You Do the Math

Wes

You Do the Math

Wes Hayes
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Wes Hayes
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Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 00:20

13 Jul 2013, 20:40 #1

Friday July 19th, 2013 @ 5:30 PM
It had been a long day at work and all Wes wanted to do was sit down in his favorite chair, put his feet up, drink a beer or two, and watch some Sports Center. Parking Sheila on the street, Wes noticed that Matt’s jeep was in the driveway which meant he was home from camp or summer school because those were the only two places he’d been in the last week. In fact Matt had been in a funk and Wes barely saw him. Not that Wes wasn’t keeping busy with little miss thing from the Gala but her wedding date was approaching and she decided to start being loyal to her stranger fiancé. That was why on this particular Friday night he was coming home. The home that he now remembered was kind of a dump and started to smell of a locker room. Cleaning could be done tomorrow. Or Sunday. Or next week. It wasn’t like Matt was bringing anyone home because the vague text messages had stopped. Maybe his buddy was scared off by the ex across the way.

Going through the garage, Wes noticed Matt’s bike with the cover on it. Again this meant his buddy must be home. Throwing his bag of tools up on the work bench, Wes’s first stop was the fridge as he entered the kitchen. Looking at their supplies they had food but a beer run would be needed sometime in the future. “Buddy! Thought ya’ll was gonna restock us,” Wes called from the kitchen pulling out two of the last remaining four beers in the door. Twisting off the cap of his, he took a swig and kicked off his boots by the kitchen archway. Looking out, that’s when he noticed that everything smelt… clean. And all their piles of pizza boxes, trash, clothes, and other shit was out of sight. “Ho-ly-shit,” West said giving a little whistle at their place. If it wasn’t for the milk crates with a piece of plywood posing as a coffee table and the couch with some duck tape keeping the stuffing from coming out of one arm, their place would actually look nice. “Didja hire someone or is this one of ‘em OCD spells?”

Matt didn’t even look up. And so Wes rolled his eyes, grabbed the remote from the end table and took his spot in his chair turning the tv up and switching the channel. It was obvious his roommate and best buddy wasn’t even watching. “Ya know… ya cook… ya clean… if you were jus’ a bit more pretty and the state of Indiana allowed it… I might jus’ marry ya Matt-eh.” Again no reaction, so Wes moved the papers that Matt had littered and covered their coffee table with. Figuring it was just Matt grading, Wes kind of ignored that his friend was frantically scribbling. That summer school student must really suck with the novel that Matt seemed to be writing. Noticing that the beer he had placed in front of Matt still hadn’t been opened, he lifted a brow before turning back to the tv to listen to NFL reports on the new season and the draft picks, and then there was baseball which really wasn’t that interesting except if he was playing it.

Two commercial breaks later Matt hadn’t even said hello and the unopened bottle was covered in condensation. “Alright, what the hell are ya doin’ over there? I get ya’ll need some money what with the lawyer and all that shit but yer gonna work yerself into a hole over there. Why don’t ya keep the books fer the garage? Jus’ lost my accountant and hell if I know what I’m doin’.” Picking up one of the pieces of paper, Wes took a look at it seeing more math than anyone person should be doing. It obviously wasn’t homework from some kid as it was all in Matt’s handwriting and it wasn’t neat and orderly. Part of it looked like a timeline, other parts of it looked like notes someone took from an English story trying to decipher events. “What is this shit?” Wes asked throwing the paper back on the other loose ones while Matt had that studious glance to the legal pad that he had in his hands. “You aren’t goin’ crazy on me are ya?”
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Matthew Hunter
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Matthew Hunter
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14 Jul 2013, 03:31 #2

