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Pen Your Pride

One of the reasons why I absolutley loved my Dad, was because he gave me the day off when I was too hungover to function properly.

"Did you get pizza?"

Dad came through with about 5 boxes and I rolled my eyes. He also had 2 Starbucks coffees in his hand, ones he probably got when he drove Mom to work.

"You even have to ask?" He laughed as he handed me the coffee, lifted my feet up, sat at my side and then dropped my legs back down. "Your Mom's gonna kill me when she gets back..."


Dad sighed. "I promised that if you didn't get out of bed, I'd drag you to school myself.."


He ruffled my hair. "Don't be sorry, Danny. I just didn't want you going to school feeling like shit. Are you still getting crap off Mr Connors?"

I shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah,"

Mr Connors went to school with my Dad. They hated each other. When my parents were 16, they went to this weird delinquent school and Mom said that Mr Connors got jealous of my Dad for some reason. It was something to do with them both liking photography, both getting competetive and shit. Anyways, I was too fucked up for normal school. I got into too many fights, pissed off too many teachers, didn't get along with anyone. Dad didn't want me to go to the same reform school he and Mom went to, but it was either that or a boarding school.

So yeah, I went to the same reform school and got abuse from Mr Connors because he hated my Dad.

"Do I need to speak with the Principal?"

I shrugged. "It's not that bad. He just gives me more crap than he gives anyone else,"

Dad didn't look convinced. "Danny I know what teachers are like in that school. They're dicks. And if they're treating you like shit, then tell me alright?"

I nodded and took a sip of my coffee. "Seriously Dad, you've been swearing way more than usual.."

"I'm just a bit stressed,"

"Are you ok?"

"Yeah," he smiled at me. "I'm fine. Want some pizza?"


A while later, all the pizza was gone and me and Dad were severly depressed. Well, I couldn't make jokes about that. One time Mom had explained to me that Dad used to suffer from depression, and that I should be careful what I say about him. Like if he was upset, I couldn't say something like "hey Dad, you look so depressed."

But that was kind of how we were feeling at the minute.

Because we'd eaten all the pizza and drunk all the coffee.

"Hey Danny?"


"Do you remember what you said last night?"

I distantly remember grapes, but I had a feeling that Dad wouldn't hesitate to ask me why I'd had an obsession with grapes.

So I shrugged. "No...?"

He looked down awkwardly. "You said that Mom doesn't love you because you're not her biological son,"



Dad turned to face me. "Why would you say something like that? Is that how you feel?"

"I dunno," I admitted. "It's just, she looks at me like she wants to love me..but she can't. It's like everytime she sees me, she's reminded that I'm not really her kid."

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