Chapter Seven: The Half of it all Part Two
“So where were you?” Alec questions as we watch dad storm away from mom into their room.
“Bethany’s.” I quickly reply.
“Liar,” he says as quickly with a little bit of aggression.
“Alec. You do not want to know.” I said giving him a side glance.
I need to come up with something fast. I was just as bad of a liar as mom is when it came to Alec's self-installed lie detector. The man could tell if you were lying from miles away. He stares at me with an angry frown and looks away crossing his arms. I could go on multiple lies, but I knew he would just look at me and know it was a lie. I lick my lips quickly and walk away from him heading up to my room and closing the door silently before walking over to my bed and sitting down while I take my shoes off. I see my phone laying on the nightstand and frown as I could have sworn it was downstairs the last time I saw it. I shake my head and grab it to see that the phone is dead. I groan and get up and put it on the charger before heading downstairs.
“Where are you going?” my dad says coming from out of nowhere as I near the backdoor.
“Out to the back. Is that ok?” I ask him as innocently as I can.
“Let’s go together. We need to talk anyway.” He tells me a little too calmly for my liking.
“Ok.” I let out slowly and then slip on some sandals near the back door.
“Honey! I’ll be back in a little while. Mia and I are going for a walk.” He yells before he closes the door.
I wait for him at the bottom of the stairs while messing with my fingers. He comes down the two stairs and then motions me to follow him with a wave as we move toward the trees. I follow him and stare at his back while we head into the forest I’m definitely in trouble there is no way mom did not tell him the truth to prevent an argument. My mouth twitches as my father glances back at me. I pick up my pace and walk next to him, but it stays silent until we reached the tree that I sat down by before. My father takes a seat on the ground, and I follow as I begin to capture the nature that is around us. My dad makes a noise and I bring my gaze to settle on him.
“Do you know why I work where I do?” he starts with a calm voice.
“Your work? Because it is something you enjoy…” I trail off as I guess the answer to the question.
Was this supposed to be some type of rhetorical question? I think to myself as I stare at him.
“No. That’s not why. You can love a job as much as you want but once I became a family man, a father, I realized I had to do what was best for my family. I took on this job because of you kids. Because of you. I was supposed to become state manager of the facility I worked in when we lived in San Francisco. But this job pays more, and we can pay your hospital bills, we can pay for Alec's game obsession streak, and pay for the twins needs. I also took this job because your mom wanted to travel when we were younger, and we couldn’t do that with the money I was making. This job gives us all those benefits. Do you understand why I am explaining this to you?” he asks.
“No,” I mumble.
“I don’t like it when you and your mom go behind my back and lie to my face. I am your parent to and yes me and you are going to have our moments when we argue and don’t agree on things. However, you need to understand you live under my roof and you will respect me. I am angry that you decided it was ok not to say that you were in pain. I am angry that you thought it was ok to get in situations with certain boys that you should have never gotten in.” my dad says angrily and slowly but surely his voice begins to rise.
“Dad!” I try to explain.
“No! I don’t want to hear it. You say you don’t want to be here, there is nothing I can do about that. It’s my work. It’s what is allowing us to survive and have what we have. You think it’s ok to get involved with not only one but three boys. Mia Henderson I did not raise you this way!” My dad exclaims loudly.
“Dad. No, no you have it all wrong. Nothing is going on between me and the triplets I swear! At least on my side, nothing is happening. You know I don’t like to get involved with people.” I sigh.
“That’s still not a good thing Mia. You should socialize the most that you can. You are not dying; you are still here. Make the most of it and make all of it count. You’re young, you still have so much time don’t let your defect dictate who you are with people.” he advises.
“So, you are saying that I can hang out with those boys?” I ask him with a serious tone.
“Mia.” He exclaims quickly getting angry once again.
“What? You said to socialize.” I laugh at him.
“What I mean is that you can try to have a life Mia.” he exhales dramatically.
“It's not that I don’t want to. I just prefer to be alone. Being alone means that when I do die, no one will end up getting hurt, I don’t want people to hurt. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone's sadness. I’m not doing this for me. Dad, I haven’t been feeling that great in a very long time. It’s hard to get out of bed sometimes. Who is to say that while we are here I make some friends and they get too attached and out of the blue I die. What then? Do they sit and wonder how this could happen? Or do they wonder wow I just met her, we have not even been friends that long and she’s already gone? Or do they blame someone for the natural death? Do they hurt themselves?” I explain to him my darkest fear.
“Mia.” He sighs.
