Dreams of a Drake
By: E. Red
I'm not a good person. I did something stupid, and might have ruined someone's life, and there I was, planning to do something else stupid, and ruin it more.
Oh, My name is Ryan, by the way. Ryan Drake.
I was a high school senior, back during... Well... You know... Or at least, you will soon...
I'm a hybrid. I think it's important that you know that first and foremost. A dog hybrid, boarder collie to be exact. Wet nose, furry mane, tail and long tonge. The works, really.
Which makes Janet all the more amazing, in my eyes. She picked me out of all the guys at school. Of course, that was not to be, given her father's... Let's call it an aversion. To people like me. Apparently, the daughter of a governor-candidate can't be seen associating with a hybrid. Apparently it's "Bad for the family's image"...
So, naturally, she 'rebelled against authority', and we dated for a while. Discreetly, of course. We had a good time, too.
'Till we got caught.
Oh, they really didn't do much. Roughed me up a bit and forbade me to see her. Changed her classes around so we were apart. That sort of thing. But, about midway through senior year, there was this party.
You know what I'm talking about. Don't lie. Everyone knows that party. The one that all the seniors have to go to. Hosted by that one guy who'se parent's are out for the weekend. The one where someone, inevitably, brings in a huge load of booze. And everyone gets totally hammered, and has sex with their ex-girlfriends.
Yeah. You read that right.
And you know what happens when you have sex with someone.
I, of course, didn't hear about it until a month later. She came up to me in the hall after classes one day. She'd been crying, and she was shaking a little. She couldn't even really speak for a while, so I took her out to the football field to calm her down. Twenty minutes later, she told me what was wrong as I held her close to me.
I was gonna be a father.
At age seventeen.
It didn't really sink in until I went to bed that night.
Think this through with me, please. I, the B-average student dog hybrid, had gotten Janet, the beautiful honours student daughter of one of the state's front-running governer elects, pregnant.
The media got wind of it somehow, and my house was swamped with reporters for a few weeks. Meanwhile, as could be predicted, Janet's father fell sharply in the polls, and he lost the election when she was six months pregnant.
Her family kind of fell apart after that. Her father left them, her mom lost her job, her big sister had to come back home to help support the family. But, as the date came closer, they all turned to me, wanting to know what I was going to do.
And guess what?
I had no idea.
We started... I guess not really dating, per se. But going out, at least. And I enjoyed spending time with her, I really did. But having a kid? Getting married?! I was seventeen, for God's sake!
You can understand my concern, can't you? It felt like I was throwing my life away. Like one mistake, no matter how large it actually was, was going to rule my life from then on.
Even on the day itself, right at the end of my first summer 'free' from school, when I got the call at work that the baby was coming, it seemed way too big for me. Janet's mom kept me out of the delivery room for some reason, so it was kinda because of her that I was sitting alone in the waiting room. I debated calling my mom, but she was probably still at work.
And as I sat there, alone in the pristine white of the hospital, I had my moment of weakness.
I was going to run. Take my car, and my savings, and skip the county.
"Are you the father?" I looked up at the young nurse who had spoken and nodded. "Lucky you..." She said with a small, dreamy sigh, and I felt a jolt of shame run through my heart.. She sat down beside me and took off one shoe, massaging her foot.
She looked at me, confused. "Of course! Being a parent is one of life's greatest joys!" She exclaimed, brushing a stray lock of her crimson hair out of her striking cerulean eyes.
"Yeah, I guess..."
She stared at me like I'd said something foul. "You guess? Wait, you're not giving the baby up, are you?"
"What? Why wou-"
She grabbed my hand and turned towards me, a very serious look on her face. "Now, I know you don't know me, but I want you to promise me something."
"Promise me that before you decide anything, you'll hold your baby." It felt like those eyes were staring straight into my soul. "In your arms. And look into her eyes."
And then, she was gone. I must've fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, they were calling for me. And when I went into Janet's room...
That nurse was right. As soon as I held my little daughter in my arms for the first time, I knew that little girl had wrapped her tiny fingers around my heart, and I would never be able to get away.
I married Janet two years later, and our daughter, Sophia, was the most beautiful flower girl anyone had ever seen...
I never found that nurse, to thank her for convincing me to stay. But If you're reading this, then thank you. You showed me the right path.
Some gifts are harder to accept than others. And some paths look to scary to take.
I prefer the less taken routes. Adventure, after all, is seldom found in the familliar.
Some of my cases are easy to handle. Some people only need a few words, or even a nice thought or two.
Others take much more.
And most are a pleasure. But sometimes, my own life gets dredged up in my work...
Heh... Never mind me. Just remember, sometimes things do turn out well. Give it a chance.
Helping people, help themselves.
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