Bob, Eliza, and the twins returned home from the fun day at the park. To his surprise and pleasure, Eliza’s rendezvous across the street didn’t take long, and she had plenty of time to act silly with the girls. Motherhood had changed her so much. It wasn’t so long ago when she barely smiled in public. Of course, she wasn’t completely aware of how silly she looked pretending to be a monster wanting to eat the twins in the ball pit, but at least was loose enough to do it.
In the living room, Breanne scowled at the inactive television. He didn’t necessarily enjoy dealing with her in those moods, but something had been going on with her for a while. She didn’t behave like a girl who recently began dating the boy of her choice. Clearly, Eliza had been avoiding her too. With the twins needing so much attention, Breanne may have felt neglected. He didn’t want her to feel that way and decided to stop hiding.
“Hey.” He turned on the TV. “How’s it going?”
“I’m fine,” she said through gritted teeth.
He chuckled. “You don’t look fine.”
She rolled her eyes. She usually wasn’t the eye-rolling kind. Either this was a brand new phase of late teenage girlhood, or whatever bothered her did so in a deep way.
“Everything ok in school?”
Her eyes drifted to the ceiling for a moment like she was contemplating an answer. “Academically, yes.”
As he feared, this was a social problem–his least favorite. He took a deep breath and dived right into the deep end of the pool. “Is this about Kaiden?”
He tensed up and felt the protective dad mode booting up. “What did he do?”
Her head fell into her chest. She looked so despondent. “Nothing? I don’t know.”
Oh boy. He had heard about these strange, nonsensical responses. If only parenting came with a manual. Instead of asking more questions only to get more unintelligible answers, he made her do the work. “So what’s going on?”
“All the girls still like him!”
Seemed like there should have been more after that but there wasn’t. He was so confused. “People’s feelings don’t stop like that, Bre.”
She growled. “I know, but they’re STILL trying to get his attention! That’s just rude!”
“Oh. Yeah…So…what does he do about it?”
“Nothing! He smiles back at them and takes their calls and reads their messages!”
His left eyebrow raised in response to protective dad mode protocol being fully engaged. “He likes them?”
“No? He’s just too plumming nice to tell them to step off!”
“Watch your mouth, Bre.”
“This relationship is causing lots of trouble. Maybe you should just let it go.”
“NO! I can’t do that! I won’t!”
He sighed heavily. “Why not?”
“BECAUSE! Kaiden is the only boy who is eligible to forge a successful lineage with! Don’t you care about my future, daddy?”