Hi my name is Tony, i'm 32 years old and i'm a video game designer. I work full time 8 hours a day 6 times a week in a video game company designing 3d graphics assets.
I live with my family consisting of my wife and two children, both a son and a daughter. Well, used to anyway..
My office is pretty far away from my home, about 3 hour drive without traffic and believe me that literally never happens. So I used to rent an apartment then only come home at Sundays.
This later turned into an owned house which doubles as our summer house as it is close the the beach and whatnot.
I barely spend time with my family but I do love them, or so i keep telling myself.
I'm not always there for my kids, but I do take my son every week to go play baseball, or fishing in the nearby lake at the morning.
My daughter, Rori, has her own thing going on so, as she is a teenager, I try not to bother her much but we do talk from time to time.
Everything was stable none the less, until that one day, where the shitstorm start pouring.
I got an unusual project from my team leader at work to do some 3d textures importing on our new game engine.
Basically replacing the engine of a car except you don't just take the engine and replace it but you replace everything that is attached to the engine.
He gave me a week and I did exceptionally well, mostly exploits, so i had a couple of days off.
So as a loving husband and father, I bought a cake, some ice creams and a champagne to surprise my family. Except it wasn't a surprise to the family, it was a surprise to my humanity.
I completely lost it, if I had a bad traffic that time I'm not sure what I would've done to my naked bent-over wife. I filed for a divorce.
I talked to my lawyer, and of course,he said she wants both custody of the kids.
I could fight for it, but it won't be easy as they do favor the mother in most cases even though she's the one who cheated.
This lawyer was a classmate of mine back in highschool, so we were pretty close.
He jokingly asked me; "Hey, isn't that the best case scenario for you, leaving your wife and also getting parenthood out of your way without doing anything".
I took it seriously and i had a think for a bit, he is actually right.
I've never been a parent to my kids, an actual parent, I'm just there for the good times and even then they can be a handful. I don't think i can be an actual parent let alone a good one.
So i agreed and even questioned him why other fathers fight for custody.
"I'm just kidding, I just meant you should spend more time with your kids but are you serious? it's because they want the right for their children.
And besides, even if they don't care, they would still need to pay excessive money for child support, like way more than raising a kid" he replied.
I'm gonna be honest, the money thing is what took a jab to me, I'm not low on cash in any means but I don't want to give my money to that woman and I prefer to have some money around too.
So we discussed, he concluded I can get one child. Getting my son will the most likely outcome but involves alot of effort and trials because he was 8 years old.
While in my daughter's case, the only way is for her to choose me as her guardian, because she was a girl and was 14 years old, above age of right to choose(13 yrs old).
That is just very unlikely as I am more close to my son and she is probably a cranky teenager that hates everything. So I went to court and won't leave the case until I get my son.
But I did left without my son, in an unexpected turn of events.
Rori, my 14 year old first born daughter. She is in highschool, she's got decent grades but she is rather really popular.
I don't know why as she is not athlethic whatsoever, doesn't participate in school events and contests as she finds it tiresome,not friendly and barely holds conversations,
and I can sing better than her and I am not a good or any way okay singer. Those were the qualities I needed if I ever want to be popular but I guess now it is; be pretty and be a girl.
Although she is very beautiful and fashionable so I don't really blame those who put her in a pedestal, as I do those things back then as a teenager.
She just has the look where she has done every single crime against you yet one smile and you forgive her and laugh it off.
I wasn't really mentally prepared or physically prepared as I did order some boys stuff in ready for the coming of my son and an extra leverage in court. She decided she wants to live with me.
So I went back to my old home to pick her up, it's only been almost a week but it feels like a couple of years. I start reminiscing about the things we did.
Like when my ex wife and I was scammed by a real estate agent and left us with this pile of garbage of a house.
We made do and as the matter of fact its what kept us together, to work through the tough times in order to pay our debts and also create a nice home to raise our kids.
We were so happy when we had our first child,
I was so excited that when the doctors said the baby might come at anytime I immedietely had a leave and stay on a leave on work for 2 weeks just to be able to give the first bath.
I had a smirk, I would forever cherish those moments even though it was perversed by the things happening of late. This is a start of a new life after all, so a smile is just what I need.
I put her bags in the trunk while she bids her farewell.
She and her brother often fight over small matters, I will always be there to break the fight then talk to them both privately over their motives.
Their motives are very simple and very child-like but the idea of talking to one and agreeing with everything they say then do the exact thing on the other is just fun to me and would
still make me laugh every time I remember. It's basically my bonding with both of them. I was watching in a distance but it's clear that their goodbye is very heartbreaking.
He even cries and hugged her in the legs, begging her to stay.She seemed to have explain something then he quickly wipe off his tears and wave goodbye.
Back then, i've always assumed she is doing this to spite her mother, or me, i'm not really sure. But right there she seems like she is doing it because she has to even if it's out of her heart.
She walked towards me. I had all kinds of butterflies in my stomach as this is a start of a new life from a stable and loving family that has been broken by a mistake.
The worst part is that this is not their fault but they're the ones who will suffer for it. I can see the despair in her eyes behind the smile she gave me.
I just wanna hug her and tell her that everything is gonna be alright, even though I knew it was a lie.
I do blame myself for all of this, but there is nothing I can do to change it now, all I can do is be a good parent and give her the life she deserves, at least.
I apologized and then we went off on our way to our new home.
It's been an hour on the road and not a word was spoken. she was just staring at her phone while i'm focused in driving.
It didn't really bother me at that time but still, the atmosphere is so sad that you'd think you're in a maroon 5 music video.
So I did what every distant father does whenever in an awkward silent; keep asking generic things and getting short, annoyed answers.
I told her about the schools I checked in the area that she can choose from and the parks and entertainment places to go to. She got excited and started a barrage of questions about the details.
We started to make a schedule of the things we'll do like shopping, house decorating, school application, all that stuff.
We also shared all sorts of stories that even now i'm still quite embarrassed about my youth days. We had a great time and the traffic didn't bother us a bit.
Time flied and we were home the next minute.
I showed her her room, she said it looks good but with her face saying "ok wtf is this". I left her so she can unpack and redecorate her room while I went to get dinner.
I went to get some sushi in this place I like. The line was long so i was left there to stand and think a bit.
I wasn't aware that I was smiling the whole time, I was just so happy, even happier than how much I know why. I basically talked to her in that trip more than her whole life.
I never even knew she plays soccer in her free time and she loved it,
kind of makes me feel bad I wasted time watching comedy tv shows instead of spending time on something we liked together just because I didn't took it to consideration.
So I brought home some sushi and what do you know, she liked it too, I can even see the look she's giving on my sushi as if she wants to kill me just to devour those fish on some rice.
We were both tired so we decided to say goodnight and have some rest, as we do have a lot of things to do tomorrow. I am to take her to shopping for school uniform and things for her room.
I went to bed excited that night, I can't wait for tomorrow.
To be continued