“I don’t even care if you made it, I’ll eat it with a smile on my face—the one that isn’t going anywhere today.”
God, it feels good to see her smile. Major may not be here, but I’m glad some of the gloom is wearing off. At least for today. If anything we should be soaking up every moment we can, because life can rip things right from your grasp.
I pick her up and throw her over my shoulder, making her scream. She wiggles, and I smack her ass.
“How about you sit your little ass on my lap while I feed it to you?”
“Sounds like the best breakfast a woman can ask for.”
I give her ass another smack, making her squeal again, but she doesn’t tell me to stop. I don’t know how I made it all those months away from her without that sound.
I wiggle in my seat. I don’t know how I’ve made it through the day. The minutes on the clock slowly tick by. I know Eli has something planned for us. I tried to get out of going to school today, but he made me, something about having to get tonight ready for us.
Anticipation thumps through my veins, but there’s a little something in the back of my mind. I try to keep thoughts of my dad at bay. The fact that he’s not here for my eighteenth birthday is hard, but I’m trying to stay strong. I wonder, though, what he’d think of Eli and me being together. Would he be upset, or would he welcome it? I’m guessing no dad welcomes their daughter having a boyfriend. I would like to think he would welcome Eli. We all know Eli is a good man and he’ll be good to me. It even feels weird calling him my boyfriend because he’s more than that.
“Maggie.” My teacher Mr. Sanders pulls me from my thoughts. “You’re wanted in the principal’s office.”
“Ohhhhh!” A dramatic coo rings out in the room from the other students, as happens every time someone is called to the office.
I wonder if maybe there’s news about my father or something. I jump up, grab my bag and put my books inside, then I practically run from the room. When I make it to the office I come up short when I see Ms. Petty and Principal Ford standing there waiting for me. A small knot forms in my stomach.
“Is it my dad?”
“Come into my office, Maggie,” Principal Ford says, motioning to his office.
“Did they find him?” I push, needing to know now.
“No. I’m sorry. That’s not why I called you down here.”
I release a breath I didn’t know I was holding. Fear slips away and confusion sets in.
“Okay.” I nod and walk into his office, taking a seat. He goes around to his side of the desk and sits, and I have to roll my eyes as Ms. Petty joins us. She comes in and closes the door, then walks over to lean up against his desk.
I used to think Ms. Petty was pretty, but jealousy doesn’t look good on her face. It makes her look older and sour, like she’s been sucking on a lemon all morning.
“It’s come to our attention that your guardian and you have been—”
I put my hand up, stopping him mid-sentence. “I don’t have a guardian. I’m an adult.”
“That may be the case today, but this still needs to be looked into.”
“Good luck with that.” I stand, not wanting to participate in this conversation. Eli and I have done nothing wrong. Not for lack of me trying, though. Eli is an honorable man, and I won’t sit here and listen to anyone try to say otherwise. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m a virgin. Heck, you can even get that checked with my doctor if need be. As of today, I’m legally an adult and can do as I please.”
“How would your uncle feel about this?” Ms. Petty snaps. Jesus, her name really is fitting. I can see the anger rolling off of her now. Not that I blame her. I’d be pissed, too, if I couldn’t have Eli.
“I don’t have an uncle.” I shake my head. I have no clue what she is talking about. I glance over at the clock and see it’s almost time to go. It wouldn’t be worth going back to class at this point.
“Your uncle. The man who’s been raising you most of your life. The man who left you in Eli’s care.”
I pull my eyes away from the clock to look at her. Her face is smug now.
“Ms. Petty.” Principal Ford joins us in standing.
I glance over at him and reach for the folder he has lying in front of him with my name on it. Ms. Petty’s words are tumbling around in my head. They can only mean one thing. But it can’t be true. Can it? I open the folder and look at the top of the page.
The date is three days after my birth. I didn’t even know my dad had a brother. I scan through more documents, not even hearing what Ms. Petty and Principal Ford are saying. I hear the bell ring but keep standing there, reading.
“Oh, your Eli didn’t tell you that your dad wasn’t really your dad?” Ms. Petty’s voice is dripping with self-satisfied victory. The fact that she’s trying to hurt me with this news is disgusting.
I throw back my head and laugh.
“That’s where you’re wrong.” I square my shoulders and stare her down. This chick is crazy and clearly has some serious problems. “My dad is my dad.”
I toss the file on the desk. “If he wanted me to know this, he would have told me. I’d also bet anything Eli has no freaking idea. And if he did, you’re right. He wouldn’t say anything, because it doesn’t matter. Major is my father.”