This wasn't happening. It couldn't be happening. There's no way. Well, there was a way, but Matt was finding every excuse to avoid it. Wrapping up camp for the day and avoiding questions from his assistants, he grabbed his gym bag and bolted out the door. Speed dialing on his phone, he immediately called the first person he knew he could talk to about this. Rusty. Rusty knew him and Sadie, was around for whatever they had in college, and would be just as blown away as Matt was. Matt hadn't actually talked to Rusty in a while, but that's how they were. They could not talk for a year, pick up the phone, and be just like old times again. Without any of the 'hi how are you' bullshit, Matt went right into it. "She has a daughter. Sadie Bennet has a daughter. And get this, she's eight fucking years old." Laying out the whole story, everything that happened that day, and everything that was going through his mind, there was a silence on the other end. "I'm going crazy over here, Rus." Then, something Matt wasn't expecting came out of Rusty's mouth. "I know. I mean... I knew about the kid." Starting his car, Matt paused, "What?! What the fuck do you mean you knew?" "Hey, don't get mad at me, Fi mentioned something just before Sadie had disappeared, before you got your head out of your ass, but then threatened me so I wouldn't say anything to you. I figured after you gave up on her, you found out and just... I don't know, man." Matt sat there in the parking lot, staring at his dash board while the A/C was cranked to high. "So... she didn't tell you if you were the kid's dad?" "JD. Her name is JD. Well, Jordan, but she insists on going by- No, she didn't mention anything. What do I do? Did Fi tell you I was?! Does Sadie know and she's not saying anything?" Matt couldn't actually say the word, despite already being a father. Being a new father to one or two year olds seemed completely different than being a father for the last eight years and not knowing about it. "No, she didn't say. Just talk to her." Matt apologized for bombarding him with everything and they hung up. Resting his forehead on his steering wheel, he let out a groan that turned into half of a frustrated yell.

Too many thoughts went through his head as he drove back home. If Sadie knew and didn't say anything, maybe she didn't want him to know. Maybe she didn't want him as the dad. That would explain her disdain and grudge about their semi-break up way back in college. Things were slowly making sense while getting more and more confusing. Suddenly, he was home and needed to take his mind off of it all. Wes wasn't there, but it smelled like fifteen other guys lived there, too. His mind still raced as he picked up trash, took it out, vacuumed, swept, and organized. Once that was done far too quickly, he took as long of a shower as he could. As the hot water ran out, the cold water poured over him as he stared straight ahead with his hands on the wall. He shut the water off with annoyance, almost mad at the faucet for letting him down. He threw on some clothes and couldn't take it anymore. The math had gone through his head eight different ways and now he had to write it down. Grabbing a legal pad and a pen from his bag, he sat out on the couch. Jotting the main stuff down, he realized that, yes, her birthday was nine months after Sadie and him spent a weekend having nothing but sex in a cabin. The numbers didn't lie. It wasn't hard math, but he wondered if maybe his brain was faulting him and freaking him out for no reason, but no. It was true.

Sitting back in the couch, he turned on the t.v. in front of him to hopefully distract him from everything. No. Instead, his mind went to other scenarios. Googling a few statistics on his phone, he wrote out a few more possibilities, but it wasn't looking too good. Before he knew it, Wes was sitting next to him and lifting up his papers. Finishing a few more ideas, he finally put his pen down. There was a beer in front of him and he grabbed it, opened it and drained about half of the bottle. He sat back and stared straight forward. "She has a kid." He took another drink. "Her kid goes to my camp. The girl that punched a boy today? That one." He let out a sigh and took another drink as his mind wouldn't stop. Why did he have to actually like her kid too? That made this so much worse. If it wasn't his kid, was he going to be upset? If it was his kid, how the hell would he tell his mom? Would he have to start paying child support for her, too? Maybe keeping Wes's books in line wouldn't be a bad idea. "The girl's birthday is June 2nd. She is eight, so she was born in 2005. Sadie and I were hooking up the summer of 2004. Our last weekend together was labor day weekend. June 2nd is about 38 or 39 weeks after that weekend. Due dates are usually 40 weeks after conception, and yet, many times labor begins in the 38th or 39th week because 40 weeks is actually like a week over nine months. Then again, there's still a chance..." Matt leaned forward and looked at one of the many papers, "Yeah, there's still a good chance that she had her even a month early, putting conception at the end of September, or even a week early, putting conception a week after we were together. That's assuming she rebounded or had someone else. Which brings the question of whether or not I was the only guy at the time..." Matt was rambling and shuffling through papers some more before he took another breath and leaned back in the couch. If he wasn't the father or had no chance of being the father, why would Fi tell Rusty? But if he was, why would she threaten Rusty into not telling him?

