The story so far:
v – her daughter
When my new neighbors first moved in I was livid. For six months that apartment had been vacant and it was freaking sweet. And then all at once, that glorious silence was about to end. I wanted blood!
I stomped and I belched and I bought a tall bottle of Beam and turned the stereo up to wall shaking decibels. I wanted them to know who was boss.
Little did I know then that the real boss was a two and a half year old named Arianna.
Sponge Bob. Dora. Stuffed animals aptly named Baby and Bear. A thousand and one tiny bits of peanut butter cookie smashed into every fiber of the couch and carpet. Mystery spills strategically placed so that you don’t just step in one, two, or even three...but enough to send you to the dresser for a fresh pair of socks.
If any of these joys sound familiar than you probably have one yourself. An Arianna.
It took Alyssa four weeks of getting to know me before she decided I was trust worthy enough to meet her daughter. It was a big step. For all of us.
When she brought Ari over and introduced us my mouth hung wide in awed silence. I honestly didn’t think it possible that nature could produce anything else as glorious as Alyssa. But here was the proof. This darling little child with the chubby cheeks and wide striking blue eyes. She was an exact replica of her mother.
After the initial awkward shyness wore off, Ari and I found ourselves to be the best of buds. We watched the Backyardigans and we ate corndogs and we drank kool-aid out of sippy-cups. We talked about cats and we threw imaginary marshmallows at Mumma and we fed Baby and Bear tater-tots.
And let me just tell you my dear readers, for a while, all the stresses and untruths and despair in my soul, well…they just vanished. My pulse calmed. My head cleared. The burn in my heart subsided. I felt like for the first time in my life I could actually comprehend what it meant to be happy. Not greeting card, kiss your relatives on the Holidays happy…but honest to goodness, ‘life is **** great after all’ happy.
And then we heard the front door, next door, open and slam. Her door. The **** boyfriend was home.
Alyssa mouthed to me that she would be back in a few minutes and out the door her and Arianna went.
Now I want to tell you something my faithful friends, and I beg of you not to think me any less of a man…but I sat down on my couch and I cried.
But don’t fret. It wasn’t all bad. Because despite the fact that the fire was once again ablaze in my heart and my blood was boiling and my skin flushed with loss…the tears that came streaming down my cheeks were not tears of despair. Oh no, far from it. They were tears of joy.
You see, all this time I had been looking at Alyssa as an object of my affection. An object of my obsession. An object of my fantasy and desire. But after having had the wonderful opportunity to see her around her beautiful daughter, suddenly she become so much more to me than all that. She became a Mom.