‘A minivan, when did we get a minivan? ‘ I walk up to the front door and hear little giggles inside. ‘Huh?’ Opening the door I see dad sprawled on the floor with a little toddler crawling on him, and an infant rolling around beside his leg.
“Oh, welcome home George,” a female voice came from the kitchen. “Honey, your son is home!”
“George. I didn’t know you would be home today; I would have come and gotten you from the airport,” Dad said getting up and walking over to me for a bear hug. “What do think? The house might be little different, but we needed a change through these years.”
I didn’t really look around when I first came in, my eyes were still glued to the children in the living room. Looking around, ‘Wow! Nothing is the same.’ Every bit of furniture, decoration, etc. was different. Like every ounce of my childhood or mom’s influence was gone. I set my bag down in the entry like always,
“George, dear, please put your belongings in your room. I really do hate a clustered entryway,” the female voice said again from the kitchen.
“Okay.” So, I headed towards the stairs.
“Oh. Your father didn’t tell you. We had to take over your room for a nursery. All your belongings have been moved to the guest room. Honey. You should have told him.”
I was starting to dislike that female voice. I turn and head down the hallway to the guest bedroom. Opening the door…‘Really!?!’ She did say all my belongings were moved, but I thought they would have set my room up; instead everything was in boxes crowed around the bed. ‘Hold in the frustration.’ I realized that Dad had not followed me; exiting “my room” and going back to the living room, I see Dad once again on the floor with the little kids. “So are you going to introduce me?”
“Oh, right. Sorry Son. My time has been completely controlled by these two; they are precious but can be a handful.” Dad said just as the toddler crawled up and suddenly turned my dad’s head back in the direction of the toddlers face and whispered something. “That’s your older brother. No need to be worried.” Dad scooped up the toddler and came towards me.
“Son, this is your little brother Kyle Matthews,” the little boy looked at me like I was a stranger invading his home. “And that one down there,” Dad turned and pointed to the little blob of a person still wiggling on its back, “your little sister Alice Matthews.”
I was shocked. Why wasn’t I told any of this. It’s not like I was too far or too busy to come visit. If I had been told my dad was getting married, I would have left college for a bit, to have been there. If I had known my stepmom was expecting, I would have been there. But I wasn’t even a thought to my dad. ‘What is going on?’ “Dad. Why didn’t you tell me…about…any of this…”
“I thought I did. I probably thought you were too busy, and wouldn’t really care since you are grown up. Also your new mom said to not to disturb your new life with our issues. I thought her reasoning was good.” He walked away from me and back to the floor with the toddler and infant.
“Yes. George dear, we did not want to disturb your new life away from home,” again the female voice.
‘Don’t blow up at your stepmom!’ I was standing in the living room but I seemed to be invisible to my Dad. ‘How is it possible for my dad to be so happy without me in his life anymore.’ Everyone was still ignoring me. ‘Fine. Whatever. If I’m going to be ignored I might as well go see my friends.’ I grab my keys and wallet. “I’m heading out for a bit,” no response. “Dad?” Nothing. So I give up and head to the front door.
“Dear! Our daughter is rolling over. Come quickly!” Dad yelled for the female in the kitchen, completely treating me as non existent.
“I’m coming!” the female chimmed and I heard dishes dropping and scurrying feet.
Not wanting to see the face of the female that has turned my life upside down, I leave my home. Stepping out into the bright…
“Son! Wake up! You forgot an alarm! You need to pick up Matthew. Son!?”
I was being shaken, quite hard. So now my dad is concerned about me. I open my eyes to my dad pouring over my body with his hands shaking my body.
“Son. Why are you still asleep? You were mumbling about, ‘not wanting to be home anymore,’ but that doesn’t matter. You are late! Get up. I’ll get you some breakfast and get your jeep started,” and Dad dashed out of my room and it sounded like he ran down the hallway.
“What is his deal.” I sat up and looked around. I was in my room. My actual room. In my bed. ‘Oh. Crap!‘ It was a dream. That figures. ‘But why was Dad so panicked.’ Looking at my alarm clock I see why, seven-thirty. I had thirty minutes to get Matthew and get to school. I jumped up and threw clothes on, and packed my swim bag.
“Hurry up son!” Dad’s voice echoed into my room.
I grabbed my stuff and rushed down stairs. Dad shoved a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich in my mouth, handed me my keys, and ushered my out the door. “Bye…D”
Dad closed the door before we could say goodbye. ‘No matter. I’m late!’ I throw my stuff in the back, and jump in quickly to go pick up a probably very worried Matthew.