His fingers curled around the door handle and gripped it tight. The nervous energy in his stomach was beginning to make him feel nauseous. He took a few steps back, eventually releasing his hand from the handle.
Why am I so nervous? I shouldn’t feel like this. It’s not THAT big of a deal, Miles. He thought to himself, attempting to soothe his anxiety with a lie. Miles was experiencing something far from being “not a big deal”.
It reminded him of one particular day when he was seven years old. His father had taken him to the park and let him run rampant with the other children while he flirted up the doting mothers. Even though Mile’s mother had been gone for three years at that point, it still bothered him to see his father’s attention poured on anyone else.
The children were playing a game of freeze tag, throwing themselves up the playground stairs and dodging outstretched hands like a hot iron. Miles became trapped at a dead end about 15 minutes into the game. Tommy Anderson had him cornered with no way out. Miles heart began to beat faster with every menacing step Tommy took. His head darted around, searching for a way out.
His eyes happened to land on a small slit in the old playground plywood that surrounded them. Without much thought, Miles stuck his right foot into the hole and heaved his body over the wall. He fell several feet before landing on the mulch with a thud. He could feel his right arm snap under the pressure of his body and he let out a howl of pain.
Tommy and the other kids quickly dispersed to their mothers for protection as his father came flying into the scene. He was cursing and shouting at Miles as he pulled him to his feet.
“It’s not that big of a deal, Dad.”
“Really? That’s what you have to say for yourself? It’s not a big deal to be tagged in a stupid game, it is, though, a big deal to break your damn arm to avoid it. Why in the world did you jump ya idiot?”
“I don’t know.”
Mile’s father scoffed at his response. He put his hands over his eyes and ran them down his face. When they dropped to his sides, he stepped closer to Miles. He grabbed his shoulders and leaned into Mile’s face, “Look at me Miles.”
Mile’s eyes traveled up his father’s figure until their eyes met.
“I’m sorry I yelled,” His father said, “But please remember, I only yelled because I love you and you’re a big deal to me.”
Miles gave him a quizzical look. His father sighed, “You’ll understand one day when you become a parent.”
He would never forget the way his father’s gray eyes looked at him, full of love despite what he had done.
I don’t even think I’m capable of that kind of love. Miles thought.
He never had much luck with love. He especially felt this way the day he walked out on her. The way her brown eyes glistened with tears as he slowly cracked her heart to pieces with every word he spat. He watched it shatter as she pushed herself up off the couch and formed her lips around the word coward. He knew he was, but he would never admit it to anyone. Especially her.
Miles turned around one last time to look at her before opening the door to leave. My god she was beautiful.
For some reason, he only managed to walk half a block before he ran back to her door. He pushed it open, huffing and puffing from sprinting. He walked over to her as she held her face in her hands and he wrapped his arms around her.
“I love you. And no matter what, we will get through this together, “Miles said.
She turned her head and nestled it into his shoulder, “You don’t have to be afraid, Miles.”
He knew that he didn’t have to be frightened, but he still couldn’t get himself to open the door in front of him. Sweat was beginning to run down the back of his neck. He dabbed the sleeve of his sweatshirt against his forehead. He dropped his hands to his side and felt the trembling that ran from his toes all the way to his head. His adrenaline was high and his heart pounded harder and harder.
Then, a soft call came from behind the door, “Miles, I know you’re out there. Please, come in. You need to see her.”
He mustered up all the strength he had and pushed himself off of the wall towards the door. He snatched the handle, gave it a swift push, and flung the door open. It creaked as it swung open, making a soft thump as it hit the doorstop. It bounced back a little, but Miles caught it with the palm of his hand.
He made his way into the room. With every step he took, the numbness of his anxiety spread through him and made him feel as if he was floating.
When he reached her bedside, a wave of an unfamiliar emotion washed over him. My god she’s beautiful.
Nestled in a small bundle, a new little life. Half him, half her. A wondrous concoction of two chaotic minds. She held her up to him, and he gingerly wrapped his hands around her fragile figure. He held her like a china doll, afraid that he might break her. But when her nose wrinkled up and her little fingers brushed past his, every ounce of fear drained from his body and all he was left with was a love he never knew he possessed. He finally understood what his father meant and she was indeed “a big deal”.