The arcade was bustling with kids.
The neon lights were blaring through the darkened room, the music dancing off the game machines where the joysticks were being battered by hyperactive children.
Shouts of anger and celebrations of winning echoed the hall as the owner flicked through the cash from the till.
Business had never been so good and he prided himself in opening up business on the bay.
No arcades around for miles, he chuckled shaking his head in disbelief counting the money he had made in an hour. If kids were this stupid he could start charging them entry he thought.
He considered this for a moment and then shook his head again.
Not even a fraud like him could get away with charging the kids for entry,
not when Sargent Mullin was skulking around with his obnoxiously large nose fixed to the ground like a mutt trained to sniff out a bomb.
He never understood men who would lie their reputation on the line so easily especially when it concerned children who could run circles round the man no bother.
The owner lent back in his chair, kicking his legs up onto his desk watching the children stare like zombies, infatuated with the large colourful blinking screens. Not bad a business.
Not that his ex wife had ever cared. Not that he cared what she cared about. He never had. It was a marriage of convenience he liked to think of it.
He would come out to earn the money for the family and then his wife would let him sleep with her. Him and his wife had never been careful in that respect.
That’s how it ended up being him, his wife and Billy.
But that had all ended when she met that bloke from the next street up when out shopping and soon enough she had sent her husband out the door ready for her new one to move in.
He had then moved to the seaside with Billy while his ex wife got the house ready for the new baby.
The fresh air would do billy good she thought and maybe he would spend more time outside then playing those stupid computer games like his useless father.
The arcade owner sighed as he reached forward and pressed the bell to signal all the children to get out for closing time.
He got up and emptied the till as the voices of the children passed him loudly and died away again as the arcade emptied. The owner left his office, locking up.
He turned and looked at the arcade. There was something beautiful about gaming machines, the bright colours and designs were so intricate and eye catching.
He amused himself and switched off the lights, closing the door of the arcade behind him and making his way once again back home.
The windy air pinched at his face as he made his way along the pier. Thankfully he lived close by. He decided to stop by the fish and chip van to get the dinner for him and Billy.
He handed over a tenner freshly cut from the arcade till, the wind whistling in his ear. If his ex wife could see him now still buying Billy the most unhealthy food there was.
He was never a skinny boy the owner contemplated as he made his way to the flat with the fish suppers under his arm.
Billy had been a bouncing baby at 9 pounds when he was born and never stopped the rapid growth that his mother had tried to contain during his infancy.
No matter how much she had tried to make him diet Billy had sneaked to the kitchen and stolen food,
ran to the shops when he was older and gorged on sweets outside the house and continued to buy pies and pastries from the bakers every lunch time at school.
His father, not a thin man himself had never minded and wondered why his wife cared so much. If Billy wanted another chocolate ice cream then Billy would get another chocolate ice cream.
He reached the flat unlocking the front door and banging it behind him.
He walked into the sitting room where Billy was spread across the sofa, his thick thighs planted across either cushion, flattening the black leather.
His eyes sank into the TV set as his piggy thumbs tweaked the joysticks on the playstation remote.
His father greeted him by slapping a fish supper on his lap and sank down in the chair opposite.
Billy threw his remote to one side and flipped open the container, throwing the chips into his mouth. His father watched him as he ate his own chips steadily. Suddenly the phone went.
The arcade owner slapped his fish supper to the side and picked up the wireless phone on the table next to him. It was his ex wife.
Billy’s eyes watched his father intently as he saw his eyes roll back into his head and his fingers press into his forehead in stress.
This didn’t stop Billy who was now tucking into his fish, using his hands to break up the batter. The arcade owner finally ended the call, and placed the phone down.
He lifted the supper back onto his lap and continued to eat. Why did his ex wife feel the need to check up on him and Billy constantly.
She never did trust him with raising children, not that it was his fault they had lost a baby before Billy. He felt that she had always blamed him for it.
Maybe felt that he had been working too many hours and hadn’t helped out enough, leaving her to do it all and over stressing her body. He had been broken when they lost Angie.
3 months premature, no chance he thought shaking his head. That little baby had no chance. He somehow wished he could turn back the clocks, live life with his wife and Angie.
He had always wanted a daughter. Angie had been his mothers name and his wife had been more than happy to name the baby after her.
But then the miscarriage had happened and everything had changed. Their marriage had quickly turned in to the mutual exchange of work and sex which had resulted in Billy.
The arcade owner looked over at his son, his tiny eyes made even smaller by the swollen cheeks squashing his face into a fit to burst balloon,
his little fat thumbs again fidgeting over the controller now he had finished his supper.
The arcade owner shook his head and took the rest of his supper and the empty container of Billy’s into the kitchen. He stared out the window at the darkness of the sky, watching the stars.
His thoughts were interrupted by Billy who grunted for another soda.
Yeah the arcade owner thought, Things could be worse he agreed, as he picked up another soda and passed it over to Billy who immediately guzzled the lot.