could do the right thing. Fix things. Chris was so happy to see his mom again and I... I thought maybe we could be a family again.”
“No. I mean,” Eddie paused and took a deep breath. “I let myself hope that maybe it would work this time. I even bought her a new ring and I’d taken her out to a nice restaurant... but she handed me divorce papers.”
A few tears leaked out of his eyes and he angrily wiped at them with a sniffle. “Shannon served me divorce papers the night I thought I was going to ask her to move back in and we could try again to be a family.”
Deacon gaped at him.
Eddie decided to let the last painful detail loose. “She died the next day—car accident. Died in my arms since we were the house called to the scene.”
“Oh god. Eddie I’m—“
“What? Sorry? Why? It wasn’t your fault.”
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No puedo dejar de pensar en mi abuelo en este momento.
Mi abuelo. Emocionalmente negado abuelo. Viejo communista, minero, Hijo del privilegio que pudo estudiar y ser ingeniero, ese abuelo. Exonerado político, exiliado con su segunda esposa, dejando tres hijos atrás, incapaz de ofrecerle ningún afecto a mi papá - ese, ese abuelo.
Bisnieto de piratas, rumoreado judío, del Norte Rico y del apellido que no dice nada de tu clase, casta, calaña; ese abuelo.
Leyenda, mito, ancestro con su altar en la casa de mi tía, que cada vez que mi papá veía su foto, se descomponía. Ese abuelo que recuerdo a borrones, con los zapatos en la mano porque se le habían mojado en el mar, sentándome en sus piernas y haciendo caballitos.
Ese abuelo que se fue a Venezuela porque la CNI lo estaba buscando, que no vivió para ver a su hija nacida allí convertirse en una refugiada a su vez, con terror a los comunistas. Con un padre muerto comunista.
Ese abuelo, que es contradicciones y dolor y jirones en las almas de sus hijas, de su hijo.
Con todo el dolor que causaste, con toda la alegría de tus sueños por un país más justo, con tu media sonrisa y ojos agujereantes, terribles, que helaban el alma - con todo eso, con todo y más - bailarías conmigo, abuelo, por nuestra pronta libertad? Llorarías conmigo, abuelo, por la Esperanza del porvenir que queremos morar? Temblarías conmigo, abuelo, ante todo lo que nuestro pueblo acaba de lograrar?