Troy leaned further until he accidentally head-butted the spectator in front of him. “Sorry,” he said in a dreary manner, eyelids opening with difficulty. It was one of those days again when he overdosed on Avandia, which led to an insulin spike, which led to a blood sugar drop, which led to a temporary loss of consciousness.
“Can I have your Twix and the water too?” He took out a 10-dollar bill and handed it to the spectator he just head-butted in exchange for the two items. The creamy caramel and cookie crunch not only invaded his taste buds, but also revitalized his senses. “That was pretty close, ain’t that right son?”
He turned to look over his right shoulder to check on his 13-year old boy, but saw an empty seat instead. Panic struck his heart. This is great, one thing after another. He calmed himself down, it wasn’t the first time his son wandered off and eventually came back to rejoin him. His son is now old enough to look after his own, he convinced himself.
He took out his phone and dialed his son’s number. It was a wise decision to buy Ethan a smartphone at his age. Never knew when he would drift off again. The phone kept ringing but no one answered until the standard voicemail greeting came up. “Give me a call, Ethan. I’m worried about you. Come back to our seats. I’m sure you can find your way.” Hopefully, his son wasn’t playing on one of his collections of games on his phone, not at a time like this.
Sitting down and waiting for his son to come back was all he could do at the moment. He looked at the scoreboard; the Giants were trailing the Broncos 15-21. His vision turned down to the field; the Giants were on defense with six on the line, three linebackers, and two in secondary. Something seemed wrong with the middle linebacker. He wasn’t on the Giant’s usual roster. Could he possibly be one of the substitutes?
There wasn’t time to think because his son still didn’t come back. He looked down the left side of his row. A fat man was eating his bacon hot dog. He looked down the right. A brunette model wannabe was tending to her fingernails. “Excuse me, have you seen my son? He was sitting right here next to you a couple minutes ago.”
“Sorry, couple of minutes ago, I should’ve been busy with my eyelashes. I’ll let you know when I see him.”
He called again; still no reply, not even a text message. Could he be in the washroom? Where were the washrooms exactly? Despite coming here a few times over the past few years, he still had trouble navigating MetLife Stadium where aluminum louvers and blue lighting gathered. He stared back down onto the field.
The mysterious middle linebacker was now looking directly at him, in a hunched position. Troy pointed his index finger at himself to confirm whether he was the intended target.
The linebacker nodded, ever so gently. Without hesitation, he stood up straight and pointed up to the sky with his right hand, elbow down. His teammates were busy defending the run, yet he was there standing in a soldier’s salute and pointing up.
Troy looked up and couldn’t find a single bird in the sky. He looked back down a bit to the scoreboard. Same score. But then he noticed a navy blue baseball cap hooked onto the right corner of the scoreboard. It was his son’s Yankees baseball cap.
The father stood up, adrenalin pumping through his system, and took a sip of the water that he bought from the man in front of him. He choked, not only because he was worried, but because there was a piece of paper in his mouth. He unfolded the crumpled, wet, and slimy piece of paper and read the navy blue-colored letters inside. “We have your son,” the message read.