Isaiah looked at the two animals near the elevator. The damn cat brought home a friend.
“You are not keeping the dog.”
He slapped himself in the forehead. “I’m talking to Catastrophe like he understands me.”
The phone ringing stopped him from continuing the conversation with the animals and with himself.
By the time he hung up the phone, he was angry. “Zaiden!”
He went looking for his son so he could get this dealt with. His first punishment. This wasn’t something he was looking forward to.
Zaiden heard his dad yell for him and looked at Zander. “You haven’t seen me, okay.”
He started to go hide, but…
“Freeze, young man. Your father is looking for you.”
“He is? I’ll go find him.”
“You stay right here, and he will find you. I heard what you said to Zander. Don’t get him mixed up in your messes.”
“Zaiden! I just got a call from your principal. Suspended for fighting?”
“It wasn’t my fault, Dad.”
“Who hit who first?”
“I hit first.”
“Then it is your fault.”
“But I had to, Dad. They were saying mean things.”
“Who was it and what did they say?”
“It’s a boy in my class named Issac. He told me that I will probably move again soon because you aren’t my real dad. He said my mom was a whore and nobody knows who my real dad is. I punched him to shut him up.”
Izaiah didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t expected to hear that.
“First, we don’t use that language here. If Issac is using it, then that is his parents’ problem. We don’t use it.”
Zaiden nodded in understanding.
“Second, I am your father. We had the test done, remember?”
“Was my mom what he said she was?”
Izaiah shook his head. He remembered some of the last things he said to Colleen and felt terrible for them. “Your mother was trapped in something she couldn’t get out of. Bad people were forcing her to do things she didn’t want to do.”
Zaiden didn’t quite understand. “So Issac was right?”
“No. This is something you will understand better when you are older. Right now, you just need to know that your mother loved you very much and would be very happy to see the young man you are growing into.”
Zaiden gave his dad a big hug. “I wish Mom was still here.”
“So do I, son. So do I.”
Izaiah pulled out of the hug and looked at Zaiden. “I am only going to ground you for the rest of the week. Next time Issac or someone says something that you don’t like, you come home and talk to me or Callie about it. Okay?”
He was happy when Zaiden nodded. He sent him to his room to work on his homework.