A Second Chance

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Chapter 4

"Kimberly why the fuck didn't you tell me that my fucking daughter is in a damn community hospital?"

My body immediately tenses the moment he's fills the room. It's almost as if the room goes cold because goose bumps appear on my skin. Besides me I hear Penelope wince as if the very voice of her father has ripped the badages covering the throbbing cuts on her delicate skin.

I turn around to see the man I didn't know I'll get the honor of seeing again in this life time. Standing tall in all glory is Rowland Cleveland: Dressed in a custom made Armani suit with his signature expensive designer leather shoes and apparently he now has his hair long and tied up in a clean ponytail. Some people never change. Only he has the decency of dressing up to see his sick daughter.

Lovely.

"Rowland."

I'm shocked that he's even here. Who could've possibly told him about Penelope's accident? Let me guess, he's people are probably keeping tabs on us.

"Answer me woman." He demands

"It probably slipped my mind, I shrug.” Plus, I didn't want to disturb you. You probably had an important business deal to finish anyways." I say smoothly turning my attention to Penny. Her eyes moved between her father and I, clearly wondering what is going on or why her father is in New York.

This should be fun.

"What do you mean it slipped your mind? She's my daughter too. You don't get to decide what disturbs me or what doesn't." He sternly states.

Eye roll.

"Plus if you were doing a good job at taking care of her, she wouldn't be trying to end her fucking life." He accuses.

That catches my attention.

"If I was doing a good job huh?" I stand from where I was seated and walk towards the man who has the nerve to insult me while he has forgotten about he's fatherly duties towards he's only child.

"And where were you? Where were you when she broke her leg at the school carnival last year? Where were you when she caught a cold last week? Where were you during the father daughter ball last weekend? Where were you when she spend her birthday alone at the apartment waiting for me to get home from work with her favorite chocolate cake? Do you even know when her birthday is Rowland?" I ask with tears threatening to leave me eyes. Our eyes are locked at this point and the courage I suddenly have to hold his gaze is new and I embrace it.

His face is blank with no emotion, he is shocked that I'm raising my voice at him. It's something I've never done before, but I'm still not done with my rant.

"You don't get to walk in here and question my parenting Rowland. I love my daughter and I do everything I can to make sure she's doing alright and happy. I work two jobs to make sure that we have food on the table and a roof on our heads. I do everything I can to make her happy Rowland, but there's only one thing I cannot give her, only one thing I wish I could give her," I stop to breath." The love of her father. That's the only thing I cannot give her and you took that away from her because you couldn't keep it in your pants. And now look at what happened."

Suddenly I felt as if the barrier I've built around my emotions breaks down and tears move uncontrollably out of my eyes as if a dam was opened and the flood ruthlessly down my cheeks. I let go completely and all the pain I've kept hidden bursts all over me like a uncontrollable thunder.

This man has hurt me so much and no matter how many times I tell myself that he has no control over me, it takes only one word from him and all my walls fall apart like a push to an aisle of dominoes.

"Kimberly look," He begins, but I hold my up to silence him. We both know how this will end if we keep up with this back and forth arguing. I don't want him stepping all over me and expecting me to just agree with his hurtful words and mop around later.

I hear him sigh as he walks towards Penelope who at this points is shocked and slightly terrified.

I want to walk over to her and tell her not to mind Rowland's tantrum.But, I wanted to see what he does next.

It has been long since he has even touched her or even come close to her. Maybe this will be his breaking point, seeing his only daughter laying here hopeless and in need of his affection.

I watch closely as he unbuttons his jacket and sits upright on the small chair that seems too small for his size. He hesitantly brings his hand to Penelope's face but she shifts away from it as if his touch will burn her.

I notice the disappointed on Rowland's face but he quickly recovers but not in time for me to not have noticed.

I know I haven't been fair to you P. Goodness knows how much you hate me. And I wouldn't blame you for feeling that way. I...I just want you to know that I want to make it up to you." He pauses and takes a long breath.

"I love you so much, I don't know what I could've done if I'd lost you today. I know I don't show it but you and your mother mean the world to me."

I almost choked on my breath when he says the last sentence.

I'm sure he's saying all of that for Penny's peace of mind. He doesn't really mean any of that, and even if he does, I don't really care for any of it.

"But you cheated on mom." Hurt evident in her voice. I swallow hard waiting on his reply.

Rowland shrugs.

"And I'll live the rest of my life regretting that. But I want you back. I want us to be a family again. Don't you want that?" He lifts her hand and brings it to his lips. Penelope smiles at her father with new hope in her eyes.

She can't possibly be buying the nonsense he's selling right now. Rowland is using her vulnerability and it's pathetic.

I scoff and roll my eyes at the charade in front of me.

"I'd really want that." Her face glows with her priceless smile. It has been long since I've seen that beautiful smile on her face and it honestly warms my heart to see her eyes light up with so much hope and trust. Seeing Rowland has obviously brought back that hope of being a family again like how it was in Seattle. If I didn't know better I'll probably be feeling the same way. But I know better and I know that the man sitting here singing all these promises wouldn't last be here long enough to keep them.

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