Wednesday: March 10, 2027
8:00 AM; SAN DIEGO, THE PITMAN ESTATE, GOLF COURSE
Bo stood several feet away from Jamal, dressed in an Under Armour jacket, a windbreaker, and a beanie. The older man, settling for a coat and a pair of golfing gloves, seemed much less bothered by the cold breeze.
“When I die,” Jamal started, leaning on his golf club as he put his cigar back between his lips, “I want you to have the estate.”
“I don’t want it.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Wayne deserves it.”
“Wayne doesn’t want it,” Jamal said. He inhaled deeply, clearing his throat. He blew out a short puff of smoke, offering a shrug. “He’s got a family, a nice house, a nice job.”
“So do I,” Bo reminded.
“Yes, a family that’s bigger than Wayne’s. A family that, more than likely, is just going to get bigger. You could benefit from the place,” Jamal said. “And if you don’t want to live in it, you don’t have to. I don’t mind. But the office is always going to be an excellent place to work. It’s much bigger than your study.” He gestured to Bo with his cigar, blowing out another puff of smoke. “Won’t be long before you gotta convert that into another kid’s room. You know that just as well as I do,” he said.
“It’s nearly a two-hour drive to Los Angeles,” Bo said.
“And? Again, you don’t have to live here. And if you do, you’re only here full-time during the summer, anyway,” Jamal said.
Bo shook his head, uncomfortably shoving his hands into his pockets. “I don’t want it,” he repeated.
“I don’t understand the aversion.”
“I don’t understand why you keep reminding me you’re going to die,” Bo countered.
“Is that what this is about? You won’t take it because it means I’ll be dead?” Jamal asked.
Jamal snorted. “Kiddo, by God, I fucking love you, but everyone dies. When I go, I’d prefer this place didn’t get bulldozed to the damn ground. Lotta good memories in there,” he said. He turned back toward the house, his brow furrowed. “Lotta bad ones, too, but I suppose that’s not the point. The point is that this place is rightfully yours. You’ve earned it, and you’re going to need it even more once you take over for me. I’d much rather you hold meetings here than at your own home,” he said, turning back to Bo. “I want you to have this place. Sell it if you want, I guess, but you’re getting it in the will, whether you want it or not,” he said.
“You’re impossible. You know that, don’t you?” Bo asked.
Jamal cracked a smile. “Of course. I specialize in it.” He tapped his golf club against Bo’s upper arm. “You specialize in it, too, so don’t pretend to be Mister Innocent over there.”
Bo scoffed. “I do not.”
“Frank! How impossible is Mister Austen?” Jamal questioned.
The man looked up from where he sat in the golf cart, a pair of reading glasses perched on his nose. “How impossible is he?” Frank asked.
“Well, with no offense directed toward Mister Austen, he’s rather difficult,” Frank said.
“He said it like a gentle, loving soul, but he meant it,” Jamal said.
Bo laughed. “Just hit the ball, you jackass.”
“Bah.” Jamal slashed a hand through the air before finally moving into position and whacking the ball. “Beat that.”
“I would, but it’s your birthday,” Bo said.
Jamal reached out, shoving Bo as he walked past him. “Beat that,” he repeated.
Bo rolled his eyes, grabbing a club from the bag sitting upright on the ground. “Am I beating you in height or distance?” he questioned, bending down to set a ball on the golf tee stuck in the dirt.
“Ah, let’s aim for both.”
“Mm.” Bo’s mind—well-rested and entirely at ease—rifled through the equation that would fill him in on exactly how hard he needed to hit the little white golf ball. He threw a few rough estimates of height and distance into the equation before nodding. Satisfied with his stance and the arc in which he raised the club, he swung.
Jamal let out a low whistle. “Well, I’ll be damned.”
“Fucking got you,” Bo said, moving away from the tee.
“Gloat all you want, short stuff. I’m not insecure enough that being outdone revokes my man card,” Jamal said. “How’s the shoulder?”
“Fine. Feels good to move it, really,” Bo said.
“You should be wearing the sling,” Jamal said.
“Yes, more than likely. But it’s your birthday and I wanted to golf with you,” Bo said.
“It’s appreciated, kiddo,” Jamal said softly. “You sure you’ve never golfed before?” he asked.
“And what kind of large percentage have you put on that relatively?”
“About ninety-nine-point-nine percent,” Bo said.
Jamal chuckled, dropping another ball onto the tee. “You’re good at it,” he said. “How?”
“Math. When it comes down to it, most things in life can be equated directly to either math or some form of science. Memorize the equations, estimate the distances, solve for the force and arc of the swing,” Bo said. He crossed his arms over the golf club, raising an eyebrow. “People will tell you they’ll never use math again after graduating, but it can be used for just about anything if you know how to apply it. Which… you would, if you paid attention in school,” he said.
Jamal snorted, holding a hand above his eyes as he scanned the grassy land before them. “Regardless of how easy it is for you to blow through the solution for an equation, most people would need to Google how to write the equation and how to solve the more complex ones. That’s not a schooling issue,” he said. “That’s a ‘your brain works a hell of a lot quicker than mine’ issue,” he explained.
Bo chuckled, nodding. “Fair enough.”
Jamal blew out a breath of smoke before swinging, sending the ball flying out into the grass. “What’s your plan for the rest of the day?” he asked.
“I bought you another Grandfather-engraved Scotch bottle. It’s at the house, so I’ll need to get that for you,” Bo said.
“Amazing. Thanks, lab geek.”
“Mmhmm. Other than that, I set up a round of poker with your friends tonight. We’ll do that after you come over for supper and ice cream cake,” Bo said.
“Ice cream cake?”
“Hmm. Perfect,” Jamal said softly.
“Wayne will be over, as well. I saw no reason to exclude him from anything,” Bo said.
“That’s deeply appreciated, kiddo. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, Jamal.”
Enjoying the story? Consider dropping a comment or a like down below!!
Love what I do and want to help support me? You can ‘buy me a coffee’ on Ko-fi!