Home > When We Met

When We Met
Author: Shey Stahl

BARRON

 

“Daddy!”

I couldn’t wait for my kids to say “Daddy.” Now it comes with a “what the fuck now?” thought every time. If you’re a parent, you get it. If not, and you’re thinking of becoming a parent, someday you’re gonna get what I’m saying.

Running my hand over my face, I roll over in bed for the third time tonight. “Jesus Christ,” I mumble unintelligently, stumbling from my very comfortable bed I’ve yet to sleep soundly in the last three years. At what age do kids sleep through the night? I’m fucking serious here. I’m honestly asking because mine are three and five, and I don’t think I’ve slept soundly since they were born.

Welcome to being a dad.

Boys, listen up. I’m gonna give you a piece of free advice here. Think about these things before you have sex. If you value your sleep, stick to your goddamn hand. At least it’s loyal.

That’s not an exaggeration from a whiny man with a cold, which I have, thinking it’s the end of the world. This is done by a twenty-four-year-old single dad who works both a ranch and a repair shop and averages four hours of sleep a night. To add to the warning, among my superhero abilities, I can recite every line to most Taylor Swift songs (sadly, I’ve learned to enjoy her music), watch Hotel Transylvania at least once a week, and put together a pretty decent ponytail while my three-year-old screams bloody murder because “I’m killing her.”

“Daddy!” Another scream shrieks through the house.

Groaning, I run my hands over my face and swing my legs around over the bed. “I’m coming!” I pull on a pair of sweatpants and lift my sore body from my bed. My feet hit the cold wood floors that creak when I stand. I stare down, giving the bed a longing look before I reach for the door handle.

If you’re thinking, awe, his daughter is having a bad dream and needs him. Ha. I wish. Just wait. Around the corner from my bedroom in our very small home is my daughter’s room. I have two kids. And because apparently, God has a sense of humor, they are both girls. In case you’re doing the math on this one, that equals screwed. Lucky for me, I have guns. And I plan to use them on any boy who asks them to “meet me in the barn.”

Believe me. I’m overprotective, hard-headed, and think meat and potatoes should be dinner every night. I also hate vegetables. Of any kind. In case you’re wondering.

None of that matters because it’s the middle of the night, and I don’t want to be up. I want to be sleeping. Sadly, that’s probably not happening the rest of the night. And I’ll tell you why. It starts when I walk into the room next to mine.

Amongst a blanket fort, an overly thick rug I think was made from horsehair, sadly, Sevyn, the one screaming for me, is wearing a look of utter fear. “Help me!”

Sev, she’s the youngest and the most mischievous. She can tell you to fuck off with a bunch of her brows, and the next, she’s warming your heart with bright eyes and a cute pout. She’s also impulsive, sneaky, messy, spills everything, and is obsessed with Halloween and all things creepy. I don’t mean she wants to dress up like a princess and go door to door to get candy. What I mean is there’s a chance she might be the devil with blonde curls, and I fear she’s going to be the weird kid who wears black lipstick and heavy eyeliner you’re afraid to talk to. Have you seen that movie The Craft? I think my kid is one of those troubled teenagers trapped in a three-year-old’s body.

Because of her obsession with all things spooky, you would think not much could shake her. Unfortunately for me, that’s not completely true. Spiders? Sev loves them. Thinks they’re pets. Snakes? Chases them and wants to be friends. Anything that crawls, flies, slithers, or wiggles, she’s cool with.

What she hates?

Being trapped. She’s incredibly claustrophobic. Being swaddled as an infant, straight-up torture chamber for this kid. She’d cry harder. Which brings me to the scene inside her room.

I move the blanket covering the ceiling light to the side. “What’s wrong?”

When she spots me in the soft pink glow of their twinkle lights hanging on the ceiling under the blanket, her eyes frantic. Never mind the fire hazard here. Kids don’t think about that shit, and when your girls want a blanket nailed to the ceiling, you do it. Why? Because they will drive you insane until you do it. Also, there’s a good chance I’m a pushover.

Sev cries harder, tears rolling down her bright red cheeks. “Help!”

“Shhh. You’re gonna wake your sister.” Pressing my fingers to her lips, I try to untangle her from the mass of blankets she’s somehow twisted herself into as she squirms. “You’re fine. Why are you crying?”

“I gots to pee!” she yells. Sevyn Rae Grady… she’s dramatic. You can probably tell that by looking at this kid full of pissed-off energy. Everything is a big deal. And she’s 100 percent my clone. Spitting image from looks to personality.

I try to untangle her, but she’s wrapped up like a damn burrito. “How’d you get like this?”

She jabs an angry finger at the top bunk and then kicks it for good measure. “Sissy.”

I grab her leg softly, shaking my head. “Stop that.”

My girls, they do not get along. Girl fights? They happen daily here. I have a brother, Morgan. I don’t remember fighting with him like Camdyn and Sevyn fight. They’re vindictive, catty and everything pisses them off. They’re also unforgiving. Sev could have done something to piss Camdyn off two months ago, and she’ll remember it for the next year.

If Morgan pissed me off when I was little, I peed on his bed. And when Morgan was pissed at me, he punched me. Done deal.

Girls? So much drama. Maybe it’s because they’re close in age, I have no idea. More than likely it’s because you could not have two more opposite girls. Where Sev is the devil hiding behind curls, and sweet when you least expect it, Camdyn is the angel with horns under her halo.

I don’t know a damn thing about girls. I was raised by a cowboy who had no time for drama. He taught us you get up before the sun rises, tie your boots tight, and push it to the limit. If your hands aren’t bleeding, you aren’t working hard enough.

Sev stares at my face when I untangle her, blinking slowly. “You not know what it’s like to be trapped.”

I stare at her, blinking slowly like she did. “Oh, but I do.”

Hot Books
» A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorn
» Anti-Stepbrother
» Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
» Twisted Palace (The Royals #3)
» Sugar Daddies
» Egomaniac
» Royally Screwed (Royally #1)
» Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone
» The Hating Game
» Ruthless People (Ruthless People #1)
» To Hate Adam Connor
» Wait for It
» How to Date a Douchebag: The Studying Hours
» A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns
» Managed (VIP #2)