A man finds out he and his ex had a child. What happens when the child comes for a visit?
| Carltonâs father
Ben couldnât stop staring at the boy in the car window. The boy looked about 8 or 9, and his eyes were glued to a tablet. He had never seen this boy in his life, but the boy somehow had a familiarity about him.
âBen?â came an all too familiar voice from behind him.
He turned to see Tamika come out of the gas station department store with a bag in her hand, containing a Mountain Dew, a Cherry Coke, and Yorkshire mints
âTamika?â he asked âWhat are you-â
âIâm going to Tennessee for a vacation. What are you doing here?â
âUm-â his mouth went dry. He couldnât think of what to say.
Tamika looked at him, her chocolate brown eyes searching. Finally he mustered up the courage to ask. âSo youâve had a kid?â
He saw her stiffen up as if the word âkidâ was a trigger word. ââ¦yesâ
Ben shuffled nervously. The next two words sent his mind reeling
His heart began going 100 miles a minute. Mine? He canât be mine! Tamika and Iâ¦
âMine?â he squeaked
Tamika hesitated but then nodded. âI didnât want to tell you. I didnât think youâd want to be involved.â
âAnd why pray tell would you think that?â
âBecause every night you were either out drinking, riding on your motorcycle, or working on your stupid novel.â
Benâs blood drained so bad that he mustâve looked like a ghost.
âI crashed the Harley, I went to the 12 step meetings, and Iâll give you a copy of my novel when itâs published.â
âDonât bother.â Tamika snapped, making Ben jump startled. He converted his eyes to the boy. He was a little relieved to see the boy was still watching his tablet.
Now that he knew who the boy was he could now see why the boy looked so familiar. He lookedâ¦like him. From the wild blond hair to the starling green eyes to even the birth mark in front of the right ear.
âWhatâs his name?â Ben asked
Tamika sighed through her teeth âCarlton. His name is Carlton.â
Ben tried to fight a smirk. âCarlton? Like Carlton from âFresh Prince of Bel-Air?ââ
Tamika nodded so hard, her curls whipped into her face. âYes like that Carltonâ
Ben was still fighting laughs âYou couldnât have thought of a better name than Carlton.â
âHe looked like a Carlton!â she snapped
Ben was about to open his mouth again but was cut off by a âMom?â
Ben looked to see Carlton had rolled the window down by now âMom, what are you yelling about?â
âNothing sweetie.â Tamika said, and Ben just knew she was trying to keep from scaring her little boy. âGo back to watching your movie, Carly.â
Carlton nodded and rolled his window back up and put his headphones back on.
âIâd better get going.â Tamika said, going around to the drivers side.
âIt wasâ¦â Ben stopped when he heard the car door close ââ¦good seeing you.â
He watched as Tamika back up and began driving out of the gas station, his thoughts wondering to Carlton. His son. The son who would never know who he was. Or so he thought.
A few years later Ben looked up from his sleeping daughter as a sharp knock came on the door. Gently placing her in the play pen, he made his way toward the door. As he opened it, he blinked surprised to see a teenage boy standing before him.
âCan I help you?â he asked
âYes, you can.â The boy snapped. The tone in his voice was so sharp it made Ben flinch.
âListen, my daughter is sleeping and could wake up at any moment so could you wait-â
âNo I canât wait.â The boy snapped again. âI think youâre my father.â
Ben blinked shocked âYou mean youâre-â
âCarlton Andrews? Yep.â The boy (who he now knew was Carlton.) said, scowling sourly.
Ben gulped âLook Iâm sorry for not being around.â
âBull crap! Look, I donât care what you may think, or how busy you may have been, or whatever you knew. It was my momâs idea that I come see you.â
The father jumped as soft crying was heard in the background. He turned quickly hurried to his daughter, and cradled her gently.
âShh. Itâs ok Hannah.â He cooed at her.
âOh you care about her?â Carlton asked
âI care about both of you.â Ben said
âAgain-bull crapâ Carlton said.
âNo just forget it. I donât want to see you, your daughter, or your stupid wife again.â Carlton said walking away,slamming the door behind him.
Ben sighed heavily, and looked down at Hannah. âAt least Iâve got you.â He said kissing her forehead softly