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Wes Hayes
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Wes Hayes
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14 Jul 2013, 04:10 #3

Sitting there, Wes look at Matt as the guy finally grabbed his beer. One brow was furrowed and he was pretty sure he had never seen Matt shotgun quite like that if things were right. This was the “my life just hit a brick wall” kind of drinking. “What’s…” That’s all Wes got out before Matt started talking. At first he was completely lost. Completely and utterly lost. If he was talking about Evan, obviously she had a kid. She had three kids. One of which was Matty’s own flesh and blood. But then he said something about camp and the girl that punched the boy. Oh yeah. That girl. The hot shot player that Matt wouldn’t shut up about. Every day after camp he had to hear all about JD and how awesome she was and all the great things she did. It was kind of cute in a way until Wes started to get concerned that Matt was getting a crush on an eight year old. “Ohhhhh-kay,” Wes said as he started to take a sip and went to turn back to the tv. Then Matt started talking some more and in a speed that the human ear and brain could barely keep up with. Hitting mute, Wes knew he wouldn’t find out about the recent trades until tomorrow because right now Matt needed some bro time.

Wes’s eyes got wide as Matt rambled on and shuffled through his papers and stated facts. It was like he was defending some thesis. “A’right. Slow down there, cowboy.” Holding up a hand, Wes put his feet back on the ground and scooted forward more in his chair. First he had to get the facts straight before he even attempted to muddle through this marsh of an issue Matt had. This was making his divorce look like a cake walk. “Lemme get this straight. Sadie… Vegas-Sadie… Icing-Slinky-Panties Sadie… is a mom. To an eight year old.” Once he got the nod from Matt, Wes signaled that he was going on to point number two. “And you think yer the dad cause ya’ll did some… did you seriously chart out her cycle?” Looking at the paper in his hand, Wes threw it away as fast as humanly possible. That was just sick. “You’ve had way too much time on yer hands buddy… and ya time lined yer sexcapades… and is this… “ Looking at all the information Matt jotted down on conception and pregnancy and all those fun facts, Wes was concerned that his buddy had completely lost it. “Okay… so what if she’s a mom? That makes her a MILF.”

Observation one… done. Now to get to what Matt was really thinking and maybe something that would make him feel a little bit better. “Ain’t no math gonna help ya figure this one out buddy.” Leaning with his elbows on his thighs, beer held loosely in his hands between his legs, Wes knew that Matt needed him to be serious. Taking in a deep breath, Wes let out a long exhale waiting for Matt to look at him. “Well… sounds to me like ya ain’t got much choices here. Either the kid is yers or she ain’t. Wouldja want her to be?” It was an honest question. Would Matt be more disappointed to find out that the kid of his ex… whatever the hell she was… wasn’t his? “Ya’ll would think she’d have told ya by now, right?”
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Matthew Hunter
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14 Jul 2013, 04:37 #4

Matt took a breath as Wes tried to catch up. Nodding along as Wes got his bearings in the pile of shit that was Matt's possible life in front of him, Matt took the last sip of his beer before it was already gone. Wes was right, he was supposed to restock and right now, he was seriously regretting not doing that on the way home. He had some other things on his mind. Matt didn't feel ashamed of everything he had plotted out, but he felt like he should. The way Wes was looking at him and how mildly freaked out he was, it was like Matt was Rainman. Wes sorted some papers and Matt waited. Finally, after talking it out to someone, Matt's brain took a break. Unimpressed and unamused, Matt stared over at Wes. Yes, yes she was a MILF. That was obvious. He was being no help at all.

