“Listen, kid,” Jesse began, and he didn’t like that he’d just used the word “kid” to talk to someone who was only nine years younger than him – but it seemed like there was way more of a gulf between them than simple years. And what the hell had this kid, there it was again, kid, told him? That he’d looked him up after his father – Mr. White – had called him Jesse by mistake and now he had some kind of unhealthy interest in Jesse? He needed to nip this shit in the bud and fast because… seriously, Mr. White was gonna blow a gasket if he found out they were even talking.
And what kind of unhealthy interest were they talking, anyway? Maybe Jesse was reading way into all of this, but any way he set up the pieces, it all seemed extremely wrong.
“Listen, kid,” he tried again, “I don’t know how you got my name, but I don’t know your father. Not at all.” He paused; maybe such a categorical denial wasn’t the way to go. Maybe he should tell just a sliver of the truth. “Okay, I was in his class at Wynne. So were a lot of other people. He’s been teaching there, what, like ages. So unless you wanna crack open the yearbook and go through every single name…”
The words came out so quickly, with such firmness, that Jesse whipped his head to the side in shock, having to re-orient to his surroundings – they were standing in a supermarket somewhere between both their houses, in the meat aisle, next to the veal. Jesse was already shivering a little from the heat, but Mr. White’s crazy ass son seemed to not particularly care.
“It’s me, what?” Jesse retorted. “Why are we here? Why did you text me? What are you trying to, like, accomplish here?”
The boy made a gesture that seemed to indicate “the hell if I know”.
“My father never even t-talks to me anymore,” he ventured finally.
Jesse softened, sighing.
“And you think if you’re around me, that’ll change? It’ll jerk him out of his… whatever?” he asked.
“It’s worth a try.”
Jesse shook his head.
“You don’t want what me and your father have, kid. Trust me.”
He turned, not able to stay a moment longer.
He was able to stop himself from adding, “Have a good rest of your life.”