Redemption (Forgiven Series)(3)

By: Rebecca Brooke

What it really came down to was that he was more interested in his business than me, and he always had been. I knew he made a lot of money, but that didn’t mean anything to me. What I needed was a dad who wanted to spend time with me, not all the expensive things he bought me because society expected him to.

The clock in the hall chimed. Practice would be starting soon and I needed a ride to the field. Softball was about the only thing that kept me sane these days. It was the one place I found refuge from all of the crap my dad had dumped on us the day he’d decided he liked his secretary better than Mom. Even my mom struggled as she tried to find someone to love, but no matter what she still loved me and showed me as much as possible. She tried to make up for my dad but she didn’t need to because I didn’t really want to see him anyway. My father was past the point of redemption in my eyes.

Suddenly, she started pacing. Crap. That usually meant it was going to be a long fight. I walked up to her and whispered, “Mom, practice starts soon and I need a ride to the field.”

She covered the phone with her hand, mouthed to me to hold on before continuing her pointless conversation. I rolled my eyes and huffed at her. That earned me “the look” and I stopped in my tracks. When I got “the look” I knew I’d taken it too far. I sat down on the couch with my bag at my feet, and waited patiently until finally, a few minutes later, she hung up the phone.

“Son of a bitch,” she muttered before putting on her overly bright, happy face. That always meant that I wasn’t seeing Dad. “Honey—” she started to say, but I put my hand up to cut her off.

“Mom, I already know what you’re going to say.” I used a comedic voice to try and mimic her and lighten the mood, but it didn’t work. “Dad has to work this weekend and can’t see you, but he’ll make it up to you.” I stood up and crossed my arms over my chest. “Which basically means he’ll buy me some expensive thing that I don’t even want in the first place, and pretend like that makes up for not being around and missing my game this weekend.”

She walked over to put her arm around my shoulder. “Honey, your father loves you.”

I opened my mouth to tell her that he had a funny way of showing it, but shut it again when I realized that it would only cause a fight. Grabbing my bag I asked, “Mom, can we talk about this later?”

She watched my face, like she was waiting for an outburst at any moment, but I’d given up on those once I realized there was no point. My dad wasn’t interested in me, so why should I care about him? Playing the game I loved was more important to me than my father ever could be at this point. When I was on the field, all of my other problems melted away, and the only thing that mattered to me was pitching a strike. I didn’t have to worry about my dad, or question why he didn’t want to spend time with me.

My mom had been so lonely since he left. Not that I wanted them to get back together—I just wanted my mom to be happy. She was so focused on me that she never took anytime for herself. The only time she did that was when I was with my dad, which wasn’t all that often. Just another reason not to like the man.

Plus, I had enough to focus on with this weekend’s game. It would decide if we were going to the playoffs and I was the starting pitcher.

Seemingly happy to let the issue drop, Mom grabbed her purse and her keys. “Sure, let’s go.”

We walked out the door and immediately I felt lighter because I was that much closer to having a few hours of peace.

I was sitting on the couch waiting for Emily. Emily Halliday and I met freshman year. Never one to mince words, I appreciated her honesty and temper, as long as it wasn’t directed at me. Emily was one of the few girls that I actually called “friend.” We needed to be at the hotel before the guests started to arrive and I didn’t want Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs to have to figure out who everyone was on their own. Plus, Caleb was a nervous wreck and driving me nuts.

Caleb Jacobs was my best friend. We met at football practice during our first year on campus. At the time, my roommate was a pain, and Caleb offered to let me live with him off campus. We’d been friends ever since. I couldn’t blame him for being nervous. I’d be freaking out too if I was asking the girl of my dreams to marry me. Then again, I was never going to find myself in the marriage trap. I liked being single. Although lately, Angie seemed determined to set me up with someone. Angie Powers was Caleb’s soon-to-be fiancée—well, hopefully. I met her and Emily at the same time, but while Emily was the spitfire, Angie was sweet and more like a little sister. What Angie didn’t realize was that I enjoyed the freedom that came with having one-night stands. I never felt obligated to the girls after that night which suited me fine. People always found something they cared about more in the long run anyway.

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