Broken Frames, Torn Pictures Chapter 12

“What’s wrong?” Thalassa asked.

“Apollo told me that your father called me a ‘homeless bum’. Could you possibly tell him to not do that? I don’t want Apollo learning things about me from Magnifi. Especially if he’s only saying it to negatively impact Apollo’s opinion of me.”

“I-I’m so sorry about that. I didn’t think my father would stoop that low considering we’re…” Thalassa trailed off.

“Separated.” Jove finished.

“Yes. I’ll definitely talk to him, and if he does it again, please tell me. I might have to consider a change of residence if it gets to that.”

“I’ll make sure I tell you.” He hung up the phone, and stared at it. Frankly, he was pissed. Not at Thalassa of course; she hadn’t done anything wrong. But just at Magnifi, and his very existence as the miserable human being he is. It was just uncalled for. Jove wasn’t ever going to see him again, and that was obvious by the fact that Thalassa filed for a god damn divorce.

There was a knock on Jove’s door. “Daddy? I finished.” Why did that boy have to be such a fast eater?

Jove took a deep breath and tried his best to compose himself. “Great, just put your plate in the sink. I’ll get to it later.”

“Okay.”

Jove had to calm down now. He couldn’t show up in front of Apollo with a vein popping out of his head. Slowly, he counted to ten, and his breathing returned to normal.

Apollo was sitting upside-down on the couch. “Hi, Daddy.”

“Hey, whatcha watching?”

“The Steel Samurai.”

“Oh wow, I remember that show. It was on back when I was a kid.” Jove sat down next to Apollo. “The production value has definitely gone up.”

Apollo nodded. “What does that mean?”

“The quality of the special effects and cameras and all that.”

“Oh.” The little boy went back to watching TV. “I like the production value.”

“So much so that you’re watching it upside-down?”

“Mm hm.”

Jove patted Apollo’s leg. “Well I’d better do the dishes. Keep my seat warm, yeah?”

“Okay.”

I sat down with him for a literal minute. Probably not even. I need to start spending more time with him. It’s probably not good for him to just sit around without having some social interaction. Or maybe not. I watched TV and I turned out fine…

On second thought, never mind.

“When the moon is bright with a pale blue light, and trouble is nearby.

“Only one man fights for what is right, the Steel Samurai!”

Huh, they’re still using the same theme song.

“And all heroes know when it’s time to go and faced their destined fate.

“For who should show, but his deadly foe: the Evil Magistrate!”

Jove stepped out of the kitchen. Apollo hadn’t noticed him just yet. This was going to be his performance magnum opus.

“The Samurai shall always fight for Justice which is great!”

Apollo looked up at his father who had struck a valiant pose. Surprisingly he stood up too. “Princess Yume-Hime, the future, her dreams know.

“Captured by the evil, save her-

“Go go go!”

The two sang the rest of the song to the very end. Jove struck a crane pose while Apollo just pumped his fists into the air. “Let’s do that again!” Apollo was bouncing up and down.

Jove couldn’t help but laugh. “Sorry, Pollywog, but I gotta do the dishes. Besides, the theme song only comes on once an episode.”

Apollo nodded. “I guess.”

Jove ruffled his son’s hair. “But if another episode starts, you can call me and I’ll come running.”

“I will!”

A big smile had crept onto Jove’s face. He hadn’t done an impromptu karaoke session in a while and it felt pretty good. It was always nice to stretch the old vocal cords, and make his son happy in the process.

Apollo always seemed to be able to make Jove smile. He wasn’t quite sure if he had this effect on everybody, but regardless, it was always welcomed.

What are you going to do when he grows up?

Jove froze. He had completely forgotten that aging was a thing that happened to people of the living variety. What was he going to do when Apollo moved out? He couldn’t even be alone for thirty minutes and in twelve years he was supposed to live that way for the rest of his life?

You’ll just have to cross that bridge when you get there…

Jove rubbed his eyes, and went back to scrubbing the dishes. Why had he been thinking so far ahead all of a sudden? Only one thing had really changed from this time last week. Maybe Thalassa leaving him was impacting Jove more than he’d like to admit. It had definitely affected Apollo.

Once Jove had finished doing the dishes, he opted to watch TV with Apollo who was in the middle of a Steel Samurai episode.

“So what’s happening now?” He asked.

Apollo started explaining without looking at Jove, “the Evil Magistrate is threatening to destroy Neo Olde Tokyo and kill all of the people living there so the Steel Samurai is trying to defeat him before he deploys his army.”

Holy shit.

“That’s some pretty heavy stuff. Is the Steel Samurai winning?”

“Of course! The Evil Magistrate can never win! Neo Olde Tokyo would be destroyed if he did.”

“How could I forget?”

Apollo didn’t respond and just watched the rest of the episode, completely absorbed by the action on screen. Indeed the Evil Magistrate was planning on committing mass genocide. He had a giant army and everything ready to slice down anyone who stood in his way. Jove had to admit it, he was at least a little invested as well.

“See you in Hell, Evil Magistrate!” The Steel Samurai jumped into the air and readied his spear to come down on his arch nemesis.

“Will the Steel Samurai keep the Evil Magistrate from destroying Neo Olde Tokyo? Find out next week on, the Steel Samurai!”

Apollo groaned. “They do this every time!”

“That’s how they rope you in. If they end the episode on a cliffhanger, you want to keep watching to find out what happens next.”

“I’d watch even if they didn’t have cliffhangers…” Apollo muttered.

“Yeah, I would too, but not everyone thinks like us.”

“Well they should!”

Jove laughed. “I don’t think I’d want a billion me’s running around.”

Apollo frowned. “Then everyone can just think like me!”

. . .

“Why did you take me to a karaoke place?” I asked as Thalassa led me to a booth.

“You’ll see.” She placed her purse in the booth across from me and walked up to the stage.

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