The rest of the first meeting lasted around 25 minutes, after which his friend met him outside. “What was with you acting so nervous all of a sudden?”
“I didn’t have an answer. I hadn’t given that any thought.”
“Keeping your head down when talking isn’t ‘I don’t have an answer’.” Alex sighed in response. “Seriously though, is something going on?”
“Not really. I’ve just had my mind on a lot of crap lately.”
Nathan wasn’t buying it. “You’ve been acting really defensive about things recently, though. Since you got those bites even.”
For a second, Alex debated whether to stick with the ‘It’s nothing’ argument. He had to give his friend some clout however; he was picking up on something and saying he was being defensive was part of it. Even though he had every reason to be.
“I’m just worried about what that thing’s going to do next.” As he started to reply, Alex could feel his eyes getting misty and blinked rapidly to clear them.
Nathan considered the response longer than normal. “Worried about your Dad?”
“Yeah.” Alex replied with his index finger rubbing his upper lip. “Granted I told him what I could, and no officers have been attacked, but…eh. I don’t know.”
“That doesn’t sound like what’s bothering you. To me anyway.”
“It’s not just that. If that animal went after Angela, and me, what happens if Dad finds it somewhere? On patrol?”
“Can’t he shoot it or something?”
“Yeah, he can,” Alex’s voice produced a crack as he spoke. “but if it attacks him?” Breathing loudly, he felt a tear drop from his eye, wiping any more away afterward. “I don’t want to hear he’s in the hospital, and it could happen. The way this thing is acting.”
This time, Nathan took the initiative when a pause presented itself. “Dude, have some faith in him.”
“I do, man. I really do, but I can’t imagine him getting bitten like I was.”
“I get you.” This time, Nathan paused for a second.
Alex wiped his eyes again. “Aw, geez.”
“Were you expecting me to say, ‘Go ahead and cry’ or something?”
Alex shook his head, smiling a bit as well. “No, but that did make me feel better.”
“Guess I needed to vent a bit. Thanks, man.”
“No problem. Actually, Alex?” He replied with a ‘Yeah?’ “Personally, with everything I’m seeing from you as of the last few weeks, I’m getting a bit worried.”