Buford startled in surprise when he was met at the door by his father. “Aberly made it very clear to me that you aren’t a child anymore, and he’s right. You’re well past full grown. So, get your shit and get out. Find your own place to live. Pack a bag for the night, and you can come back for your larger possessions when you find a place of your own. You can take your bedroom furnishings and your television. You’ve earned at least that much. I ain’t disowning you, boy but I’ll be damned if I’m going to live in the same home with a man who doesn’t have my back.”
Buford was so taken aback he couldn’t speak for a moment. He knew his father was angry with him but he never expected to be kicked out. Of course, that was better than being beaten, but it was still a shock. Buford finally stepped into the house, but he paused near the stairs. “I’ll get out because it’s high time I did. The only reason I’ve stayed so long is I didn’t have the heart to leave you alone after mom died but I’ve always had your back, dad. I only was disagreeing with how you were handling the situation with Hank and Aberly; taking them at gunpoint? Threatening to shoot them, and locking them up?”
Buford turned to face is father. “I’d follow you into the pits of Hell to fight at your side for a just cause but though, you might think I ain’t too bright, following a madman isn’t something I’m willing to do. I’m just not quite that stupid. And you were nothing short of out of your fucking mind this morning, dad. So, no, I didn’t have your back, and you can’t count on me to have your back when you’re not thinking straight. What you can count on is for me to do what’s right and just because that’s what you raised me to do. So, if there’s anyone in this house that should be ashamed of their actions, it sure as shit ain’t me.”
Buford didn’t wait for a response, not expecting one, as his father wasn’t the type to apologize or admit he was wrong.
And he was right. Though Buford’s words rang true, Lance was too proud to admit it. He had already laid down the ultimatum for his son to leave. So, he’d have to suffer the regret in silence. At least he hadn’t gone so far as to disown him as the Pastor had done with his son, an act he knew the Pastor regretted.
Lance sighed and shook his head to himself as his son went upstairs to pack, knowing that he had screwed up big time and that he needed to fix things, to set things straight. Blowing out a deep breath partly of resignation and partly of determination he put a hand out to stop his son when he came back down with a packed bag. “Stay son. I’m sorry. You’re right. I wasn’t in my right mind this morning and I’ve made some big mistakes, but I want to set it right. You don’t have to go.”
Buford sighed. “I think it’s best if I do. I don’t hate you, dad but I’m thirty years old and I think we both need some space at this point. I’m not a little boy anymore, and I’m not sure you’ll ever see me as a man if I’m still living under your roof. I’m going to stay at the boarding house for the time being and then see about a place. Either build me a small place or… I don’t know. I’ll figure something out. I’m glad you’re coming to your senses though but I don’t know how you’re going to fix what’s been done.”
Lance murmured, “Don’t you worry about that. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I beat you and I’m sorry I’ve made you feel where you can’t live with me anymore but I understand. I’ll fix this somehow. I’ll do the right thing.”
Buford paused in his tracks. “What are you going to do?”
Lance shook his head. “I said not to worry about that.” His father gestured with his chin. “Go on. Get some rest. We can talk in the morning.”
Lance waited for his son to leave and then went over to the phone and made a call to the FBI, using the card that one of the agents had given him should any more information come to light on the case.