“Daddy, Daddy wake up! You need to take me to school.” Ethan said as he woke me up.
“Tell mum to take you to school. Where is she?” I groaned and asked him.
“Mum left. She went to the hospital.” He said.
“Ooh. Okay. Let me shower then we will go.” I told him and got up.
My wife and I have two great kids. Ethan and Riley. Ethan is 8 years old and Riley is 16 years old. Ever since Riley became a teen, she has been a problem. She doesn’t want to listen to us. She does what she feels like. She is always angry. It’s like my wife has given up on her. I hope someday she will act like any other normal kid.
I got up and showered then went downstairs. I found Riley watching Tv.
“Hey Riley.” I greeted her. She looked at me with an angry face and said “Morning dad.”
“Um..aren’t you going to school today?” I asked her.
“I am not!” She said angrily.
“Why? What’s wrong? Are you sick?” I asked her.
“Yeah. I am not feeling well.” She said.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Stomach cramps!” She said and went to her room then banged the door.
“I am taking Ethan to school. Do you need anything?” I asked her from downstairs.
“I don’t want anything!” She shouted.
I took Ethan to school. On our way Ethan asked “Dad why is Riley always angry?”
“Um..I really don’t know how to answer you but it’s a phase that she is passing through to adulthood.” I told him.
“Oooh. Okay...will I also pass that phase?” He asked.
“Yup but I think yours will be kinda different.” I told him. Suddenly my phone rang and Madison was calling.
“Hey handsome.” She said as I picked up the phone.
“Madison, how have you been?” I asked her.
“Have been missing you the whole weekend. I waited for you to come but you ditched me.” She said angrily.
“I am sorry. I had to go to Ethan’s game. You know how important his game is. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I told her.
“You better make it and remember we have a date.” She said.
“Madison, we already talked about dates. I said no dates!” I told her. She is now getting on my nerves.
“See you tomorrow at 7pm.” She said and hanged up.
I have known Madison for about 5 years now. I first met her at the immigration office. I am an immigration lawyer. The moment my eyes laid on her. I knew she needed my help. I tried everything that I could to help her and she finally got her green card. One night she called me to her hotel to thank me for everything that I did for her. We had a couple of drinks and one thing led to another, the next morning I found myself in her bed. I really felt guilty for cheating on my wife.
After that incident I tried my best to avoid her. My wife suspected something but I lied to her. Madison was different. There was something about her that kept pushing me towards her.
After two months of avoiding her. I couldn’t take it anymore. I looked for her and that’s when I started an affair with her. I am a bit older than her. What I like most about Madison, she listens. Whenever I tell her something. She does exactly the same as I told her.
“Dad, we just passed my school.” Ethan told me.
He brought me back to earth. I reversed the car to his school and dropped him.
“Alright buddy. I’ll see you later.” I told him.
“Okay dad. Can you please come to my practice later today?” He asked me with his puppy eyes.
“Um..I don’t know. I’ll try my best to be there okay?” I asked him.
“Okay.” He said and left. Sometimes I get so busy and I forget to attend to my kids event. I remember one time I missed Ethan’s soccer game. He was so angry with me. I had to buy him icecream the whole week just to make it up to him. Ever since I try my best to balance work and my family. My phone rang.
“Hey Aiden. Did you take Ethan to school?” Audrey asked me as I picked up the phone.
“Yeah. I did.” I told her.
“Alright. I am sorry I left early today. I had a morning shift.” She said.
“It’s alright hey. Don’t worry about it. You always take him to school so today was my turn.” I told her.
“Okay. Did Riley go to school?” She asked.
“Nope. She has stomach cramps. I left her sleeping.” I told her.
“I hope she is not lying. She has been skipping school lately.” She told me.
“Really? When did that start?” I asked.
She exhaled then said “A couple of days.”
“Did you talk to her? You know like to find out what’s wrong with her?” I asked.
“You know how she is. She doesn’t want to open up to me. I really feel sad about it.” She told me.
“I am sorry. I am going home right now. I’ll try to talk to her.” I told her.
“Okay. I don’t think if I’ll be home early. Talk to you later. Bye!” She said and hanged up.
After a few minutes I got home. I went to Riley’s room and knocked. “Come in.” She said.
“Hey.” I said to her.
“Hey.” She said and laid in bed.
“Um...can I talk to you?” I asked her.
She looked at me with an angry face and asked “What is it?”
“Riley are you alright? Mum told me you have been skipping school lately.” I told her.
“I-I..I am f-fine.” She stammered.
“It’s okay sweetie. You can talk to me. Feel free.” I told her.
“I-I don’t know. I just feel something is not alright with you and mum.” She finally said.
Why would she think that? Does she know about my affair with Madison? Has she ever eavesdrop on any of my conversations with her? I am starting to get worried.
“Um...why would you think that?” I asked her.
“You’re not as close as how you used to be. Everyone is busy with work.You don’t have time for us.” She said sadly. Well, I didn’t know she feels that way. I pulled her into a hug.
“Hey baby. I am so sorry we make you feel sad.We'll try our best to spend more time together. How about next weekend we go for a family trip?” I asked her.
She looked at me with a smile and asked “Really dad?”
“Yeah!” I told her.
“That would be great! I missed our family trips. Can we go camping?” She asked.
“Yes sweetie! We can do anything that you want.” I told her. She hugged me tight and kissed my cheek. I haven’t seen her this happy for a long time.
I left her to get some rest and went to my home office. I had some work to do. As I was working my phone rang and Madison was calling me again.
“Madison I am working!” I told her as I picked up.
“Geez! Calm down. I wanted to tell you my aunt is in town and she wants to meet you.” She said.
Her aunt? Why did she tell her about me? I can’t meet her. I have important things to do.
“Why did you tell your aunt about me?” I asked her.
“Well...she saw your picture and asked me about you.” She said.
“Um... I’ll see what I can do.” I told her.
“You always say that! You don’t have time for me. You never have time for me! I do everything for you but how about me? Just one thing, Just one thing Aiden and you can’t do it for me!” She said angrily.
“Hey, hey! Calm down. I’ll meet her. Okay?” I told her. I hate it when she starts complaining.
“You’re just saying that to make me stop talking.” She said.
“No! No baby. I’ll be there. I’ll promise you. I love you.” I told her and hanged up.
Suddenly Riley walked in and asked me “Dad was that mum?”