John Richards woke up with a start. He had been having a nightmare about Ogopogo attacking Ryan and Stephanie. He could feel that the tee shirt that he wore to bed was damp with perspiration. John let out a deep sigh of relief when he realized that it had only been a dream. He turned his head to look at his digital alarm clock. The clock displayed 3:33 AM. As John fell asleep shortly after midnight he realized that he only had about three and a half hours sleep. John reached for his pack of Cameo cigarettes on the night table. He decided that he would have a smoke to calm himself. After he finished his cigarette he would decide whether or not he should get up for the day or try to fall back asleep for a few more hours.
John thought of another reason why he had trouble sleeping. He had been dreading today’s visit at the hospital with his father. It had been several months since he had last had a phone conversation with his dad.
This last talk with Robert Richards had been a tense one for both father and son.
John had been reticent to discuss his father’s cancer and the strong possibility that Robert could die within a few months. John and his father had usually had a hard time talking about deep, heart felt personal issues.
Like most sons John had wanted to make his father proud of him. John remembered a time when he was a teenager and he knew that his dad had been proud of him. For three years John had been a star athlete at his local high school. He had been an outstanding linebacker on the football team and was the star goalie of his hockey team.
Robert made a priority of attending as many of his son’s games as possible. His face beamed with pride every time the crowd would cheer his son’s athletic performances. John had the knack for making a crucial tackle during a football game or making a near impossible save during a hockey game. John had twice received a standing ovation from the fans when he stopped penalty shots during hockey games. Robert Richards would always remember how proud he had felt when a scout for The Kelowna Katfish had approached him and asked him if his son would like to play goal for the Katfish in the near future.