Johnny ran out of the house, his wet hair flying, as he climbed the hill to catch the school bus. The kids on the bus cheered him on. “C’mon Johnny, you can do it!” “Run!” They giggled. Johnny hopped onto the bus to a round of cheers. Everyone liked Johnny.
Except his father.
If you walked into a room, and saw a crowd gathered around in a circle, laughing out loud, you could bet Johnny was the guy in the middle telling one of his stories.
He made friends easily. He was laid-back. He was funny. There was just something about him that made you want to help him.
He was the only person I ever knew that actually had people come over and knock on the door to ask, “Hey, do you want a job?” While the rest of us typed resumes, scanned newspapers, dressed for success and pounded the pavement, he had people come over and not just get him a job, but give him a ride to the job.
But his father didn’t value him. His father degraded him, humiliated him, yelled at him, hit him, and crushed his self-confidence.
Because Johnny had dared to set up residency in a small piece of his mother’s heart. And his father was not going to share his wife with anyone.
Not even his own son.