Appearing in the story:
Next week Phoibe was busy, some equipment she ordered for some of her experiments just came in and she told Jesse she would be working a lot of overtime. Being shut inside the house meditating wasn’t something Jesse could take for a week so he took his bike from the garage and pedaled away. He was anxious about seeing Phoibe again but a figured a little delay wouldn’t do them too much harm, he did want to show her he had changed from the heartless town playboy everyone thought him to be.
He wanted to go to the dance club, but something made him change his mind. He hadn’t been there since the day he met Phoibe at the park. Instead he stopped by a small beach bar that seemed crowded even though it was still daytime.
He parked his bike outside and walked right into the middle of the happy hour. “Need a hand?” He yelled at the tired looking bartender over a crowd of gathered people. “Sure, grab a bottle and start pouring.” The young man yelled from the other side of the bar. Jesse had never worked at the bar before but he could mix a drink or two, it was a usefully trick he learned for parties in his younger years and he did save the young bartender’s ass that afternoon earning himself a lifetime discount. And he did like the place so for the rest of the week that was where he spent his nights.
He would always come in the afternoon. The place served decent spaghetti bolognese so he would eat there, wash it all down with beer and then move on to the fancier stuff. Sometimes he would rock it on the guitar, the place had live music only on weekends, on other days anyone could take up the stage, and Jesse would often be accompanied by other customers. He did it mostly for fun, but sometimes he would get tips, or a free drink. If he were a bit younger he would have probably taken some hot chick home with him but it was as it was.
Sometimes he would run into old acquaintances, like Tori’s wife Carissa, or meet new people like the young boy Kain with whom he jammed one night. The boy could play his drums and so Jesse told him one night after they were done with the show. They talked about music for a while and then Jesse asked him about his granddaughters. “You probably know them from school, this is Lena…” He said pulling up the photographs from his wallet. “I’ve seen them around.” The boy confirmed seemingly trying to end the conversation his narrow green eyes already darting away. Jesse nodded putting away the pictures. He couldn’t help being ashamed, a moment ago he was a young man ripping it up on the guitar and now he had turned into an annoying old grandpa. What was becoming of him?
He took his drink and sat alone on one of the tables pulling the pictures out again. They were mostly printed out, at least the ones of his granddaughters. He had four of them, all daughters of his oldest, Rita. He abandoned Rita and her mother when she was just a baby. That is why he had no photographs, he was not invited to birthdays, or other big events. He wouldn’t even have this much if it wasn’t for social media.
It was trough SimBook that he got in touch with one of his granddaughters, Maja. She was close to her grandmother while she was still alive but she was young then and she was very curious to hear about her life, and since her mother was reluctant to give out details curiosity brought her to her notorious grandfather Jesse. She needed someone to help fill in the blanks and Jesse was eager for any opportunity to spend time with one of Rita’s girls. As time went on they got close, he liked the girl a lot, she was ambitious and driven, she loved science (she picked up that one from her father), and she reminded him a lot of Ebony. She wore her hair short, like Ebony always did, and she had the same eyes, the color was wrong but the look was Ebony’s, that he could see even in pictures.
She told him about her twin Lena, the girl who had his hair, and her driving lessons, about the younger girls, neat Delores and humorless Nandini. With every passing day Jesse lost a small bit of hope of ever being a part of Rita’s life again so this conversations with his granddaughter gave him just a tiny new spark, just a little bit of hope that maybe with at least one of them he would get his second chance, a shot for redemption.
And God knows that Jesse had a lot of redeeming to do.