The smell of pineapple filled his sinuses with a memory from 1994. He was upset that his father had interrupted a serious Murder She Wrote marathon with Gus but Henry insisted he go with him. He wasn’t surprised by the trip, he was fully aware of their deteriorating relationship. Without his mother in the picture, Shawn felt prisoner to his father and his rules.
“Geeze Dad, I was trying to spend some quality time with Gus and you had to ruin it, where are we going anyway? I have plans later tonight with this girl I’ve been – “
“Listen Shawn, I know that things have been tough between us lately, but I thought we could just forget about it and just… hang out…” Shawn specifically remembered Henry’s averted eyes. He already knew the reasoning for this sudden ‘hang out’ session, but he ignored all of that as his mind quickly jumped to the smoothie shop Henry pulled up to.
Once they had ordered (Shawn a pineapple smoothie and Henry a classic strawberry banana smoothie) they sat across from each other for a good five minutes. Shawn could no longer stand the awkward silence nor watching his Dad’s smoothie melt and leak over the top of the cup. He was denying the fact that this was probably the last time he would speak to his dad for hopefully years to come. Shawn had packed his clothes, a few cds and a photo of he and Gus from their first (actually it was Gus’ first and Shawn’s 12th) ditch day; he had decided to escape his personal Hell at casa de Henry. He realized that his dad had figured out his plans and this was his subtle yet unresponsive goodbye.
One hat, four sunglasses (all on women), and two overly tanned, naive lovebirds making out by the bathroom; these were the things that Henry had ‘taught’ Shawn to identify in order to hone his eidetic memory. He was counting the number of empty cups on the counter while Henry mentioned the weather. Shawn had sucked at his smoothie in response (which was currently making his mouth water).
What surprised him most about the turn of events was that Henry wasn’t fighting his decision. He had treated his son to a smoothie instead of lecturing and threatening about why he shouldn’t be leaving or how he should be preparing for the academy like his partner so-and-so’s kid was.
That pineapple smoothie was so vivid in Shawn’s memory; he was literally getting a brain freeze just thinking about it.
“So,” Shawn sighed, he said thanks for the smoothie and walked back to Henry’s beachside home, grabbed his belongings, and jumped on the next bus out of Santa Barbara.
Looking back at that day as Shawn slowly sipped at his pineapple smoothie, he regretted not making a bigger deal about it. If he had mentioned leaving or even where he was headed, Shawn and Henry’s relationship probably wouldn’t have had to be to rough. As with most of Shawn’s life decisions, he didn’t want to waste life worrying about it. It was easier to just forget a significant memory like that and focus on trivial memories like the smoothie he drank that day..
He was drinking a smoothie right now… Shawn looked around and all too suddenly realized that he was alone at the same table where he and his dad sat so many years ago.
He squeezed his eyes tight and fought the panic rising in his chest. He inhaled and opened his eyes to see the same surroundings from his memory. His pineapple smoothie only had a few sips left and he had no idea of how or why he was sitting in that shop.
“How did I get here…” Shawn muttered to himself as he fumbled for his cell phone in his left jacket pocket only to find the key to his motorcycle.