At day’s end, Randy would throw his extra change in a grey, ceramic tray on top of his dresser.
He considered the change “found money” and periodically cashed it in as a “fun fund.”
“That’s odd,” he thought, “all the quarters are missing.”
Sadly, he realizes that Sean, his 11-year-old son, must have taken them; obviously no one broke in and stole $3.75 in change. Now comes the bigger question: What to do?
Being a single dad, the decision was his alone. He thought back to his own childhood, about what his father would have done. “No, spanking is out of the question,” he decides. His strongest memories of his own father are fear; “That is not what I want Sean to remember about me.”
He calls out, “Sean, I need to talk to you.”
“What’s up Dad?” Sean says as he enters the room.
“I’ve got a problem,” he replies. “I had a bunch of quarters in this tray,” tapping on the edge of ceramic dish, “They’re not there anymore. I don’t know what happened.”
He pauses; giving his son a chance to admit to his error. Will he make the correct choice? The silence is loud; he knows it’s got to be deafening for his boy. After a moment, Sean meekly volunteers, while staring at the floor, “I took one.” The lump in his throat is audible.
Pause “Maybe two.” Longer pause. “It could have been three.”