The Serpent: Part 1

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Chapter 13

June 25, 2012

1:02 P.M.

Sam was in a terrible mood as he returned home, but he couldn’t help but form a giant smile on his face as Victoria and Madelyn excitingly ran into his arms right after he walked through the front door. He also couldn’t help but feel incredibly happy as he spent the rest of the day playing with the girls. After spending the entire week doing nothing but worrying about concerts, royalties, and photoshoots, it was great to have an entire day to just spend time with his daughters. Although he wasn’t a huge fan of “Pink, Pink, And More Pink,” he couldn’t help but hum the song a little bit as he had a tea party with the girls.

At around eight o’clock, Sam got the girls bathed and dressed into their adorable nightgowns. After helping the girls brush their teeth, he started walking over to their room to get them tucked in to bed. The girls then both started hopping up and down in front of him.

“Carry us!” Victoria shouted as she hopped. “Carry us!”

“Yeah, carry us!” Madelyn shouted.

“Come on girls,” Sam said. “Can’t we walk just this one time?”

Victoria and Madelyn both plopped down on the floor and shot adorable smiles up at him. Sam rolled his eyes.

Yeah, I’m definitely gonna’ be carrying them down the aisle, Sam thought as he lifted the girls up.

After reading the girls their bedtime story (one of their many Hello Kitty books), Sam began tucking the girls into their beds. Even at that point, the same thoughts from earlier were going through his head. But he refused to let it get in the way of his daughters.

“Daddy, am I pretty?” Victoria asked after Sam finished tucking her in.

“Of course you are, Sweetheart,” Sam replied, stroking the side of her face. “I think you’re really, really pretty.”

“Am I prettier than Madelyn?”

“Well, I don’t think either of you are prettier than the other. Y’all are both my pretty princesses.”

“Am I prettier than Katy Perry?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Yes, Sweetheart. You’re way prettier than Katy Perry.”

“Can I sing better than Katy Perry?”

“I don’t know. Can you sing her songs?”

“Yes I can!” Victoria sat up and began to sing loudly right in Sam’s face. “Oh! Oh! Oh! California Girls! Oh! Oh! Oh! California Girls!”

Sam laughed and clapped his hands. Madelyn giggled.

“That’s some great singing!” Sam said, still chuckling.

“Can I dance better than Katy Perry?” Victoria asked.

“I don’t know. Can you?”

Victoria suddenly leaped onto her feet and started dancing crazily on her bed. Sam jumped back in alarm.

“OH!! OH!! OH!! CALIFORNIA GIRLS!!” Victoria hollered at the top of her lungs as she danced. “OH!! OH!! CALIFORNIA GIRLS!!”

Sam laughed so hard that his chest began to hurt. Madelyn also began to laugh wildly.

Victoria eventually collapsed back down onto her bed and shot a cute little grin up at Sam. He reached down and tickled her neck, causing her to bust into fits of giggles.

“You’re such a little goofball,” Sam said, still chuckling.

“Oh! Oh! Oh!” Madelyn shouted. “California Girls!”

“Yep, y’all are California girls alright,” Sam said.

“Do I sing and dance better than Katy Perry?” Victoria asked.

“You sure do,” Sam replied.

“YAAAAYY!!!”

Chuckling, Sam tucked Victoria back under her covers. He then leaned over and gave Victoria a giant kiss on her cheek.

“Goodnight, my pretty little princess,” he said. “I love you so much.”

“Goodnight, Daddy,” Victoria replied.

Sam walked over to Madelyn’s bed and gave her a giant kiss as well. He then left the room.

Upon reaching his room, Sam collapsed down onto his bed and stared up at the ceiling. After thinking deeply for a moment, he sighed and frowned.

You’re right, Heather, Sam thought. I’m sure he did think of me every day. I’m sure all of them did. And I’m sure you do too.

After Sam stared up at the ceiling for what seemed like the longest time, he looked over at his clock. It was only a few minutes past nine. Sam sighed again.

There were so many things that Sam could’ve been doing at that moment. He had a concert in less than two weeks, he could’ve been preparing for that. There were so many songs that he still hadn’t finished writing. He was very desperate to finally finish “Torn Apart.” At the very least, he could’ve tried to clean up a little bit since over a hundred of the girls’ toys were strewn across the house. But he didn’t have the interest or energy to even move. His mind was entirely focused on all his past friends.

I’m sure he thought of me every day, Sam thought. And I think of him every day. Yet I wasn’t there. How can I call myself his friend? How can I ever call myself his friend?

Sam leaned over and looked at his nightstand. He then reached over opened and up the top drawer. Right there lay a folded sheet of paper that he hadn’t looked at in a year.

Shaking, Sam grabbed the piece of paper and unfolded it.

And I still think of you every day, Sam thought as he read the paper. And I always will.

After reading the paper about three times, Sam folded it back up and set it back in the drawer. Although he had half a mind to go grab an envelope and mail it, he just didn’t have the courage to. How would she respond?

It just isn’t meant to be, Sam thought. The time we had together was great, but that’s as great as it will ever get. There has to be someone out there for you. Someone better than me.

As memories began to play in his mind, Sam rolled over onto his face. He started having severe doubts that he would get any sleep that night.

Of course, laying on his face made it difficult for him to breath, so he eventually had to roll back over. He began to stare at the top drawer of his nightstand once again. If only he could get the folded paper out of his mind.

At that moment, Sam shifted his attention to the framed photograph sitting on top of the nightstand. The photo was of Victoria and Madelyn wearing cute little dresses and curtsying. Their smiles in the photo were beyond contagious.

As Sam stared at the photo even longer, a smile began to form on his own face. He carefully picked up the photo and kissed it. He then began to stare at the various other framed photos of Victoria and Madelyn all throughout the room. So many memories, so many beautiful moments…

Thank you for bringing them into my life, Sam thought as he stared at the photos. Thank you. I can’t imagine life without them. They are my world. Even in the darkest times, they will always bring a smile to my face. Thank you.

Sam kissed the photo one more time and set it back on the nightstand. He then lay down on his pillow and closed his eyes. He could hardly wait for the morning to come. He vowed to give both Victoria and Madelyn the biggest hug and kiss that he could possibly give.

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