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Filing divorce papers because your ex-wife suddenly ran off with the pool boy has to be number four on my list of things I hate most in the world. Number two and three are my wedding and my wife. Number one is when a scoop of ice cream falls off your cone as you try to lick it.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the paperwork.

Benny, my lawyer, was on his seventh cup of coffee, just trying to pound these files through. He had to squeeze me in since it was so sudden. Not the divorce, we all knew that was gonna happen for a while, why with the numerous affairs my wife’s had in the past three years. However, the opportunity for full custody was new.

You see, for the past three years, my wife’s been able to keep all her affairs in order and under raps. Nothing that could get me a divorce including full custody of our daughter, Sunny.

Ah, Sunny, she’s the light of my life—and yes, part of the reason my wife hates me is because I turned our daughter’s name into a dad joke.

I leaned back in my chair and exhaled slowly, letting the tension leave my body, and the feeling come back into my tightly grasped writing hand.

The only reason my wife even wants custody of our daughter—despite having no interest in the actual human being—is because it gives her prime access to my bank account.

Well, no more.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s simple: to explain that my ex-wife may be a soul-sucking, gold-digging, plastic-surgery-loving, cheating, wack-a-doo whose currently all parts of the Bahamas and Jose, but there’s a certain comfort I’m holding onto. That would be the undoubtable certainly that Sunny is 100% my daughter.

Now, you’re probably wondering ‘how would this possible crackhead know that if his ex-wife is a soul-sucking, gold-digging, plastic-surgery-loving, cheating wack-a-doo?’

The answer is simple. I see myself in my daughter. Everyday.

I see it in her avid love of insects. They way she uses her delicate hands to scoop a ladybug off the leaf. The way she names him Melvin, after my great uncle—he was an entomologist.

It reminds me of the time when I was a boy and I jumped across a river to catch the land lobster beetle. I named him Melvin as well and gave him to my great uncle as a gift.

In my last birthday, Sunny gave me Melvin the Ladybug. And I cried. Twice. Once when Melvin crawled on my hand lookin’ like the cutest bug ever and a second time when my crazy ex-wife swatted and killed him with a newspaper.

I see it in the way that her favorite drug of choice is chocolate chip cookie dough. After every break up—whether tv or real life—we sit together and just devour the unsuspecting batter.

I even shared my secret stash of the store-bought stuff with her. All to see her smile again.

I see myself in that crooked canine tooth she got from making the same stupid mistakes I also made as a child. Both of us tried to eat a coconut without cutting it. And we both laugh about it to this day.

I see myself in my daughter in the way she celebrates every victory with a corny little dance. But girl, if you won anything, you deserve a chance to shake those hips.

These are the little things that comfort me. The little things that guarantee Sunny is 100% my daughter. Though, even if she wasn’t, I’d still love her anyway.

So where does that leave us? Me, paying my attorney overtime and staying up to one in the morning so I can get full custody. But hey, that’s just the kind of thing you’ll do for your kids.

October 18, 2019 14:52

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3 comments

Peace Nakiyemba
02:11 Aug 27, 2020

Laughed out loud reading this. Well done.

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Lily Kingston
13:05 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you!

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Terry R Barca
03:24 Nov 01, 2019

Love the 'first-person'. The story about the beetle gives me an insight into your character's, well, character. You write believably as a 'male'. Well done. Terry

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