Friday, August 2, 2013

“I've been trained not to think of myself as a father.”


  (Small Fry Chapter 1)

 

            Declan grinned like an idiot – a tearful idiot – but an idiot nonetheless.

            “Since you said ‘daughters’ and not ‘daughter’, it means I’m let out of the doghouse sometime.” He tried to joke.

            “Lucky me.”  I said flatly, as I turned back towards the window.

            Just then he laughed loudly as he leant on the kitchen sink.  He seemed to be laughing in pure relief!  He was guffawing like a man who had just been granted parole, in the face of a death sentence.

            He wiped his eyes on the back of his hands, “I can almost picture her now.  She’s going to be tall and she’s going to make all of the boys work hard, by beating them in school and in sport.”

            "Why do you say that?"

            Declan continued, “She’s going to be half of you and half of me.  I’m gonna teach her how to repair her hover-car if it breaks down.  You’re gonna teach her soccer and help her with her homework.  When she's not studying with you, she’ll be in the kitchen helping me cook.”

            “Maybe we shouldn’t be placing all these expectations on her yet.” I said warily.  “I mean, your last expectation was that she was going to kill her mother!”

            I thought these words would have wounded him, but they did the exact opposite.  Instead, Declan stood closely to smile down as his large hands moved to sit on my hips.  His bright blue eyes fixated on my dark blue ones, before he lowered his face to gently bump foreheads.  His spiky, dark blonde hair mixed in with my long, black layers.

            “B, ever since I was 14 years old, I've been trained not to think of myself as a father.”  He confessed with his eyes closed.  “It was the age when the Lokoti Werewolves told me that I could never take a human woman for a mate, for risk of harming her or turning her.  I thought if they’re scared of me changing her, then they probably wouldn’t want me to have kids that were like me, either."  

            That gave me pause, as his words and the emotion behind them hurt my heart.  I watched him speak with his eyes closed as I felt his hot breath on my face.  Although I was still furious with him, I didn't pull out of our embrace.

            He continued, "I fell in love with you when I was 17 years old but remember, I had to wait until I was nearly 21 until I could have you, when you changed at the age of 18.  Then you were married off to Grant and I had to wait five years before we were reunited.  This only compounded the idea that the pack thought the risk of me breeding with you was far too great.  Then it came out you were so-called barren and you couldn’t give Grant kids?  I thought, 'she was meant to be mine all along!'  Then for 273 years, I got to enjoy the marriage bed, without worrying the world about what the marriage could produce.  Now a baby makes three?  I’m sorry I didn’t run out and buy a bottle of champagne and a cigar.  For nearly 300 years I was taught and self-taught that I wasn’t father material, because I could plant rotten seed.”

            My eyes widened in further alarm, as I never knew his self-hatred was buried so deep, it was thoroughly rooted in his psyche.

 

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