Brady Felt Abandoned (a story)

Brady Felt Abandoned

.I felt sorry for the boy he once was. I mean, how can you not? Poor kid had to have hurt a lot. Once upon a time ago. Such a Lonely Boy
How do you not feel sorry for a boy born into a family where mom is sick and dies before he reaches school age? And his concept of mom is built by teenagers who feel frustrated and annoyed at having to care for him, instead of still be a child themselves? And they left home, so even they couldn’t be relied on to stay for Brady.
And by a dad that would rather spend time at the bottom of a bottle than with him. A dad should teach a boy stuff like tossing a ball and fishing. Not how many beers it takes before dad goes to sleep. And how angry each one makes him.
Then Brady was shopped out to a relative when he was 8 years old. So he could be their farm errand boy. So a bit of money would trickle home for dad’s beer budget and he wasn’t underfoot for the teens. He was left behind again. And he wondered where else his dad would have sold him off to for his beer if the farmer hadn’t been the one who wanted him?
As if that wasn’t enough, he was kicked out of the house as a teenager. About 14-15 years old. Left to find his own roof. His own meals. One of his big sisters took him in.
Brady had a skill set though that meant he rarely was unemployed. He was the day labourer. The jack of all trades. He could go from construction site to garage, just tinkering. But he’d never see his dream of having a farm himself or being a preacher. He could pay his rent, pay his bills. That was all that was expected of him.
Then he got involved with girls. And he had a crush on one. Who never looked at him as anything but a friend. He had a choice of being a perpetual virgin cuzz he couldn’t have her. And with his history, who could blame him? Or being a male version of a town slut. Never attaching to anyone really.
But he knew girls were his route, or he’d have to be celibate. Or the church he loved would even leave him. There was no other real choice, not for Brady.
If some day a woman did finally take him seriously, he’d probably marry her and give her some things, just not really his heart or soul. She’d be the picture wife. Good mom to their kids, good worker, decent cook. You know. And they’d go to church together. It’s what was done. What was love? What was happiness? Dutywas the key when it came to marriage and family. She just had to promise she’d never leave him. He planned on stuffing her if she died before him.
The one thing you knew about Brady was that he had no concept of empathy. He knew when someone left him behind, he had to keep going on. It was expected of him. He didn’t understand how people could wallow so when someone hurt them. People never stayed and he learned to be glad they left. It meant the door was shut behind them. The quicker the better, in Brady’s world.
Friend or foe, everyone left Brady. Even if they were still in the house. His wife had checked out of the heart of their marriage years ago. If she was ever in it. His kids went to her if they skinned their knee or had a secret they had to share. Brady was the provider, not the cuddle bear who soothed their fears or healed their hurts. He didn’t know how to do intimacy. Or affection.
Brady was a workaholic. Part of that duty thing. If the money was tight, he worked longer hours. It didn’t seem important to him to raise his kids or love his wife. His obligation was to put money in the house. Nothing else.
He was the poster boy for the song Cat’s in the Cradle . That would be his future with his son. And he knew it. But he felt he had done a dad’s job. And his son had never seen him drunk. Oh no! He had taught him to self medicate by teaspoons and rules. Not realizing that that is also an alcoholic. Brady was just sure he had done all he could.
And on the day Brady died, he had noone who really gave a crap, or who missed more than his paycheck. Good thing he had insurance! They did the thing where people attended who felt they must. The pastor really didn’t know much about him, except that he was a grim man who did the right thing. Maybe a bit of a prude. Yet Brady had attended that church all his life.
Who was he really? How do you live a whole life and die with noone knowing who you are? Not even your wife, kids, siblings. Not your boss or coworkers. Not the preacher of the church you had gone to all your life.
But Brady did! That’s quite an accomplishment! Or the saddest story ever told?

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