Come Correct or Remain Haunted.

I guess it is time to come correct. I want you to listen to me very closely son. I may not have been there for you when you needed me most. I may not have been a good father, and for that I am sorry. Lord knows I have not been a good person throughout my life. I’m not asking you to remember me as some kind of saint, or tell people that I found some beautiful truth or happiness when it was all said and done. I know that I have a few weeks to live; I’ve gotten my last haircut, and I am ready to meet death on whatever terms he demands. Cancer seems to have gotten the best of your old man. Well, enough of this sentimental good-bye nonsense. I want you to know about my sinful and perverse past. This burden is weighing down on me something fearsome. You’re the only person I want to know about my misgivings, misfortunes, and the mistakes of my pitiful life. Only then can you understand that I did my best to raise you despite the wicked deed that has followed me through life like a shadow, always on my heel. Each new day brought hope, but when the sun began to set, the shadow remained. The guilt is killing me faster than the cancer. Well, here it goes.

I was somewhat of a good boy growing up. I mean sure I got into some mischief with the neighborhood boys, but that is neither here nor there. When I was about 18 years old, me and two friends, Bobby Sands and Nate Shaw, decided it would be a good idea to drive out in the country with a good buddy of ours named Jack Daniels. It was ‘anything goes’ out in the country back then, or so we thought, and that night we wanted to get a little carried away down those old dirt roads. Well…we were headed around a curve goin’ about 40 miles per hour, and then it happened. I was behind the wheel when the truck started to slide out of control kickin’ up dust like nobody’s business. Just when I almost gained control of the truck we saw a young man come running out from the left chasing his dog across the road. Thud!..dun dun. I knew what had happened before the truck had even began to come to a screeching halt. We sat in that blood covered Chevy for half a minute before Bobby got out and slowly started walking in the direction we had just come. I got out of the truck and the dust that we had kicked up from our skidding around was like a gigantic sand-storm from hell coming straight for us as the cool Carolina breeze pushed the giant wall of dust directly at us. I knew the young man was dead before the dust had cleared, and when it did we saw a golden lab sitting by his master. I killed that young man that night. He couldn’t have been more than a year or two older than us. We high-tailed it out of there and promised never to speak of that dreadful night again. Bobby, Nate, and I went our separate ways after that.

The guilt was too much for your old dad to bear. I got into drugs; at first it was only weed, and then cocaine and binge drinking. I fell in with the wrong crowd, and we ran drugs and stole from anyone that made an easy target. I was running from that dust cloud, son, I was running from something that has chased me ever since. Anytime I saw a golden lab I broke down, and believe me you boy, that is no way to live. Later on I met your mother and she saved me from myself. I changed my life, but I was never able to confess, until now. Ha, now that it doesn’t even matter! I lived my entire life in a sinful and pathetic manner because I never chased down the demon that was slowly eating away at my soul just like the cancer is eating away at my body as we speak. So son, listen closely. If you ever find yourself in dire-straights, you had best come correct.

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