General Fiction posted May 20, 2022

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A friend's genuine share makes a father step in

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by Sammy105

Frank had motioned to the bartender to pour his daughter another whiskey sour. The bartender ogled them both, raised both his eyebrows had the notion of father and daughter getting drunk together on a Thursday night, and started making the drink.

Frivolously watching the drink being made, Frank nudged his daughter on the elbow. "So what was that all about..? The Facebook post?"

Callie looked at her father nonchalantly, like a girl at a 2nd-choice prom date.

"What are you referring to?"

Frank raised an eyebrow. "The post your friend left on your page, Sylvester. You didn't see?"

He pulled out his phone and pulled up Facebook app and scrolled to the post. Among other, active shares, there stood Sylvester's sad, pathetic blabbering about friendship and injustice and getting ignored. The man sounded desperate and near-tears.

Callie read through it and rolled her eyes. "When will this guy get the hint to leave us alone..."

Her father looked at her in bewilderment. "Is this really the girl I raised from yay high? I taught you better than that, Callie... What's the issue?"

Callie's smiled disappeared. She silently accepted the drink from the bartender.

"Nothing, Dad... Don't worry about it..."

He watched it take a gulp and gave her a good half a minute to process what's been happening and decide how much to share with her father.

"Ok, humor me..?" He laid his hand on his palm and look directly at her. She could sense that her father took this issue to heart and she wouldn't be able to b******* her way out of it.

"Haven't you and him been friends for almost 3 decades?"

"Something like that..." Her voice was down to nearly a whisper."

Frank responded with a shrug.

"I don't know what to tell you... He's just become very annoying... Non-stop texts..."

"On your page is complaining about being ignored by both you and your husband. He's wondering what he did wrong, and nobody seems to want to give him any notice. Not even you and your husband."

"Yes, if he doesn't stop I might have to unfriend him, unfortunately..."

Frank raised the eyebrows and forced some air out of his lips.

"He must have done something really bad to be treated like?"

"Not exactly, he just has terrible social skills, he's not the same as before."

"That could be true, but that's not an excuse to simply ignore someone, is it, honey? What if you said that to him? 'Please leave us alone'? 'Can't you get the hint'"?

"I would rather not, that would be enabling his insanity... I don't want drama on my wall... I'm trying to spread happiness, not sadness like he is."

"Generally that's a good approach, but... If your friend is going through a tough time? And you're treating him like an imposter? You're actually contributing to the drama. What's stopping you from communicating with him? Even to give him the hint that you don't want his friendship anymore?"

"I didn't say I don't want his friendship, I'm just saying... He's annoying me..."

"If an old friend of mine stop speaking to me out of the blue, I'm not sure I would handle it that much better than Sylvester."

Callie said nothing, took another sip. "So, what else is new?"

"Well, your mother and I are thinking of going on a tour of Europe. Give us some ideas what to visit in France and Italy, I know you've been there."

"We're barely even seen the Eiffel Tower, just drove past it on a taxi I think."

Frank started to rub his temples.

"Callie... It's starting to hit me... Are things okay between you and Robert?"

She shrugged.

"Look at me. What's going on..?"

She tried to look at him, but her eyes quickly darted back to the drink.

"Ohh boy... It was Robert..? Did he throw a fit? Told you not to speak to Sylvester?"

"You're very intuitive, daddy."

"Cally, this can't go on... I know husbands get jealous, but... A wife should not have to choose between a husband and an old friend. I'm going to have trouble looking him in the eye. I've always respected the guy, but if he acts like this... This is not okay."

Callie raised her shoulders up, then down, slowly.

"I don't know what I'm supposed to do..."

"Well you can choose... Would I embarrass you more if I spoke to Robert directly or to Sylvester?"

"I guess maybe Sylvester... I mean, I'd rather you bother him if you just can't keep your nose out of this issue."

He smiled slightly at her and raised his right eyebrow. "You know me well."

* * *

Two weeks later, Frank casually mentioned the situation during a family gathering at a local restaurant. He said he spoke to Sylvester and that if Robert wants Frank to be able to look him in the eye and retain infinite shred of respect he had for him once upon a time, then he will fix the situation with Sylvester, and soon. There was a long awkward pause, but then Robert spoke up and apologized and said he will try and make things right.

Later that day, Robert sent Sylvester a brief message. They agreed to meet at a bar. Robert acknowledged that the cold shoulder and the silent treatment he received was partly his fault, and that he doesn't want his weaknesses and insecurities to affect his wife's friendships. Sylvester shook his hand and said - all his forgiven.

Inspired by the author's personal life
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