Leaning his head back, Matt knew Wes was right. Math wasn't helping him and it sure as hell wouldn't give him a straight answer this time. "I know." That's why he was so frustrated. Math had always been straight forward with one answer, but not this time. It was a word problem that was impossible to complete. The answer he needed couldn't be found with just a pen and paper. Matt rolled his head to look over at Wes. "I don't know what to do." There were only so many things he could do, but he didn't want to do them. He didn't want to track Sadie down before they left and bombard her again. He didn't want to ask JD casually where her dad was or if her mom ever mentioned him. He didn't want to somehow get JD's DNA and do a paternity test. He just didn't want any of this to be happening. If he was JD's dad, he wanted Sadie to come out and say it right when they saw each other again. He didn't want Sadie to keep JD from him, have her be revealed in some ass backwards way and then disappear for a week. He didn't want to wait. His patience couldn't take it.

Wes's question caught him by surprise. Chewing on his lip, Matt immediately shrugged. He really didn't know. Out of all the kids in his camp? Sure, he'd want JD to be the one that's his. Just the fact that she's Sadie's daughter? He didn't know. He didn't want to put that strain on him and Sadie. They had already, somehow, broken up again over all of this. He almost forgot about that little bit. He was supposed to lose her number. They'd be completely unfit parents for JD. He wouldn't want to ruin her. "If she was, I'd definitely want those eight years back. Do things differently. I guess I wouldn't... mind. I mean, I like the kid. She's great. And... she does kind of... look like me, I guess. And act like me at times. It's just... Sadie and I? We're no good for that kid. We even had a fight today." Matt answered far more questions than Wes asked. It was a simple question, but much harder to actually answer. It was a loaded question. Would he deny JD as his kid? Of course not. Would he still like her if she wasn't his kid? Yes. It was the repercussions of actually finding out he had a kid, eight years after it happened. How did you explain why you weren't in her life for so long? Which brought Matt to Wes's next question. "That's what I asked her today. Even just the mere fact that she had a kid she claimed was none of my damn business. She went into total bitch mode. Brought up something about me walking away because I'm so damn good at it or some shit. Like... Jesus that was eight years ago. She wouldn't be so upset if she wasn't... ya know... pregnant at the time, right? We were friends with benefits. It's not like we were seriously committed for years and I just stopped talking to her. For fuck's sake."

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Wes Hayes
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14 Jul 2013, 04:59 #5

In the most unhelpful way ever, Wes gave a shrug of his shoulders. This was one of those conversations that needed a little more than beer. Still listening to Matt, Wes got up, went to the kitchen, and grabbed his hidden bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. He was saving it for the right day and right now seemed like the right day. Pulling down two glasses, he walked back out to the living room and poured Matt almost half a glass full. Resuming his position in his chair, Wes wasn’t exactly sure what Matt wanted him to say if he really wanted him to say anything. Maybe he just needed to get this off his chest. It wasn’t like Wes was some guru of the heart and love and family and all that shit. He had no kids, no woman, and barely talked to his brother. For all he knew, his father was dead back in Texas.

Maybe he just wanted someone to listen and parrot back shit. Hell if he knew. Wasn’t this what girlfriends were for? “Well… step one… ya’ll find out of this kid… sorry…JD is yers.” Everything was a moot point if she wasn’t. Matt could be thinking himself in circles right now for now damn good reason. “Hate to break it to ya, but until they invent time travel or ya run into Doc Brown, yer not gonna get those eight years back.” If Wes was an expert it was on wasted time. All the time he spent boozed up, drugged up, or in a hospital bed he wasn’t going to get back. If his mandated meetings taught him anything, it was that he had to take each day as it came. And with it make amends to the people around him by living each day better. Matt could apply it to his situation. If this kid was his, it wasn’t about getting the years he wasn’t there back, but making the ones that he was there the best and letting the kid know that this time he wasn’t going anywhere. At least, that’s what Wes would do. Luckily he didn’t have the problem of a chick showing up with a bundle of joy any time soon… really ever.