“That’s how I think about things. I don’t want to make them feel as though they did not do enough, or they should have done more. I don’t want anyone feeling that way. So, tell me something. How do I make friends when all I can think about is after. What happens after I am already gone?” I cry to him softly.
“Mia, I’m sorry. I did not know you thought that way.” He tells me gingerly.
“Being alone is not so much of a bad thing. I’m just afraid to get hurt or hurt others in the process. Can’t I try to protect them from that?” I sob as I question him.
“Mia. You can’t protect everyone. There are going to be people who want to befriend you and that is ok. Why go through this pain alone. Why walk in that mind of yours alone? Making friends should not be something that you are afraid of. Losing someone should not be fear, it's life honey. These things happen every day. We can’t just go tell life to take a pit stop and rest for a while. Our lives will follow what we were born to do. We all have destiny’s and dreams and everyone dies. It’s the way we prepare ourselves for that loss that will help us survive and be able to proceed forward with what our lives have in store for us.” My father tells me as he takes me into his arms and cradles me.
“You’re a bit of a brat, Mia. However, I do understand your fears. You don’t have to let people in completely, but you can still socialize. Even if it gets awkward. Just don’t be mute and stop giving random attitude to people.” he mentions giving me the stink eye.
“What can I say I get it from you. I don’t have that bad of an attitude though.” I drawled.
“Yes, you do. It’s your little deflecting mechanism to get everyone to leave you alone. Honestly, it's annoying.” He tells me truthfully.
I huff and cross my arms looking away.
“I’ll try to work on it, but don’t expect me to improve quickly,” I grumble.
“I wouldn’t expect anything more.” He whispers sarcastically.
“I heard that!” I yell.
“So, about these triplets. Your mom tells me they were all three at the hospital for you. Yet you tell me nothing is going on? Seems to me like a lot is going on between the four of you. Your mother said that they seemed like worried boyfriends, not nobodies.” He voices.
“They have been doing things like that since I have gotten to the school. Honestly, it's weird. Like how you can tell someone that you like them when you barely know them. Better yet they don’t know me at all and still drag me into rooms and their car without my permission. It's annoying and you tell me I’m annoying.” I huff.
“Seems to me like y’all are a match.” He snickers.
“Gross! That’s three men. I am only one person, dad.” I cry out.
“No! I am not telling you to be with them! Hell no. You stay away from them by all means. I am saying that you are alike I was going to tell you to at least socialize with them. However, I will take that back and tell you that if I see you with any distance of these so-called me. You better hope I don’t have my shotgun anywhere near me.” he advises me.
“Ha! What are you going to do to shoot them? This whole town for some reason seems to adore those boys. I can promise you we won’t make it out of this town alive if you think of doing something like that.” I inform him.
“This town is weird. I will give you that. That does not mean I won’t find a way to get those boys to understand that you’re my kid. I protect you kids first, and your mom told me that it looked like one of those boys was hurting you.” he explains.
I grab my neck at the mention of one of them hurting me and my dad’s gaze shoots down to where my hand lays and raises an eyebrow. I shake my head trying to get words to come out to explain but my dad gets up quickly and I fumble around trying to stand right on my feet as I chase after him.
“Dad! No! They did not hurt me, look!” I yell out to him.
He turns around quickly and begins to inspect my neck, looking for any bruising or marks. He sees that there is nothing and his tense figure relaxes. He shakes his head and looks around at the scenery that surrounds us before sighing.
“You sure they did not hurt you at all? Not even at school?” he asks me.
“No, they did not hurt me. It was more so me pretty much telling them no at school and doing my best to avoid them.” I tell him while I too looked at our surroundings.
“Rude.” He added.
“Huh?” I ask confused.
“You are avoiding people you don’t even know, that’s what’s rude. Why are you and your brother like this?” he exasperates.
I shrug at his question.
“Just please Mia, work on yourself,” my dad pleads as he turns to me. “I’m not in your shoes so, no I don’t understand your pain. I do know though that the things you do portray who you are as a person. Do you want people to remember you as the annoying girl with an attitude that sat away from anyone, or do you want people to remember you as the girl who was silent but could put on a real smile and make other's day without saying anything?” he questions me.
I pause for a moment and think about it before looking away sad. I was a bitch, and I knew that. I just didn’t want those around me to feel any way because once people know about what’s wrong with me and why the idea of making my own social group is a negative for me then pity washes in and I don’t want that. I don’t want anyone to think of me any different than what they see on the outside. I hear my dad sigh and glance at him.
“Let’s go back to the house,” he says and lightly pushes me toward the house.
“Can I just stay out here for a bit more?” I ask almost whining.
“Nope.” He replies just as quickly.