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One Man's Normalcy

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Richard collapsed onto the couch, icy beer in hand. It was Friday, three days since the trial, and he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the silence, stares, and looks of horror and disgust from the other jurors when he’d talked about his son. At the time, he thought that disgust might have been at his son’s weakness, but he’d realized later that it was him. 

Richard disgusted them. 


And he should, Richard thought. Look at him: a middle-aged man with a solid job at a local factory—  he could provide for himself and relax after a long week of 9 to 5 shifts. Such a normal life, hell, a normal person, but he had been so ready to put a kid in the ground without ever considering there might be more to his story. 

It just made so much sense to him that this kid would try to kill his dad, he fought with his father, and quite violently, too. That’s just how things were sometimes, right?


Well, the other jurors didn’t seem to think so. 

He took another sip of his beer. 


The weather had gotten better since then, he thought, it wasn’t so hot now. In fact, the high today had been 80, almost 20 degrees cooler than Tuesday. He meant to look toward the window, but his eyes landed on the dusty rotary handset on the coffee table. 


The phone filled his vision, it seemed to steal his attention from the world. How long had he been staring at it? Three minutes? Thirty? 

He finally looked down at his hands, still holding his now room temperature beer by his lap. His heart in his throat, he stood up, barely noticing the dull, ever-present ache in his back, and he shuffled to the coffee table. 

He finished his drink as he slowly dialed a number he knew by heart but had never used. 


It seemed to ring for an eternity before-


“Hello, Joshua speaking,”