A group of young girls walk past us, each one making their own comment as we walk by.
"Yo, pops," one calls out at dad. "You mind helping a girl get up out of a bitch?"
"Hey there, sexy," another winks as she blows me a kiss.
"What the hell you looking at," one yells at Reagan.
"They probably just got back from lunch or something," I try and assure Reagan.
When we finally reach the visiting room, it takes a minute, but we soon spot Evan. He's seated in the very back of the room, looking around as if he's been waiting for us to visit him. But when he finally sees us he immediately puts his head down in his folded arms, on the table - as if we weren't who he was expecting.
"Hey, buddy. How've you been? They treating you pretty good around here."
Evan doesn't even bother to raise his head to answer, "What do you think?"
"Well I don't know, Evan. That's why I asked."
"Drop it, dad. Why don't you," Evan breathes from beneath his arms.
"Alright, son. Whatever you want. Your brother and sister and I drove all the way down here just to come see you today. The least you could do is say hello."
Evan raises his head from his arms and takes in the sight of Reagan and me, "Rae. Jake."
"You know, Evan this year will be Jake's senior year and Reagan will be a sophomore."
"You don't say," he says as he lays his head back down. "Where does the time go. I'd hardly known summer was almost up."
I try to think of something witty to say. Something that will make him at least crack a smile. If not just, half of one. My best friend, Max would know what to say. He's always so good with conversation, no matter who he's talking to. But with me, the first thought that comes to mind is: "Hey Ev, you remember that movie "Over The Hedge," don't you?"
I watched as he raised his head again, "The cartoon?"
"Yeah, that one."
Evan shrugs his shoulders and looks back at me, "And? What about it?"
I glance at Rae, to no avail. She's too busy checking her phone for missed calls and messages that aren't coming anytime soon. So there I am-alone. Stuck on an irrelevant topic, even for forced small talk
"Well it was on the other day and it occurred to me that Bruce Willis makes one hell of a raccoon. I mean if I had to choose a voice to hear from a raccoon it'd definitely be Bruce Willis's voice."
Evan's blank stare alerts me that I've lost him, so I try another approach.
"It's got some good music in it too, don't you think? Ben Folds. Have you heard any good music lately?"
And just as the last few words escape from my mouth, I realize that I've made a huge mistake in asking him this question.
"Have I heard any good music, lately? No, Jake. Not lately. And before you even try and attempt to ask me why - it's because they don't allow us to in here. Afraid one of us would abuse the privilege and try and strangle ourselves if not someone else with our earphones. Pretty ingenuous if you really think about it."
"I'm sorry, Evan. I didn't…"
"You didn't what, Jake? You didn't know? For Christ sake, man they don't even let us wear tennis shoe laces, in here. So don't even bother apologizing. Tony, Tony," Evan calls out. "I think I'm done here," he says as he stands up. "I'd be lying if I said I was glad to see you all, so I won't. But good luck with high school, you two. Oh and Jake, I hope you take to college better than I did. See you, guys. Have a safe drive back, I'm sorry to have wasted your time."
"Now Evan," Dad said, as he repositioned himself in his seat. "You didn't waste our time."
"No, dad?" Evan said, without so much as even a glance in our direction as he walked towards the visiting room exit. "Well, you sure as hell wasted mine."