It had been 5 long almost unbearable years since Gaia's death during childbirth. These were five years of hell for Chris, she had left him with a daughter he didn't know how to care for and he wasn't sure he wanted to be a dad after Gaia's death.
Melanie was the name Chris had went with, Melanie Gaia after her month. For some reason Gaia had a love for the name Melanie, Chris didn't know why she loved it so but he wanted to honor his late lover so Melanie was the only way to go.
She wasn't an easy child to raise, she had a hellfire in her Gaia would have been proud of. She stood down to no one and she only truly listened to her auntie Ryan or her uncle Balz. They had somehow found a way to get her to listen while she ignored Chris. But he couldn't blame her, he knew he was a bad dad and he wanted to fix it but he didn't know how to.
"Only two hours of freedom left." Chris mumbled, eyeing his phone as he thought of something he could quickly do.
Clean Melanie's room? Hell to the no.
The sound of his phone ringing brought him from his thoughts, making him sigh the moment he saw Melanie's daycare phone number appear on his phone. He picked his phone up and pressed the answer button, putting the phone up to his ear.
"Mr.Cerruli, we need you to come pick up Melanie." Karen, the daycare director, said.
"Is something wrong?" He asked, sitting up.
"Melanie punched a child and refuses to explain why she punched her." She answered.
"I'll be there soon." Chris sighed, hanging up.
In a swift motion, he picked up his keys and headed towards the door.
Melanie almost looked pathetic sitting on the bright pink stool that sat in the corner of the room.
"So she punched a child without warning?" Chris asked Kim, eyeing Melanie.
"As far as we know, yes. The girl she punched is in the other room." Kim answered.
"Melanie, come here." Chris ordered, watching the little girl stand up from the stool and approach him.
"Why did you punch that little girl?" Chris asked.
Melanie didn't answer, she instead stared at the floor.
"She made fun of momma!" Melanie yelled.
Chris was taken back at this.
Gaia had only gotten to hold Melanie once before she passed but Melanie had an unspoken love and respect for her mother that she obviously was not afraid to show.
"Melanie, you can't just hit people." Chris sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"I told her to stop three time! Three times daddy! She kept saying momma deserved to die!" Melanie said, bursting into tears.
Chris stared at his child, resisting the urge to breakdown with her.
"Is that really what happened Melanie?" Kim asked.
Melanie nodded, still crying. Chris picked his daughter up, rubbing her back to calm her.
"I'll go talk to the other girl's mother, just take her home for now." Kim said, walking out of the room.
Chris carried his teary eyed daughter out of the building, not putting her down until he strapped her into her car seat. He paused before closing the door, knowing he needed to talk to her.
"Melanie, baby, I know you love your momma very much but you should never hit people over her." Chris said.
Melanie sniffled, "But I miss her daddy."
"I know you do baby but momma is in a good place, she's watching over you right now and she's watching you grow up. I miss momma too but she's happy because she gets to see you all day, every day." He said, not realizing how hard it is to explain death to a 5 year old.
"All day?" She asked.
"Does she get tired?" Melanie asked.
"Probably, your'e a tiring child to watch after." Chris answered.
Melanie giggled, making Chris smile a bit. Melanie had her mother's giggle.
"Daddy, I love you." Melanie smiled, showing off her missing tooth.
"I love you too, princess." Chris smiled.
Dang it I teared up writing this.