Back To Square One

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Chapter 11

Day 2

Sam wasn’t at school today. I looked everywhere for her. I even went to the office to ask if she had contacted them. I was dead tired but I couldn’t stop searching for her. I was growing very concerned and every time I phoned her, only to get her voicemail, was driving me off the wall.

My parents knew there was more to the story than I was telling them. They couldn’t believe Sam would just snap and start shouting at me and punch people. But I wouldn’t let up. If I told the truth then I would haveto tell them everything – and I was still kind of angry at them for freaking out on me when I told them I had got Kimberly pregnant, when they did the exact same thing themselves – except that I actually loved the girl.So I was not ready to hear the whole truth from them yet. They were annoyed about me punching Danny but also felt that he deserved it.

As the day went onthe events of the previous day wereeating at me, including the worry I felt about Sam, not knowing if she was okay. I couldn’t understand why it bothered me so much. I mean we weren’t friends. I didn’t want to be her friend and she only helped tutor me. Nothing more! Then why didn’t this nagging feeling go away? Maybe it was because it was I who started this entire mess that it was bugging me so much.

By the end of the school day my mood was totally sour. Coach benched me for the entire practice because I kept picking fights with my teammates, especially Danny. I’m still not over his and Kimberly’s betrayal. What they did to me, and then what Kimberly tried to do to me, had cut me way deeper than I let on. Not even my parents knew how much I was hurting. I think the person who came closest to ever seeing that hurt was Sam.

As I sat on the bench thinking up revenge plans for the coach benching me, it dawned on me that I was not just angry with Danny and Kimberly, I was also angry at my parents, Sam’s parents, and at Sam. Why, just when I was getting things under control did it all go haywire again? Could Sam not have just stayed in Ireland or Iceland, or where ever the hell her aunt is, and left us in peace?

I could deal with Danny and Kimberly but now I lived with the question of whether my parents really loved each other, and me, for that matter? It was all because Sam decided to come back into our lives. Her parents were the cause of everything that happened: I hate her parents for what they have done to me, my parents and to her.

As I looked out onto the field at the guys running drills, my mind drifted back to Sam. That red hair of hers! I know it is not her natural colour but it is so vibrant and brings out the beautiful seagreen of her eyes and her plump, red lips. They always look so kissable. And that body, man, how you can miss a body like that? I really cannot remember her body looking so good when she left here three years ago.

But no, it’s not only her looks that draw my attention. It’s the way she smiles and then breaks into laughter when she finds something funny. She throws her head back and just lets it all out. The way she chews her bottom lip when she thinks and tries to explain something to me. She is smart and funny and caring. I can see there is a hell of a lot of sadness behind the laughter in her eyes and I wish she had let me in so I could have been there for her, to hold her when she is sad, to loo–.

Wait! Did I just say ‘to hold her when she is sad’? I back tracked my thoughts and then one thing struck me.Well,actually, two things.

The first thing was, I hurt her really badly and really deeply yesterday. I exploited her weaknesses and played on her emotions.

No wonder she snapped. I took the anger I felt for her parents and mine out on her. I was never really angry with her; she was just an easy target. She must have felt horrible for what happened, when she, herself, must have been dealing with all that betrayal from her parents – and I accused her of being just like them. I called her repulsive.

Secondly, I think I have feelings for her. Not like I want her to be my friend, more like I want to love her. I want to hold her. I want to take away her sadness.

I shot out of my seat as that thought crossed my mind, knocking over my chair and the water drum in the process, and earning me another scornful look from the coach.

“I’ve got to go coach. I’ll see you at practice next week. I’m sorry I was a jerk! I’ll be better by then.” I was shouting at the coach as I grabbed my bag and started running for my car. I had to get home and sort this business out with my parents. I needed to know the truth from them and then I really needed to find Sam.

As I charged into the house a little while later, I immediately started calling out to my parents.

“Mom! Dad! Anybody home?” I stood in the entrance hall looking at the pictures in the living room, waiting for my parents to answer. When no answer came I rushed up the stairs, dropped my bag in my room and barged into my parents’ room calling out to them again as I ran.

“Mom! Dad! Are you guys ho-. . .” Freezing mid-sentence, I got the second shock of my life that week. I heard my mom scream and scramble for cover and saw the look of utter disbelief and embarrassment on my dad’s face as he looked at me over his shoulder.

“At least that answers one of my questions. . . Um, when you guys are done I’ll be in the kitchen washing my eyes out with soap and trying to erase this image from my mind. I need to talk to you guys,” I said as I backed out of their room, closing the door.