“Maybe she was,” Wes stated with a shrug as if that was the most logical answer. “Pregnant when ya ended things.” He could remember a time or two where one of his “friends with benefits” came knocking to say she had a bun in the oven. It was never his. So Wes tried to figure out what made this situation different. Why wouldn’t she come to Matt to let him know and why keep it a secret for eight years? “It ain’t like ya just walked away without sayin’ anything. Right?” By the look Matt gave him, Wes knew that somehow the opposite was true. “Matt.. really?” Letting out a low whistle, Wes shook his head. “I at least had the common courtesy that my Momma raised me with to let the lady know we were done.” It was supposed to be a joke but maybe now wasn’t the time for it to happen. Taking a sip of his whiskey and resting it on the arm of the chair, Wes thought for a moment. “I mean, what happened after ya’ll decided it was over?”
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Matthew Hunter
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15 Jul 2013, 04:12 #6

Matt knew Wes wasn't going to have some groundbreaking fantastic advice for him. It wasn't that he didn't think his buddy was useless or anything, but everyone would give him the same advice. No one else would know what to do, either. He just needed someone to calm him down, speak some rational words to him, and let him know the world wasn't actually crashing down on top of him. Maybe it wasn't that big of a deal. No... No he was pretty sure it was a slightly huge deal. Matt nodded along with Wes's words that were obvious but still helpful. Taking a sip from his glass, he wondered just how he was going to go about finding out if JD was his. "Yeah... but how?" Does he just ask her? And he knew he wouldn't get those years back. That was the worst part. Had he known he had a kid on the way, he wouldn't have just walked out.

There was a part of Matt that knew Wes might not want to hear about all of his children troubles. First he adopts kids that aren't his, then he suddenly has another and gets married as soon as they find out, and now he may have had a kid eight years ago without realizing it? Way to rub it in his face. He was a good friend. A great friend. Matt knew no matter how annoyed Wes was with it all, he'd still hang out, drink, and listen to his ramblings. His eyes went over to Wes as he mentioned that yeah, maybe Sadie had been pregnant at the time. It was a possibility, but it was even scarier when someone else said it out loud. There was no doubt, she was pregnant, but he didn't know exactly when. It was more unreal to think about than anything. And the fact that she had tried to call him, most likely when she found out, and he ignored it. How could he be that stupid? It was more ignorance and stubbornness and just flat out assholeness than anything. Matt's oldest brother had just been in that situation, knocking up a one night stand and getting married because of it, but Matt never thought it would happen to him. Plus, Sadie wasn't a one night stand. All the more reason to give her at least a clue that he was ending things.

Matt looked over to Wes with a look of shame. It's not that he meant to say nothing. It's that he knew if he looked her in the face, saw her eyes, he couldn't break it off. He would try, it wouldn't work, and they'd fall back into their old ways. Why he was so concerned about his friends claiming they were in a relationship back then, he didn't know. It was everything about relationships, all the responsibility, all the stress, he just didn't need it. Every other guy on the team had stories about how they didn't spend enough time with a girl, so they made a scene, broke it off, and spread the word that he was a piece of shit. He liked things the way they were and if they were going to stay that way, he had to end it. At least that's how logic worked in Matt's brain at the time.

