(( Flashback -- Cumar Residence, Brooklyn, New York ))
(( Time Index -- SD 239510.17 ))
Jon sat alone, re-reading the letter. Over and over again. He was not in any mental condition to resume his duties now. No more than two months ago, he’d proposed on the shuttle ride to Earth. He eventually turned off the PADD and set it on the coffee table, his head in his hands. After about a half hour of silence, his father entered the room with some hot chocolate and set it in front of his son, a reassuring hand on the lad’s shoulder.
James: Do you want to talk about it, Jon?
Jon: Not really, but you aren’t going to leave me alone until I do. Right?
James: You know me well, son. I’m the kind of dad that likes to know what’s bothering his family and will do all I can to help.
Jon: Remember that beautiful stunner I introduced you to? Lael?
James: Yep. :: He paused for a moment. :: Let me guess, that letter was all bad news?
Jon sighed heavily and nodded. He finally pulled his head out of his hands and reached for the drink on the table. After he swallowed a mouthful of the warm deliciousness, he made a reply.
Jon: She ended it. That’s all.
James glanced to the PADD and wanted to read the letter for himself to see if his son was exaggerating, but he knew better. Instead, he pulled his hand away and sat back on the couch, letting the news process for a moment. After that, he nodded slightly and decided to offer up a suggestion.
James: Some things just weren’t meant to last, Jon. You should take a break from the ship for a while. Your head isn’t in the game.
Jon: Extend my leave, you mean?
James: Yes. You can’t expect to be able to protect people when your head isn’t in the game.
Jon: I guess… :: He paused and had another sip of his drink, savoring the flavor before switching it out for the discarded device, picking up the PADD and extending his LOA. :: ...you’re right. I’ve extended it.
James smiled softly at his son and pulled an isolinear chip from his pocket, setting it on the table next to the cup of hot chocolate.
James: I downloaded these star charts for you. Maybe tomorrow we can go to the library and you can look at regions you want to visit, assuming your mom decides not to take you to a museum.
Jon: I’d like that… Thanks, dad.
Suddenly, a voice interrupted them from the kitchen. The scent of a strong meat loaf and mashed potatoes was thick in the air, along with a hearty dose of ketchup -- probably as dressing for the ground chuck.
Arleene: Boys, it’s dinner time!
James: Meet you there, son. :: Chuckled and nodded toward the table. :: Your mom’s cooked your favorite, meat loaf and potatoes.
As his father stood up to head over toward the table, Jon remained where he was long enough to finish his drink and think. He had to clear his head, and the only way he could try to do that was...well, a distraction. He picked up the iso-chip with the star charts on it and stuck it in his pocket before he refilled his drink, then joined his parents at the table.
& James Cumar Concerned Father O239002CS0 & Arleene Cumar Cheerful Mother O239002CS0