I went back downstairs trying not to laugh at what I encountered. That would teach me not to knock before entering a room with a closed door! Plus that answered my ‘do they really love each other?’ question, as I don’t think they would be going at it like rabbits if there weren’t some form of love or attraction between the two of them.

Heading into the kitchen, my mind still working through seeing my mom and dad naked and on top of each other, I decided to make myself some lunch while I waited for them. I forced myself not to listen for any sounds as I went about making my sandwich.

My dad entered the kitchen, breaking me out of my thoughts. “Don’t ever just barge into our room when the door is closed. Knock next time!” My dad tried to keep a stern expression on his face but I could see his smile winning out.

We both looked at each other and then just burst out laughing. When we finally caught our breath, I high fived my dad and promised him I would never again just enter their bedroom, as I never wanted a repeat of today.

“Where is mom? I really need to talk to you both about something totally unrelated,” I told my dad.

“She will be down in a second. Don’t say anything about what you saw. She is very embarrassed about it. Why are you home anyway? Don’t you have rugby practice until five today?”

“That’s what I want to talk to you guys about.” Before I could continue my mom came into the kitchen, blushing like crazy.

But, as promised, I didn’t say anything and continued with my story. “You see, ever since the fight yesterday at school involving Sam, Kimberly,Danny and me,I have been extremely grumpy. I picked a fight with Danny in practice today so coach benched me for the rest of the practice.” Seeing the look in my dad’s eyes I quickly continued before he could lash out at me.

“You can kill me later for that. Just let me finish, please.” My mom placed a hand on my dad’s arm, using only her eyes to calm him down. “That’s why I’m home so early today,” I continued. “You see, I didn’t tell you guys the entire story about what happened yesterday because I wasn’t ready to hear the truth from you guys.”

“Son, what are you talking about? What really happened yesterday?” my dad asked me with concern on his face, his anger forgotten for the moment.

“You see, after mom told me about you guys knowing Sam’s parents and how you all fit in together, I lost it. I was afraid that you guys only got married because mom got pregnant with me, which, by the way, is way hypocritical of you guys – taking into consideration how you nearly killed me when I told you Kimberly was pregnant. I kept thinking I ruined your lives and you guys didn’t love nor like each other, and only stayed together for my sake. I can clearly see now that is not the case.” As I said this, my mom blushed again and hid her face behind my dad.

“So I started to avoid Sam. Cancelled our tutoring sessions and kind of waged war on her at school. Finally, after all that, she cornered me wanting know what was going on.With my own hurt and insecurities at that stage, I lashed out at her and pushed her hurt over the top. I said terrible things to her and broke her down completely in front ofthe entire school. I accused her of being just like her parents and told her that she would turn out like them, and then I called her disgusting. ”

There was a sharp intake of breath from my mom and I am sure I heard my dad growl at me in anger. I quickly continued.

“So Sam lost it, and when Kimberly made another nasty comment to her she punched her in the face and took off. Danny made a crack about me putting Sam in her place and shutting Kimberly up. That’s when I punched him, shutting him up as well.

“I understood at that moment that what I said was only my own hurt talking and that’s why I tried to find her.” The pain of it all must have shown on my face as my mom forgot all about her embarrassment and rushed over to me, pulling me into a bear hug.

My mom kept soothing me like I was crying, which I was not. My dad found his voice first. “Son, your mom and Iwould have ended up together even if she hadn’t become pregnant with you. We were in the process of starting to see each other when she found out she was expecting you. We weren’t so happy about how it all came about, but in the end it was how it was meantto be. In your case, you and Kimberly would maybe have lasted until the end of high school, but she was never the girl for you. I love your mom very much and I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

“That picture in the dining room was as much a chance for Sam’s parents to say sorry as it was for us to tell them thank you. I think, in the end, if they hadn’t cheated on us we would have ended up cheating on them. Your mom and I were made for each other. As for Samantha, I think you owe her an apology. She didn’t deserve anything you said to her. That girl has the world’s hurt in her heart and we don’t need to add to it – we need to help her get rid of it.

“Remember she has suffered more than all of us. She not only has to deal with the guilt of what her parents did to your mom and me, she also has to deal with the shame her parents left behind and the loss of her little brother. As for Kimberly and Danny, they most certainly deserved what happened to them. But if anyone asks I will never admit to that.” My dad came around the table and gave my mom and me a hug.

“The two most precious people in my life. . .”

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