First of all I apologize for any grammar mistakes, as I have yet to find a beta :(
I hope you like this chapter! I know it's short, but I promise that they will get longer in the next few chapters!
I awake to the sound of soft snores. I look over to my left and see my beautiful daughter Annabelle snuggled up beside me. It's then that I remember I was supposed to pick her up from my ex's last night.
Damn. I'm sure Alice is pissed.
As if to confirm my thoughts, I see a note lying on my other side.
You little shit. You forgot to come get her. Again. You could at least pretend to care about her. She's all yours this week. –Ali
Hypocrite. I sigh in frustration. She had no right to say he didn't care. Who got up every night when she cried, even though he was the one who would have to get up hours later to go to work? Who was the one who would go without meals just so his wife and daughter never went hungry? Who was the one who busted their ass, and received no thanks?
No time to dwell on the past, I think as I push myself off the floor, and make my way into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. I look at the clock and take note of the time. It's 6:00, and it's a Saturday, which means Annabelle has gymnastics in just a few hours. Guess I better get her up now, Lord only knows she'll be cranky for at least a few hours..
I gently pad down the hall, and pick up my daughter, and walk back into the kitchen cradling her to my chest. "Annabelle, wake up honey. Wake up for daddy." I say, as I gently tickle under her chin.
"Mmmmmmmm, no.." she murmurs in a thick voice.
"Yes, darling. C'mon, daddy will make some waffles." I bribe her, knowing full well that it will perk her up.
And of course it works as usual.
"Mkay daddy. I wants to eats some waffles" she slurs with a cute lisp.
I put her down in her chair, and go to the refrigerator to get her daily cup of milk. God forbid you forget that child's milk. Bad things happen.
I put the cup down in front her and watch in amusement as she takes mini chugs, and lets out belches that would put a truck driver to shame.
I turn my back, and begin to put the frozen waffles in the toaster. After setting the nutella and two cups of coffee on the table, and grabbing the now cooled waffles on some plates, I make my way back to the table.
"Nutewa," she whispers in excitement, as her eyes grow big.
I still don't get why Alice never let her eat Nutella. For crying out loud, it's Heaven in a jar!
"Yes baby girl, Nutella," I correct her gently. "And I'll even let you have some coffee, you are a big girl after all,"
She just claps her hands in response.
I smile to myself as I had her a small cup, half way filled up with de-caf coffee, and a cube of ice.
After cleaning up her sticky fingers, and wiping down the table, I begin the task of getting Annabelle ready for gymnastics.
"C'mon Anna, daddy needs to do your hair," I say with as much patience as I can muster.
"No daddy, you no know how to do piggy tails. I want piggy tails!" she screamed back.
"Daddy knows how, I promise," sadly, I do know how. After living with Alice for all those years, I was bound to figure it out eventually.
After pulling her into two braid pig tails, (quite beautifully, might I add) I begin the task of getting her to put on a leotard.
"Baby, c'mon you know that's what the big girls on tv wear for gymnastics. You want to be a big girl too don't you?" I ask.
"I guess.." she mumbles as she steps into the suit.
"Atta girl," I smile as I pick her and he bag up and make my way to the car.
After buckling her into the back of my Xterra, and hopping up front, I put in the Wiggles cd. Don't get me wrong, I loathe the Wiggles, but it's like crack for these kids. After listening to fifteen minutes of Wiggly goodness, I park in a space directly in front of Swan Cheer and Tumbling.
I unbuckle Annabella, and walk her into the gym.
"Alright Annabelle, do good with Miss Bella today. Okay? Daddy is going to go sit down behind the fence and watch you. Have fun!" I smile to her.
Annabelle takes off full sprint to her favorite teacher, Miss Bella. I watch from a distance as Miss Bella stoops down and pulls Annabelle up with her. I laugh as Bella makes silly faces at Annabella and walks over to the spring floor, where she sits Annabelle down on an X.
Class proceeds as usual, with Bella and Annabelle stretching, doing cartwheels, round offs, back handspring, front handspring, and various conditioning practices to get her ready for the competitive team. That's right, this daddy is involved. I know what that shit is.
After retrieving Annabelle and putting her in the car, I begin the drive back home. Thankfully, Bella wore Annabelle out and I don't have to listen to the Wiggles. Instead I listen to her snores and sighs.
After carrying Annabella to her bedroom, and putting her in some clean clothes, I put her into her bed. She will probably only stay down just long enough for me to get lunch started but that's alright.
Much to my surprise, she slept from the time we got back around eleven, until almost one thirty. For Annabelle, that was a record. After putting her lunch down on the table, I made my way into her princess room.
"Annabelle," I said quietly as I made my way into her room. "Time to eat. C'mon hun, let's go,"
I pulled her out of the warm sheets, and ignored her protests. After sitting her in her chair and pouring her some juice, I finally allowed myself to sit down and relax.
I pushed my food around on my plate, and tried to ignore the thoughts threatening to overwhelm me again.
My line of work was risky, not the risky like it had been years ago when I was a rancher. Back then, risk had to do with crops, and weather. Now risk had to do with life and death. It was my job to hunt down the scum that did the dirty jobs. Rapists. Murders. Drug dealers. Sex slave dealers. Pimps. Anything that was considered to risky for the cops, was immediately handed to me without a second thought.
I have so much in my day, more than any one man should ever have to. I have witnessed things that only novels and books could begin to describe. Things that shouldn't ever happen, but unfortunately do.
I look down, and shake away the thoughts. I begin to slowly eat my lunch, and just try to be thankful that I have a meal, and that my daughter is safe and has never had to go without.