A cacophony of emotions began to crescendo inside of Elton.
They were loud, conflicting and each one demanded attention. The best way to deal with them he figured was as he always had done, just keep them at bay as best he could, either by avoiding them, ignoring them, or bringing up a feeling to conflict with them, and hopefully cancel them out.
"I suppose that I’m under arrest now," Elton said as he extended both of his hands out to be handcuffed.
Charles shook his head, "No, I’m not going to arrest you.
You’re free to go if you want. Keep running until you get yourself killed."
"Still trying to toughen me up Charles? I’m not that same little punk kid that you used to knock around."
"No, I guess not. I can see that you’ve changed -- for the worse."
"Come on you two," Oda said. "Now is not the time to revive your juvenile rivalry."
Charles walked back to the dining table, and took a seat.
"You want to tell me what happened up there in that balloon,"
Elton took a sip of water and wondered just how much he should tell them about what happened in the Flying Tuna, or why he was up there in the first place. The fat man and Oda are connected, he thought. Maybe Charles is with them too. He placed the glass on an end table then looked over at Charles.
“I don’t know what happened up there,” he started. "Val and I were flying along, enjoying the ride, reminiscing about years gone by. Then someone started shooting at us."
Charles stood up and nearly knocked his chair over.
"Val is dead, with a bullet hole in his head! The Flying Tuna is busted up, and you nearly got your brain served up as reptilian cuisine out there in the desert, and you’re going to sit there, and tell me that you don’t know why you were being shot at? ”
The outburst from, Charles, caused a surge of adrenaline to race through Elton’s core. He felt emboldened.
"People have been following me for two days now. Then you suddenly show up out of nowhere. Are you helping to keep a tail on me? I mean, how is it that you just happen to show up at that moment in time Charles?"
"Maybe it’s because you’re my brother, and I’m watching out for you like I promised."
Elton worked himself off of the couch, and walked toward Charles.
"Don’t hand me that brotherly love crap."
"Elton, we’re trying to help you," Oda said.
"What’s your beef Elton? Why you pushing so hard against me?
You ran out on the family just when we needed to stick together the most. After dad got arrested, you ran off to school ashamed of your name, and never came back. You never showed up for the trial, never offered the old man any support, and never visited him in jail. Mom got sick, and lay in the hospital, dying. She begged me not to tell you. Said she didn’t want her sickness to get into your head, block you away from your dreams. Now you’re bitter with your own guilt. So you flip it around, and make like it’s us who pushed you away. Well go ahead brother, take it all out on me if it makes ya feel better. But realize that you’ve lost a lot that you will never ever get back."
“So now you’re a psychologist or something. You don’t know what you’re talking about."
Silence filled the living room of Oda’s quaint home. She stood up and stepped in between the brothers, and took Elton by the arm.
“You two need to settle this now before you can move forward.”
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