In moments of anxiety when he didn’t feel like talking to his parents or felt like the issue wasn’t one to be discussed with members in his household, Alex took a few different routes: that of silence, that of songwriting, or that of discussions with his grandfather. The man had lived a life and he managed to talk about things in a very real way, because he regarded all his grandchildren as individuals who he could speak to frankly. Alex’s parents thought there may have been too much honesty from time to time but it’s what Alex loved about his grandfather. He was witty, told the best stories, and gave the best advice. He didn’t hold back and didn’t treat his grandchildren as though they were too young to understand the things he was saying. One afternoon while Alex was over at his house, still a young boy, they sat together building structures out of lego and casual conversation went on between them and the issue of strength came up. Miles was talking about his own father, a strong man who protected his family, and the passion was evident. When he told stories, people listened. Alex put down the lego pieces and was wrapped up in this tale that he managed to make so extraordinary. As always, a bible verse managed to get thrown in there as well. He carried this small bible around with him at times even though he knew his favorite passages by heart. He claimed he liked feeling that physical closeness wherever he went. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works. Matthew 5:15.” “Do you like that one, is it your favorite?” Miles couldn’t help but laugh. “My boy, I’ve got many favorites…but yes. Yes. This is one of my favorites. What do you make of it?” “Um, maybe that you need to be good and you need to do something good in this world?” “That’s the beauty of the bible. Interpretations. Don’t give in to the bullshit anyone else feeds you, the bible is about taking parts to apply it to yourself where you see applicable. It’s not necessarily about being good, it’s about being seen. About making your mark in this world, hopefully for the good, but more importantly with something you are so passionate about. You don’t want to be a dulled out light shining in the background. You want to be a vibrant flame, doing what you love, showcasing that for yourself and to others. You want to be the light of the world. When you find what you love, who you love, why you love, you hold on to that and you keep it. Keep working towards it. You let your light shine. Brightly.”
“Thomas, listen to me.” “I just...I don’t understand. What is going on with him? Sure, he likes music, that’s great, but for god’s sake do it as a hobby and see how you handle it from there. Don’t throw yourself into this world of uncertainty before you have an actual career first.” “Thomas.” “Emily needs to be tougher on him, we need to put on a united front. She’s told him she’s not sure and she’s scared but she’s not as tough as me when it comes to the kids, you know. But for right now that’s what I need. We both need to let him know that this is unacceptable. I raised him to value his education, to go to university. He didn’t even apply to university. He didn’t even apply. He just said, hey, I’m done my mandatory studies, I’m out. I can’t believe it. What happened here?” “Thomas, for fuck’s sake, breathe.” “Dad.” “No, listen to me. I understand that you’re mad. I get it. You think I was happy when you called me from your little roadtrip to the countryside when you said you were going to miss the first few days of school?” “That’s different and you know it.” “He’s a smart kid.” “He’s a seventeen year old kid. There you go. A kid. A child.” “But he’s a smart kid.” “Smart kids can do stupid things.” “So let him do his stupid thing. Best case scenario, he succeeds at it. Worst case scenario, he comes crawling back and you get to tell him that you were right.” “I don’t know…” “I don’t know either, but I trust him. He really, really wants to do this. He believes in it with all his heart. That takes some balls, don’t you think? I taught you to go after what you wanted, and I know you taught that to your kids. He’s doing that. Not in the way you would have wanted him to, but he’s doing that.” “I can’t accept that.” “Just give it time, my boy. See what happens. You never know. I hope for the best.”
“Have you called him yet?” “Emily has.” “Have you spoken to him yet?” “No.” “Thomas, this is ridiculous.” “What’s ridiculous is that my son is in an apartment with five other people who all think they’re the next big thing and he’s struggling to pay the goddamn rent thinking that he can live off of this dream he’s concocted in his head. It’s madness. I don’t understand why he’s doing this. Emily, please. No— I don’t care. Sorry, dad.” “You need to call him.” “I’ve got nothing to say.” “Oh, bullshit. You’re dying to talk to him. Let your ego get out of the way. I just talked to him a couple days ago. He doesn’t have that much right now, but that’s part of what he’s doing. You’re not going to hand him any favors if this is what he wants to do, and it’s what he wants to do. He accepts all of that. He’s been doing shows with some bloke. Some rap man. I don’t know, he’s happy about it.” “Well, that’s good for him.” “Thomas.” “Father.” “I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.” “Yes, because we definitely left on great terms.” “Doesn’t matter. You’re his father. A boy needs to talk to his father. Call him.” “Goodnight, dad. I’ll talk to you later.” It takes Thomas twenty minutes until he calls Alex, but he does, and it was the start of their bond becoming stronger than ever.
“Alex, I just saw you on TV!” “Did you? Granddad...you can move back from the screen, I can see you good and well.” “Oh, yes. Right. Well, this technology business is not my forte. The good ‘ole phone call is lost on most these days, right? Ah, my boy. You were great. Just great. Amazing. Got all my mates to watch with me, we are so proud over here. So proud. You were almost perfect.” “Almost perfect, huh? What did I need to be completely perfect?” “You’ve got to dress up, Alex. You are onstage performing for people and it doesn’t matter if you’re performing for a homeless man or the Queen. You should always look your best, especially with a well fitting suit. Everyone needs one. Do you have one?” “I’ve got one.” “How old is it?” “Couple years old.” “Alex, come on now. You need to get yourself a proper suit.” “Alright, I will. I can’t promise I’ll wear it while performing, though. I sort of like what’s been going on now.” “What, the whole ‘I look like I just rolled out of bed’ look?” “Hey, it’s very in now.” “I saw you at that award shindig, you weren’t even wearing a suit then. Come on, Alex. These are the basics. For events that are fancy, you need to look the part. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they wear a suit and you want to present yourself well, don’t you?” “That I do, that I do. Alright, I got it. How are you doing?” “Me? I’m good, getting older, but the whiskey keeps me young.” “Yeah, I’m sure it does. Glad you’re doing alright. You still go to bingo?” “Do I go to bingo? With the rest of the old farts? Yeah, sometimes, when I feel like an especially old fart.” “You’re crazy, you know that?” “Yeah, it’s what makes me so much fun to deal with. Nan is shaking her head right now. This is what you’re stuck with, my love! Hahaha, oh, she just gave me the face." “You better be very scared. Alright, let me talk to her.” “Okay, okay. Going to hand her over to you. Love you. Be safe. Be good. Buy a proper suit and wear it.” “I will, I will. Got it. Love you too, granddad.”
“So I’m just going to take this time to thank all of you for coming to the show and I’m going to give an extra special thank you to my granddad who’s in the audience tonight.” The crowd cheers loudly. “He’s been through a lot, he’s helped me through a lot, and he’s right over there in the crowd.” Alex points over to a section in the front row. “Everyone say hi to grandpa Miles.” The crowd repeats and cheers even louder. “He’s gonna kill me for this, by the way. He stressed that he was trying to go incognito but still managed to dress up in a three piece suit. That had to be noticed, don’t you think? Alright, I’m done now. Love you granddad. Thank you.” Miles beams proudly, standing near his wife, his son, his daughter in law and grandkids. On the other side of him, he finds amusement by nudging the two teen girls trying to enjoy the concert. "Yup, that's my grandson. See right over there? Onstage? That's him. Just like he said. I'm his grandad. That's my grandson. Look at him! He's amazing, right? Incredible."