Sunday, June 15, 2014

FATHER'S DAY EXCLUSIVE - Finding My Forever by Heidi McLaughlin

 Everywhere I look, my friends are settling down - marriage, children, white picket fences; but not me. Marriage isn't in the cards for me. I’m a ladies man.

A rock star.

I was born and raised in the industry.

I love everything about my life, especially the attention from the women that my status brings me.
Women find me. I don’t chase. I know what they want and they know I’ll deliver.

But after one look, one touch, one night...
Now I’m the one doing the chasing.

I need to find a way to show her that I’m serious, that I can change.
I need to find a way to show her that I can love her fully, and only her.
I need to find a way to show her that she’s my forever.

The Beaumont Series: Finding My Forever
Jimmy’s Father’s Day
© Heidi McLaughlin, 2014

Father’s Day: a day where my wife will pamper me for giving her Eden. It’s only fair since I dote on her daily. I make sure each and every day is mother’s day for her. I’ve been waiting for this day since Eden was born. A day to relax, have a back massage and put my feet up on the coffee table. I know Jenna hates that, but today’s my day.

I roll over and pull Jenna’s pillow to my chest so I can inhale her scent, even though I know she hates it when I move her pillow. I thought it was strange at first, but I get it now. I like my pillow a certain way as well.

She’s already up with Eden, giving me a chance to sleep in. She loves me and I can only picture her downstairs in the kitchen with our daughter in her high chair, while she cooks me a traditional English breakfast. I can already imagine the bacon sizzling in the frying pan. I know she normally doesn't like to make black pudding and I’ve never ask her to, but maybe today she will. I can’t wait to taste the eggs, sausages, toast and of course, bacon. Everything is better with bacon. Maybe if I'm lucky, she'll add a fried tomato, mushrooms and some baked beans.

I get up and stretch. The sun is shining and I know it’s going to be an amazing today, one for Eden’s baby book.  I can hear her little laugh echoing throughout the house as if she knows I’m awake. I take my time as I walk down the stairs as if my wife and daughter are on tenterhooks, waiting for my arrival. I am their King; at least I like to think I am.

When I walk into the living room, Jenna is dressed for work and Little One is chewing on one of her many toys in her playpen, laughing as strings of drool create a bridge from her mouth to her toy. Jenna looks up at me and glares. I’m taken aback by the daggers she’s shooting in my direction.

“It’s nice of you to wake-up, Jimmy.” She picks up Eden who squeals in delight now that she’s in her mother’s arms. “Don’t worry about me having to work or anything.” Jenna brushes past me, with Eden on her hip and walks out of the house. I look around the house and wonder if I've missed something. Did I sleep through Father’s Day?

Walking into the kitchen, I don’t see any sign that breakfast has been made or see if there’s a cup a coffee waiting for me in the “World’s Best Dad” cup that I've hinted at so many times in the shops in the past month. Maybe she thinks Father’s Day is on a different day, like Mother’s Day is, but I've assured her it’s the same.

My heart aches at the thought that my wife is at work and my daughter is now with a babysitter. I’m here, all alone, without my family to celebrate. Why is Whimsicality even open today?

After sitting on the sofa, and feeling sorry for myself while I have my giant dish of pity, I decide that I can’t be here. I’d much rather be in the studio where I can be as loud as I want and not worry about offending my neighbours. Maybe a good dose of heavy metal with some screaming rage will get me out of this funk.

Who am I kidding, it won’t. I’m going to go write some sappy love song about how my wife forgot it was Father’s Day.

The drive over to Liam’s takes forever due to the roads being blocked off for the annual parade. Even the town of Beaumont celebrates its fathers with a parade. I could be there right now, but no, my wife is working and not thinking about how I’m spending my day alone. I’m trying not to be bitter, but it’s a lost cause. I don’t want to pick her up on it, but bloody hell, I want presents!

Liam’s house is dark, and I'm betting that they’re at the parade, as a family, waving their flags and eating candy floss. I run around the back and try to open the studio door, only to find it locked. I pull out my keys, searching for the studio key, and realise that it's missing. Banging my head against the door in frustration, I groan in annoyance. If I was a weaker man, I’d probably be crying right now.

The drive back home is worse than the drive to Liam’s. Now that the parade is over, traffic is a complete nightmare. The thought of my wife being so busy at work that she can’t even take a break runs through my mind. It would serve her right for forgetting my important day. The one day that allows fathers to wear the pants in the family.

The thought of sitting in our house, all day, doesn’t appeal to me. But as I sit here, parked in the drive all I want to do is go up to Eden’s room and curl up with one of her blankets. I take each porch step painfully slow. I know I need to suck it up and just deal with the fact that we’re not celebrating today, but I can’t.

When I open the door, loud shouts of “surprise” are yelled out and confetti is thrown in the air. My first thought is about how pissed off Jenna will be when she has to get out the vacuum cleaner. It takes me a minute to realise that she’s standing in front of me, again with Eden on her hip and both of my girls are wearing beautiful dresses and tiaras. My wife steps forward, leaving my bandmates and their families behind her and smacks her lips firmly against mine. Eden tugs at my shirt, wanting me to hold her.

Pulling Eden from Jenna, I hug her tightly as I fight back my emotions.

“You think we forgot don't you?” my wife says with laughter.

I nod, but quickly correct her. “You, yes, but not Little One. She’d never forget her daddy.”

Jenna rolls her eyes. “I wanted to make today special, Jimmy, because you’ve made me feel so special since the day we married that this was the only way I could show you how much you mean to me.”

This time I let the tears seep into my eyes as I pull her to me. Little One claps and is pulled from my arms so I can hold Jenna properly.

“Come on, Romeo, we have beer and food out back,” Liam laughs as he pats me on my shoulder. Harrison cocks his head towards the door before picking up both twins and leading the way outside. Alone with my wife, I hold Jenna’s hand in mine.

“I can’t believe you did this.”

“I love you. Eden and I would do anything for you.”

“I love you both so much.”

“Happy Father’s Day, Jimmy.” Jenna leans forward and gives me a gentle kiss leaving me with a subtle reminder of why I’m so in love with her.

Heidi is the author of USA Today, Kobo, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling series, The Beaumont Series.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.
During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court side during either daughter's basketball games.

Liam's Journey:
My Unexpected Forever:
Finding My Forever:

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