"Yes! Run! Run with the ball! Shoot! shoot!" Morgan shot the ball and it went soaring from midfield and I felt my heart stop as the crowd went hush around me. Until the ball hit the back of the white soccer net and the crowd went wild. I couldn't hold my excitement as I jumped up and down hugging Janet who stood beside me just as excited as I was.
Morgan is our youngest, at 14 she already had a bright future ahead of herself in a soccer career, and if she did keep with that she could easily become anything she wanted to be with how hard she pushed herself to be the best she could be.
Maybe I'm a bit basis because she's my daughter and all. But she's the perfect kid.
And of course, no child is actually perfect, but Morgan came pretty close.
And her brother, Eric was pretty great too.
Life was pretty great.
Or, it was on the outside it was.
But inside —in my head, there was a lot going on. A lot of fighting. A lot of mental arguments about this and that, bills and all the fun stuff that kills your childhood once you turn twenty. Or in the case of Janet and myself when you're seventeen and sixteen and find out after three months of dating that you're going to have a baby and you've got to square up and take on your responsibilities.
I would never call Eric a mistake, he was more of a happy accident.
Like I had said, Janet and I were not together very long when we had found out we were going to be teenage parents. And with her dad being a pastor we were on our own pretty quick. I had been living on my cousin's couch since I was about ten after dad died of cancer and mom had to 'take a break' from parenting and find herself. She now lives in Nevada with her new husband and their three dogs.
I'm not bitter about it. I could understand, your life gets flipped upside down and even if you have children sometimes you just need to get away. I could never do that to my kids though, leave them without a parent. But everyone was different and mom always made it a point to come home for Christmas and I guess that was her way of saying sorry. That and the big gifts she always got us.
I couldn't complain.
"I am taking you for the biggest milkshake ever." I had both hands on Morgan's shoulders as I stood behind her giving her a little shake. She had the biggest smile on her face with blushing cheeks. Morgan and Janet looked so much alike it was almost scary. They both had brown hair, but Janet always got highlights in hers where Morgan just had her natural colour. They both had brown eyes, strong cheekbones and freckles dancing across their faces. But where Janet was petite, Morgan had a bit more on her bones, a strong athletic body. She also had my charming personality. Which really is all she needed.
Eric was everything I was in high school. Football star that was friends with the whole school. The popular kid that was lucky enough to get his looks from me and not his Uncle Terry on his mom's side.
The man was just funny looking.
Anyways. Eric was the quiet type. But with that, he still managed to exile at everything he did.
On the outside, my family was the American dream. I was a dentist who worked for myself owning a chunk of office space on Elizabeth Square. Janet was a stay at home mom who sold stuff off Instagram and Etsy. Mostly blankets and backpacks for young kids but she also sold jewelry and some wooden spoons that she wood burned.
We even had a golden retriever named Sammy. Honestly, my life was like a crappy Hollywood movie but without the drama.
But like I had said. Not everything is perfect.
I kept it to myself. But I had always felt like something was missing; like there was something more to my life then what it was now. But what did I need that I didn't already have? Sure I would love to have a sports car rather than my minivan. But I was saving that for retirement so I can know for sure that Eric wouldn't crash it into the mailbox.
"Dad I want chocolate and strawberry with whip cream. Please!"
"Of course princess."
"And a cherry on top?"
"And can I spend the night at Maddie's?"
"Whatever you wa- wait what. No, of course not it's a Sunday. You've got school tomorrow."
"But Dad." She was going to the puppy dog eye me. "We have a test tomorrow and we're going to study together." Don't look at her. Look at the menu. "Please, dad." Don't do it. "Please." Fuck.
I looked down at Morgan with her sad wide eyes and pouty lip. Curse her and her dashing good genetics.
"Fine. But I'll be calling you at 7 sharp to make sure you're awake and you know well enough that I'll also be calling the school at eight to make sure you're in class."
"You don't even have work tomorrow dad."
"Don't you know, all parents wake up super early every day, whether you're there or not."
Morgan just rolled her eyes playfully before I ordered everyone's milkshakes.
My family. They were perfect. Me? Not so much
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