lfb: wrong place, wrong time

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Ethan nudges me, in a movement that I am sure he meant to be surreptitious, but just ended up almost knocking me from the chair.

Right now we’re at the bar, just waiting to be seated. It’s a special occasion, you know, our anniversary. We decided on this place, because, well, we’ve never been here, and everyone says it’s really great, and you know I’m a sucker for a steak.

“Whaaat?” I glare at him, readjusting myself on the seat.  I’m not much liking the outfit I picked out tonight, as usual, and I’m not feeling very comfortable.

“Sorry, hon,” he says to me, in an absentminded way. His eyes are on something across the room. “Don’t look now, but isn’t that your…dad?”

“What?” I swivel around, again almost falling out of my chair, oblivious to Ethan’s hissed “Don’t look!”

What are mom and dad doing here? I told mom I was coming here tonight to celebrate…what in the world?

After I adjust myself and rearrange all the vital bits, I look up. The man standing with his back to me does actually look a lot like my dad, but it couldn’t be, because the woman smiling up at him sure as hell isn’t my mom, and oh! there she goes with a hand on his arm, definitely not my dad, except now he’s turning, and I can see his profile, and ohmygod I think I’m going to throw up.

The woman leans up and gently kisses the man – my father! – on the lips and I can’t breathe. Literally.

I’m barely aware that Ethan is behind me, or that his had is on my arm, or even that he is saying something in my ear, the blood is rushing through me so fast that I think I might pass out.

Except I don’t pass out, what I do is go charging across the bar, oblivious to Ethan calling my name back behind me somewhere, and suddenly I’m next to the bitch. I poke her in the back, sharply, and she turns with a vaguely irritated look on her face. I’m not looking at her, though, I’m looking past her, waiting for my dad to look around and meet my eyes.

Her gaze travels from my face to his, and from the corner of my eye I see her face drain of color. I’m grimly satisfied that maybe she knows, just a little, what’s about to happen here.

My dad turns, and it seems like it’s taking forever, like he’s encased in molasses, or like time is slowing down as he turns his head and looks first at her, and then at me.

His mouth opens a little as he registers what this means. I see his eyes go frantic and he swallows hard, and can’t take his eyes off my face. I am physically sick. I wonder fleetingly what Miss Fancy Pants would do if I were to throw up on her shoes.

“Dan? What…?” She starts to speak. My neck practically creaks as I turn it in her direction, my muscles are so tight, and I realize that I am furious.

“Shut up. Just. Shut. Up.” I glare at her until her mouth closes with a snap and then return my attention to my dad. He starts to speak but I override him.

“You shut up too. What exactly do you think you’re doing?”

“Jessica, I -”

“No, never mind. I don’t even want to know.  How could you? How could you?”

Suddenly I’m crying, in great gasping sobs, and I’m remembering how much I loved this man, he was my role model, my daddy, and I learned to love from him, for God’s sake, and what is happening here? Why is this happening?

“Don’t you talk to me! Don’t you say anything! There is nothing you can say to me… nothing! I can’t believe this is happening!” I’m starting to become a little incoherent and suddenly Ethan is there, and I hear him say something to my father as he wraps me protectively in his arms, and I can’t hear my dad’s words but they sound pleading, and thankfully Ethan turns us away before I can see his eyes again.

“Jessica!” My father shouts as we walk through the door, but I don’t look back.

I don’t ever want to look back again.


Topic: Your character catches his/her dad cheating on his/her mom.

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