On Tuesday morning, March 27, 2019, Harold Payton accepted a collect phone call from Headingly Correctional Centre. The call came from Ricky Kramer, Harold’s stepson and Clarissa’s biological son from her first marriage to Peter Kramer.
“Hey Dad, it’s Ricky.”
Although Ricky was not Harold’s biological son, he still referred to him as if he was. Herald had two children with Clarissa. They were both now adults. Harold first met his stepson, Ricky, when the boy was only three years old. Harold refused to make any distinction between his biological children and Ricky. Harold hated the term stepson and always referred to Ricky as if he were his own child.
“Hey Dad. How’s it going?” Ricky asked.
“Not bad. How are you doing?”
“Well, about as well as may be expected,” he answered.
Harold could hear someone else talking in the background.
“Hey. pal. Make it quick. I got to call my old lady.”
It was obviously another inmate waiting in line to use the pay phone.
Ricky replied, “Take it easy, Charlie. You can have the phone in a minute.”
“Well make it snappy. Laura can be a real bitch if I don’t return her calls,” the older convict replied.
Look Dad, the reason I’m calling is that they’re planning to let me out a couple weeks. They’re reducing my sentence by a few months for good behaviour. The only problem is that I need to let them know that I have a place to stay. Do you think I could stay at your place, Dad, at least temporarily?”
“Yeah, I don’t see why not, Ricky.”
“Are you planning on staying out of trouble. this time? Harold asked.
“Totally,” Ricky replied. My release date is April 22 at twelve noon. You think you could pick me up?”
“Sure. No problem, Rick. I’ll see you then.”
Harold felt a lot of guilt about Ricky. He hadn’t started to get into serious trouble until he and Clarissa separated. Harold paced around his living room nervously. Whisper had gone out in the afternoon to visit a friend. Harold started thinking that he would that he must be a glutton for punishment. In a few weeks he would have both Whisper and Ricky, two troubled young people living under the same roof with him. “I wonder how that’s going to work out?” Harold thought to himself.