Throwing on his robe, he stomped outside and shoved some cash in the gardener's hands. "Christ, it's too loud!" he complained. "For the love of God, stop using the loud crap right outside my window!"
"But, Sir, your Mother wants the place to be pristine when the Garden Club comes to inspect it today."
"Ugh. I'll take care of that. Just... shhhhh...."
He wasn't surprised that they got in the Garden Club. He knew he'd made a great impression on her...
"As I was saying, Sir. Prank calling 9-1-1 is a crime and it is not a joke. Please speak with everyone in your household about the seriousness. If it happens again, then you'll get more than just a ticket," she lectured.
Brett glanced up and caught Jesse's eye, glaring. "Yes, Ma'am. I will speak to everyone to let them know it won't be tolerated."
"Thank you, Sir. I'm sorry to have had to come down so hard. Have a nice night."
Jesse watched his Dad storm off and was offended. "It wasn't that big of a deal!" Jesse shouted after his Dad. "I'll pay the ticket! Geez!" Jesse fumed. He wasn't going to talk to Dad again until he apologized for treating him like a kid.
Valerie cleared her throat. "Sir, I'm here to inform you that your Aunt Ellen called 9-1-1..."
Jesse rolled his eyes. "Then go yell at her."
Valerie just continued on, pretending he hadn't said anything, "...and your Father was found unresponsive in the driveway."
Jesse's face paled. He could hear Aunt Ellen sobbing in her room. "Don't say it," he said quickly. If she didn't say it, it wasn't real.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Carter. But, your Father didn't make it."
Jesse's knees gave out and he sank down to the couch. He vaguely heard the officer offering her sympathies. "...if there's anything I can do for you..."
Jesse's heart hurt. Dad was gone. And the very last thing he'd said to him was to grow up...