It’s one of the most relaxing days we’ve had in a long time. I’ve missed the hell out of this guy. All I want is to lay in this bed for eternity, combing my fingers through his hair, tracing the veins protruding through his skin, or the tattoo on his forearm.
Soft music plays through the speaker. “I love this. I wish we could do it more often.” I say, closing my eyes.
“There’s something l I’ve been meaning to ask you,” Shawn says, running his fingertips along my arm.
“I really want to meet your dad. I’ve met your mom, you’re closes friends and your brother. I’ve even met some of your old teachers. What about your dad?”
“I told you he has a busy work schedule.”
“He can’t make a little time for his daughter?” Shawn props himself up on his elbow. I don’t want to argue about this, I think, forcing an awkward laugh.
“My dad, he is overwhelming..”
“Ya? I mean I know. You’ve told me about him. I just want to meet my girlfriends father. Don’t you think it’s a little weird? I mean we’ve been dating for over a year and a half. I’ve been to your home town for holidays- your birthday. You know?”
“Why do you keep pushing it? Maybe I don’t want you to meet him.” I recoil, my voice getting low.
“Hey I’m not trying to push you.” I pull at the roots of my messy curls, not knowing what to say. I sit up, crossing my legs.
“You know my dad was absent after my parents divorced. He didn’t understand me and all the shit going on. Our relationship was strained all throughout my teenage years. Now, being where I am, being so secure with myself in my own skin, I honestly thought I would never reach this point for years. He never even tried to listen to me. He thought I always thought I was blaming him for our problems; even though that was the furthest thing from what I was actually doing. Right now, things are so great. Especially with you. My entire life is like I’m living this crazy dream come true.” I smile, Shawn mirroring me.
“It’s just hard to let him in. Especially when I barely here from him. I know what he’s thinking. I know he’s wondering why I’m not the one calling him, or texting him. One of the things my mom always told me was, he’s the adult, not you. He looked at me as if I were still a child. As if I were incapable of having my own ideas and preconceptions. Like, I couldn’t actually be mature enough to think for myself. I just don’t want to fight with him anymore.” Shawn gives me a look full of sadness and I shake me head, not wanting to cry.
“It’s ok. Now I know I don’t have to deal with his bullshit anymore, but he’s my dad. So that’s where it becomes difficult. I know it’s wrong and overall not healthy- not having a relationship. I mean what happens when one day I’m getting married? Am I just going to call him up to walk me down the isle and he’ll meet all thee important people in my life for the first time then? A lot of it doesn’t make sense and I don’t know what angle to take to reach whatever destination I’m trying to find. You have no idea how badly I want him to know you,” I recall, taking Shawn’s hands, feeing my eyes gushing with tears. He sits up, too, wiping his thumb against my cheek bone.
“I love you so much, and you’d think love would be enough for someone to care. Everyday I find myself wondering what I did wrong. Is he not proud of me? All these things I’m doing now and I haven’t even seen his name on my screen. People ask me if my parents are proud, but it’s like I’ve lost one of them entirely.”
Multiple tears are running down my cheeks, cascading onto the grey ‘London’ sweatshirt I bought a few months ago. Shawn rubs my thigh, his voiceless reassurance being enough. I’m pulled against his chest and he lays us down, holding me tightly.
“I’m sorry I brought it up. I wish I could say something that would fix everything.” He says, making my cries louder.
“I don’t even know if I miss him anymore. It sucks, Shawn.”
“I know, baby, I know. Listen, he’s missing out on his amazing daughter. That’s not your fault. You can’t blame yourself. Your mom is right, just like always. He’s the parent. He’s the one that should be stepping up and realizing what he needs to do. I am so sorry, love. You don’t deserve any of this. You just don’t deserve it.”
I know he’s ticked off. It’s impossible for Shawn to completely understand, especially when he’s so close with his family- his dad. He and Manny are so incredibly close. I envy them. I’ve never said it to Shawn, but I think he knows. The way I watch them during their encounters. I imagine it being me and my dad.
Once we had been close like that. I’d wait by the window when his car pulled in the driveway, welcoming him home with hugs and my proudest accomplishments from the school day. He was more than a parent, but a coach. Some of my greatest memories were of soccer. Even though being the coaches kid is hard, it was a reason for him to be proud of me. He was always there, pushing me harder. Being so proud, but now he’s no where. He’s been no where for a long time. Sometimes old memories would turn into midnight dreams. I’d wake up, forgetting I wasn’t eight years old again.
“Just stay here with me. I’ll hide you,”
Marco offered halfheartedly, with a meek smile on his face.