He wasn't proud. He wasn't proud at all. If he could go back, even before knowing about JD, he would have done things differently. Even if it was just for karma's sake. "Oh I'm sure my mom would knock me into next Tuesday if she knew the truth. My brother certainly gave me a smack over the head. I was a cocky asshole. Seriously, you think I'm bad now?" The booze was kicking in and Matt was calming down. There was a small silence as they both sipped on the whiskey. Matt's head leaned back on the couch and he gave a deep breath. No use in freaking out over something you can't control or know any more about right now. That's all there was to it. Matt turned his head toward Wes again as he asked another question. "Nothing. I mean, she called a couple times. My buddy Rusty asked if I had talked to her, but I hadn't." Matt shrugged a little bit, then really thought about it. "My brother asked about her at Thanksgiving later, because he had found out about her earlier that summer. Which got my mind thinking about her again, so I thought I should maybe try to apologize, or, you know, start things up again, but no such luck. Her friend, Fi, she told me to basically go fuck myself, along with other things..." Matt took another drink, "I got caught up in basketball, then finals, and then she was gone. Just... disappeared. Her number even changed. And I guess... I guess she had JD. By herself."

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Wes Hayes
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15 Jul 2013, 04:42 #7

Slouching a bit further down in his chair, Wes listened to Matt. He figured that’s all the guy really needed. It was a lot to take in. For a second he tried to place himself in Matt’s shoes. What if Julie had shown up with a kid the right age from when they called it quits? He’d probably shit a brick. He wouldn’t abandon his child just as he knew Matt wouldn’t. Hell, during the divorce it wasn’t dissolving the marriage but all the kid stuff that seemed to have taken the most amount of time. So he got it. In a way it was letting people down without knowing he had and not getting the chance to make it up. Wes knew that guilt. He knew that want to go back in time and do things differently. Maybe he would have gotten his shit together and stayed with Julie or maybe he’d have seen the signs of the ambush sooner. But what was done was done and now it was taking each day as it came.

“Wow,” Wes said lowing his glass back to the arm of his chair. It wasn’t Matt’s fault not really. Or maybe it was shared blame. His buddy had a right to be angry. Eight years was a long time not to tell someone that they could be a father. But maybe Matt wasn’t and that’s the whole reason this chick didn’t say anything. Having remember their encounter in Vegas, Wes was pretty damn sure she was that independent type. The way she controlled that table of men was a pro. Hell, she had both Matt and himself wrapped around her little finger until Matt disrespected dibs. “I mean. It ain’t your fault… sorta. Guess all you can do is ask her.” Giving Matt another shrug it made the most sense. All of this wasn’t going to get him to come to an answer. “Must be tough though. Raisin’ a kid by yerself like that. Maybe she got the impression ya didn’t want in. I dunno.”

Licking his lips, Wes sat up a little more and set his glass on the coffee table. “Look. I ain’t got any room to talk ‘er nothin’. I dun have kids. But I know somethin’ about keepin’ things buried. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to tell the truth.” Making sure Matt looked at him, it had taken a lot for Wes to tell his closest friends that he had a problem, that he had one for a long time. It was months before he finally let it out. He tried to cover it up, tried to keep it hidden, but when he finally let them in it was the best feeling in the world. He didn’t feel so alone. “Ya’ll might’ve not been there then, Matt-eh, but you can sure as hell be there now. And ya’ll got a right to be pissed. I guess yer just gonna have to bite the bullet on this one.”

Sitting back again, Wes waited for Matt to stop guilt tripping over this whole thing. He had a right to know the truth. Maybe if this chick had told him things would have turned out a little bit differently. Or they could be just here. Maybe if Matt had picked up the phone then he wouldn’t be here now. “Guess ya’ll just have to decide if you want to be in or not. If the kid is yours ya’ll work it out and you man up cause that’s who you are. If she ain’t, then there’s no harm or foul, right? So what ya still sittin’ around here for?” Shouldn’t Matt be on his way to get DNA tests and get the truth he needed. Doing math and talking to him wasn’t going to get him answers. Only one person had those and Matt should be talking to her about it. “Hey… look at it this way… if this JD kid is yours, then ya got to skip forward to the best parts.”
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