I leaned over and gently kissed my sleeping daughter, Hope, on her forehead. The sweet smile on her face while she slept — dreaming of princesses and fairy tales, no doubt — always just melted my heart. I was so lucky and blessed to have her, an anchor which kept me from being lost in a sea of depression.
It seemed like everything else was going wrong in life. Her mom and I had been having problems for months; it was only a matter of time before one of us uttered the dreaded “d” word.
We had married too young, shortly after a night of partying had left Claudia carrying a child. We knew that we just simply weren’t right for each other almost as soon as the wedding vows were completed, but we did everything we could to put a happy face on for Hope. It was getting harder and harder to go through the motions. Claudia wasn’t even staying here often anymore, staying most nights with her parents.
“Don’t forget your snuvs tomahwo, Daddy!” Hope said groggily, her sudden outburst bringing me back to the present from my thoughts. My anchor, again.
“I won’t, Pookie,” I said, “I love you.” Her only response was the cutest little snore you ever heard, sleeping again already. I silently closed the door and went into the kitchen for a quick drink before bed.
Since Claudia had basically left a few weeks ago, the scotch was about the only thing that could clear my head at night so that I could sleep. I knocked back two slugs of the stuff before I headed for bed. Sleep still came fitfully.
The next morning, I overslept my alarm and had to rush to get up and get Hope ready for school. There was a slight chill in the air, and a pretty stiff breeze, so just before leaving I grabbed a light jacket. Remembering Hope’s random outburst from the night before, I grabbed a pair of gloves and stuffed them into the jacket pockets.
I drove her to school, tousling Hope’s hair as she bounded out of the car and ran gleefully into the building. I drove away, amazed it had already been five years since Hope had been born, a bundle of brown curls. I couldn’t help but to be smiling when I got to work.
Then the phone rang. Claudia. Determined not to let her bring me down from a rare moment of genuine happiness, I let it go to voicemail.
The day had turned cooler by the time I left work and remembered to check my voicemail. The day I had dreaded for months had come. “Thomas,” Claudia said, no trace of emotion in her voice, “I’ve been doing some thinking…and I want a divorce. I’m sorry.” The click of her ending the call had a definite ring of finality to it.
Tears were already falling by the time I had put the phone into my pocket, my hand brushing up against something inside. I pulled out the pair of gloves I had grabbed that morning, a folded up piece of paper falling out of one and fluttering down slowly to the ground. I put on the gloves and bent down to pick up the piece of paper. The large block lettering was unmistakably Hope’s.
“I lov U, Daddy!”
And I knew I would be OK. All because I didn’t forget my pair of “snuvs.”
There's a good possibility that no matter the time of day you can find Beau keeping/making up some ridiculous statistics that nobody but he cares about. Often, he tweets at @INukeYou about sports, those ridiculous statistics, and hating his job. Rarely, he blogs at beaubarnett.wordpress.com