“Yeah, I’m sure no one will notice I’m
missing. And if they do, they’ll never
think to check your house,” I laughed, leaning into his side. He sighed heavily
and relaxed, allowing me to sink into him.
“Maybe not my best idea,” he mumbled
lowly before we returned to silence. He was twirling the ends of my hair around
his finger as he always did and it dawned on me that tonight might be the last
time he did that. Tonight could be the last warm summer evening I spent with my
head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat boom and feeling the gentle rise
and fall of his body when he fell asleep. I shuddered at the thought and sensed
tears glossing over my eyes.
“Hey, shh,” Marco said, gripping me
tighter and quickly bringing his lips to the top of my head. “If you cry, you
know I’ll never be able to let you go. And that’ll be a hassle for airport
security,” he teased.
“Marco, what if this is the last time we
see each other?” I asked, turning to face him with my wet eyes.
“So, what’s Germany like?” My publisher,
Anne, asked as we boarded our flight.
“Oh,” I quipped, “uhm, it’s nice,” I
“Nice?” she laughed. “That’s the one
syllable adjective I’m getting from a best-selling author going on a book tour?
I rolled my eyes, but joined in on the
laughter. “It’s wonderful, really. Before I went to school in America, I never
thought I’d leave. Its home. Or, it was.
I don’t know really, even I’m not sure what to expect.”
“I’m sure much hasn’t changed since you
left. Should feel like old times,” she suggested. I nodded quietly and the
conversation dropped as the plane lifted off.
We landed in Munich plagued with
jet-lag, but nonetheless got to work immediately, only having a week’s worth of
time to work our way up the country. The benefit of squeezing multiple book
signings, meetings with editors, and time to work on writing my next book was
that it left no time for my mind to wander. I was effortlessly focused. Until I
Of course, we arrived in Dortmund on
game day. Crowds of people sporting black and yellow jerseys with his name on the
back had overtaken the city. Pictures of him were everywhere; from the sides of
buses to the cover of every tabloid, something about speeding tickets. Typical.
“Y/N? Y/N? Y/N?” my publisher repeated,
before I jolted up from my seat on the train.
“Yeah, sorry, I’m coming.”
I watched with amusement from the inside
of a restaurant window as a group of boys and girls kicked about a football,
cheering loudly when they scored a “goal.”
“Right, and what do you think about
“What?” I asked confusedly, returning my
attention to my lunch compatriots. They eyed me strangely and I felt myself
blush slightly. “I apologize,” I laughed. “I think this jet-lag is starting to
take its toll,” I lied.
“You know what,” Anne whispered so only
that I could hear, “why don’t you go to the hotel, get some rest. I’ll finish
up here and cancel everything for the rest of the afternoon, yeah?”
“Are you sure we can do that?” I
“Its fine, I promise,” she assured me. I
smiled gratefully and excused myself before exiting. I knew I should just hop
into a cab and take a much needed nap, but my legs seemed to move to their own
accord, taking me back to a place I hadn’t been in years.
The hammock still hung from two tall,
strong trees, swaying slightly as the wind blew. It was still in the perfect
position to watch the sun set. There weren’t too many critters around in this
chilly weather so it was almost silent. The grass was a bold green everywhere
apart from the one spot where years ago Marco tried to make a bonfire, but
failed miserably. Our secret little hide out looked nearly identical to how I
remembered it. In fact, the only thing that was missing was—
“Y/n?” a voice called out from behind,
startling me. I knew who it was instantly, but I was still shocked when I
2.15.16 // 9:37am •• my first class was at 10 but oh my is waking up early ish on a Monday difficult
1:27pm •• that is in the lobby of my dorm. it’s quite beautiful and comfy and quiet so I like to study there. I was creating an outline for my essay due this week. I find outlines to be extremely helpful (especially since I am feeling lost with this paper)
5:08pm •• at my desk I did some readings for class at the same time as I dyed my hair. It’s not very different but i just needed to do it lol
8:54pm •• I went to the evening yoga class and it was so insanely relaxing. I try to do yoga 3x a week and I completely recommend it to anyone. ask me if you any questions about it or where to start // 😌 so yup there’s my day, missing a few pieces but oh well
I was afraid to put my foot in it, just the though scared me and I didn’t know what to do. My friends said “Relax, let your hair down” but I didn’t turn a hair. It was easy for them, none of them really know how I felt. It was easy for me to fake smiles but the thruth was another, everytime I though about him, my heart missed a beat.
I wanted him to come back but I wasn’t ready to stick my neck out.