Love At First Surprise

October 14, 2008
By Olivia Garcia, Wilmington, DE

“KEIRA!” I called up the stairs. She better get down here in the next 5 seconds.

“What Mom?! I’m getting ready to come down. Just chill for a sec!” my daughter yelled back at me. I sat impatiently at the counter trying to chill. When I heard her footsteps, I stood up holding her report. She looked at me strangely and I reacted with raising the scariest 3 pages I have ever read.

“Oh..” Keira whispered.

“Yeah, ‘oh.’ What is this?”

“The assignment was to write about something we felt was missing about us.” She took a few steps over towards the refrigerator. “So I decided to write about the father I never met,” she said slowly making her voice softer and softer.

“Keira, there’s a reason for that.” I said, trying to control my anger.

“Oh, really? Then feel free to explain away,” she replied, crossing her arms across her chest with a little bit of sassiness in her tone.

“You know I can’t do that. I’m only trying to protect you,” I said as sympathetically as I could.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s what you always say. Have you ever thought that you’re really hurting me instead? Everyone else in school has two parents, except me.” She walked out the door.

For 18 years I’ve kept the identity of her father a secret. Now I’m going to have to tell her. I mean, she does have a right and she should have the choice if she wants to have him in her life or not. But what if something horrible happens? I don’t know what I should do.

When Keira came home from school earlier today, she was the happiest I have ever seen her. I was completely shocked. She danced through the doorway and ran to me and hugged me and said, “Hello my fantastic mother! Thank you for everything! I love you!”

I loved seeing her so jubilant, but I was a little scatterbrained by everything so I curiously asked, “Hello daughter. What’s making you so….blissful?”

She turned around, smelled the flowers in the centerpiece of the dining table and stated, “I met this incredible guy today. His name is Keegan and he actually kind of looks a little like me. He has blonde hair and blue eyes and is a little bit taller than me.”

“Oh really?” I looked at her with a little confusion. I was trying to figure out who this guy seemed to remind me of. He sounded awfully familiar.

“Yeah, and don’t worry. He’s really smart. You would totally approve. In fact, he reminds me of you, too.” She twisted around to see my reaction.

“Oh really?” I said again. I was in a little disbelief but I was happy that something great had finally happened to Keira. She deserves it.

“Hey Dad!” My son came running in the front door. “Guess what?!” he said as he came slipping and sliding across the hall into the kitchen.

“What Keegan?” I asked.

“I met this amazing girl today!” he declared enthusiastically.

“Hmmm… what’s her name?” I questioned curiously.

“Keira.” Keegan said her name with a big, old grin from ear to ear.

“Keira……..?” I alleged giving him the notion to tell me her last name, too.

“Oh I don’t know her last name,” he said as he happily walked away.

Well I guess that’s it. My shy, unpopular boy is finally being noticed, by a girl no less. It’s great that this is happening. The one thing that was bothering me was how familiar the name Keira seemed.

The weekend was a blur. All Keira would talk about is how cute Keegan is, and how nice Keegan is, and how charming Keegan is, and Keegan, Keegan, Keegan. I think the next time I hear the name Keegan I’m going to vomit.

This past weekend went by extremely fast. Keegan and I went to a football game and tried to find him some new clothes because he desperately needed some. The one thing that seemed to go on forever and ever was the subject of how amazing Keira is. I think if I hear about her one more time than I might jump of a building, just kidding. I would never. I’m very proud of Keegan and how he finally put himself out there. But we need to have another subject to talk about.

Oh my God. Today at school, Keegan told me he really likes me and asked me out to homecoming! It’s not for a few weeks but I can’t wait! He’s so incredible! I really, really, really like him. I’ve never felt this way. Well, I’ve never gotten a chance to feel this way since I’ve never had a boyfriend. But I can’t wait until homecoming with Keegan.

I finally got the courage to ask Keira to go to homecoming with me today during lunch. Surprisingly she said yes! I am the luckiest and happiest man on earth right now! I can’t wait until homecoming. It’s going to be amazing because I’ll be with the most amazing girl alive.

Okay so I found a dress for homecoming and it’s gorgeous! I can’t wait until Keegan sees me in it. I hope he will like it. Oh! Today at school, every time Keegan saw me in the hallway, he would run up and catch up with me and hold my hand! It was so cute! If homecoming is at least as incredible as him holding my hand felt, it will be remarkable.

I got my tux from my dad and it’s so old fashioned but I can’t afford to get my own so it will have to do for now. I spent my money on the limo for Keira. I think she deserves a night to remember. After all, apparently girls love to go to homecoming and prom; especially their senior year and I want to be a part of it for Keira.

“Keira! Hurry up! Keegan will be here any minute!” I shouted once again up the stairs, hoping that she would actually hear me this time.

“Okay! I’m ready! I’m waiting for him to step inside so that I can make a grand entrance, mom!” She came and hung her head over the banister. “Do you think my make-up too much?”

I was speechless. Keira looked absolutely phenomenal. “You look amazing, Keira.”

“Thanks Mom.”

The doorbell rang and completely shocked and surprised me. “I guess that’s him.”

Suddenly, I had a flashback of my disastrous homecoming and something inside of me snapped. Meanwhile, Keira was yelling at me because I was hesitating opening the door.

“Mom, open the door! He’s going to think I’m not here! Open the door!” She started running back into her room to make her great appearance.

Finally, I decided that just because my homecoming was horrible, doesn’t mean that hers will. So I opened the door only to find the worst possible person to find on my doorstep, along with Keegan, when suddenly something clicked inside my head.

“Oh my god,” was all I could say. Otherwise, I was speechless.

“Ughhhh,” was all that he could come up with.

I immediately turned to Keegan, “Hello. You must be Keegan. I’m Hannah Jones, Keira’s mother.” I looked at the awful man standing behind him. Now I knew why this boy sounded and looked so familiar. But I hesitated, “Come on inside,” I said stretching my arms out to welcome Keegan in. But there was no way; I mean absolutely no way, that I would let that man into my house.

As he started to walk in I stood firmly in his way. “Oh no you don’t.” I paused before I asked him, “Carter, what are you doing here?” asking surprised because I hoped to God that what I was thinking, wasn’t true, for Keira’s sake.


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