Carson was surprised to hear his father's question.
"About what?" Carson winced. He really hadn't expected his dad to drop in at work, but then again, his father did work on campus. It was kind of hard to get used too. Maybe he was spending too much time with Essie these days.
"I dunno. What is troubling him?" His Dad wanted to know.
"Like I would know." Carson couldn't help but let a small laugh slip.
"You know, he's his own worst enemy." His dad talked about his grades. How he should be doing, compared to how he was doing. "He's not like you." His dad sighed, remembering how Carson couldn't help but want to learn to read. He teased him about his notebooks with the Ninja Turtle names in them when he was four. "You, have a special drive for success."
"Well...I dunno..about that." Carson was certain he could have done better in school. He wished he had, but he was seeing to his mother back then, and school wasn't exactly his priority.
"I mean, I'm thankful he's..he's doing as well..as he is, but something is up. He won't let me in." His dad shrugged as if he should be closer to Gage.
"That's just Gage." Carson told his Dad that he needed to accept the fact that Gage was different. Carson topped off his Dad's mug of coffee. "Well, what do we need to do?"
Carson wanted to spend more time with Essie and her family. There was always something to do at her house. Some how, he felt safer about so many things in life when he was with her and her family. He didn't mean to be selfish.
"I dunno. Maybe we need to go camping." His dad smiled.
"Just us?" Carson wondered if Ren would come. Maybe he could ask Essie.
"Yeah, that might be best." His dad looked up at him as if Carson might think up something better.
"I dunno. Maybe..maybe we just need a family meeting." Carson thought they needed to get to the point. He could see Gage evading the issue. What ever that might be. "Just come over to my place."
"Are you sure?" His Dad looked at him. "I mean, he's upset. You, think its about Ren and me?" His Dad said it like an after thought.
"Well, that was kind of fast Dad." Carson hated to break it to him, yet he did feel comfortable enough to call him Dad.
"About that." His dad pressed his lips tight as if he had a very good explanation for being with Ren. "I don't know what to tell you. I mean...I..I hadn't dated..since..I can't remember..honestly, I don't want to remember." But he was smiling when he brought up Ren's name. "She's so easy to talk too. I feel really ..happy..around her. And..and..I don't want to mess this up with Gage. I know he needs me, but I'm pretty sure he's got it in his head that he doesn't need any of us."
"He's got issues. He always has." Carson reminded him.
"Yeah, I know." His dad sighed. Carson started to say it was all their mother's fault.