I only know him as "The Man in the Grey Hoodie".
He's five-foot five, medium build. Short, black hair, almost buzz cut. He has green eyes and large, "Dumbo" ears.
He has a Dalí moustache.
And, of course, he wears a grey hoodie. Grey hoodie, black hand distressed denim jeans, cheap worn out white sneakers with a layer of dirt caked on top. Was last seen in said clothing and toting a SWISSGEAR® brand backpack, black in color.
All this sounds like some sort of a police description of a criminal suspect. But I'm no cop. I'm no ordinary worker either. Hell, I don't even have a full-time job! I'm a writer. A typical, mathematically-useless, academically-miserable, starving artist kind of writer who practically lives at Tim Hortons. But it's fine for me. Also, free Wi-Fi.
I am digressing, though. Ahem. Allow me to get back on track.
"The Man in the Grey Hoodie" — now I'll be frank, I do not know much about him myself. Aside from the visual description above, there's one other thing I know about him.
Several years ago — I'd say about a decade — he dropped into a bar for a blind date. Several hours later, he exited with his date under his arms. She was just a month past her 20th birthday, clearly giddy-headed after her few drinks. Both were content with the idea of ending their evening together with a hot, steamy night. Between the sheets.
I don't think I need to go that much into detail about what happened next, but when The Man in the Grey Hoodie found out that she was about to become a mother, he fled. He never attempted contact with her again, for fear that he might be identified. Nine months later, a boy came out, physically healthy, albeit fatherless.
To say life was hard for her would be an understatement. She juggled three jobs, dealt with all the bills and rent alone, and had to be a single parent for a bastard child. She had no living family members who could have come to her aid. But she refused to give him up, like most mothers I know of probably would (I mean no offense, please don't slap me!). She named the child Wesley. And for his entire life, he never knew what it was like to have a father.
Back to The Man in the Grey Hoodie. After dumping his short-lived relationship, he went on another blind date. This time he was paired up at a steakhouse, real tablecloth, quaint atmosphere, and service with a smile (Also annoyingly before the days of Wi-Fi, so there was no Wi-Fi there). Another woman barely out of her teenaged years. After an evening of flirtatious giggling and gestures and whatnot (I'm celibate), they rendezvoused to spend a quiet night together. A night together, yes; quiet, I'm not so sure.
She became pregnant, stricken with morning sickness and the ill thought of having a diaper-wetter in her hands. But The Man in the Grey Hoodie wanted none of that. He, too, left her. For dead, he must've thought. But she fought, and fought hard, and today she is still fighting. But on delivery day, despite all the fears and the dilemmas that crossed her mind, she called the boy her own. Jordan will be his name, she declared. And I shall raise him as my own son.
These two boys grew up in two different households, in two different neighborhoods, under the care of two different mothers. Yet, they had the same father — The Man in the Grey Hoodie.
Neither of them knew what it was like to have a father. Neither of them knew what it was like to have siblings. They could only hear their mothers talking about family relationships — and when they entered school, could only see other kids with their siblings and their fathers and relatives. They wanted all the things we tend to take for granted. They wanted a dad who could provide for them and play with them in the setting summer sun. They wanted relatives whom they could visit every Saturday, or have them come and visit, just to know that there was more to their family beyond the four walls of their home. They wanted grandparents who would cuddle them and spoil them and do everything grandparents would do. But more than anything, they wanted a brother. A close companion, one that could listen and talk like no other. One they could confide all the secrets even mom and dad needn't know about. One they could pick fights on, win, and have the whole debacle settled by lunchtime. One they knew that the bond they shared would be invulnerable to the things that would normally dissolve close friendships, romantic interests, and marriage.
And yet, they had the latter. They just didn't know about it.
Until one very, very lucky incident. Some say it was by chance. Others say God had personally arranged it. But I'm getting ahead of myself, and I'm ruining the story. Looks like I forgot to insert SPOILER ALERT!!! tags in the beginning of this section.
Thus, I shall tell you, this heartfelt story about these two half-brothers who, despite having grown up in different families, are still able to form the close, brotherly bond like any other brother would to his brother. First friends. Then best friends. Then... too close to be a friend? Everyone else comments about how we're alike. Maybe we are who we think we are?
Well, I should get to the story soon, for the sun is beginning to set. It stains the sky with a brilliant orange flare. My, the sky's on fire! Also, fewer customers in the shop, which means fewer buggers hogging up the Wi-Fi. Also fewer buggers lining up for whatever they want, so I can get my refills more quickly. This is the time of day, and the type of environment, that I write best in. Do bear with me — if I get coffee stains on the paper, it was purely an accident.
Oh, and about The Man in the Grey Hoodie? Well, he was never really seen again.