“Where the fuck am I?” Shannon said, crawling to a sitting position
“At the hospital,” I said, springing to my feet. “I thought I’d lost you.” I choked back tears.
“Not ready to be a father to a baby, are you?” Shannon raises a sly brow.
“What is it with you and fatherhood?” I chuckled. “I’m over it.”
“You sure?” Shannon said more seriously than before.
I blew out my lips. “I’m ready for whatever comes next.” Of course, I didn’t mean it, not literally, but I wanted her to believe she hadn’t a worry in the world because there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make this work.
“Good.” Shannon paused. “Good, because you’re gonna be a father to twins.” Shannon raised then lowered her arms. “Well?”
A bubble forms in my throat, I swallowed several times and burp. I scrambled to the sink and doubled over; coffee and warm stomach fluid hit the drain like a blanket slapping the floor.
TWO hours later, Bill, her father, strolls in the room wearing his three-piece suit. His hands shoved in his pockets, and light stubble traced his jawline; his narrow eyes turned to crinkled slits. “You… I should beat the fuck outta you,” Bill says. “You got my daughter stuck on a ski lift?”
“Look, sir.” I looked down and away. “It wasn’t on purpose.”
“What kinda idiot gets stuck on a ski lift?” Bill said. “How stupid are you?”
“It wasn’t my fault, Bill,” I said angrier than I’d anticipated. “You blame me for everything, and I’m sick… I mean, it wasn’t my fault.”
“It’s never the fault of the person she’s dating. And I hear you got my daughter knocked up,” Bill says. “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”
I glanced at Shannon. “You told your father before me?” I shook my head. Sir, that wasn’t on purpose either,” I said. “And what’s going on here? How am I the last to know?”
Bill folded his arms across his chest and gave me a death stare. “So my daughter was just another mistake?”
“What? No, that’s not what I am saying at all.” My eyes darted back to Shannon. “Going to help me out here?”
“Can you do anything right?”
“Have a little holiday cheer,” I said. “Relax.”
“Holiday cheer these—”
“Dad,” Shannon said. “Enough.”
Bill grabbed a fistful of my shirt; his breath smelled like onions and coffee. “You ever get my daughter stuck anywhere again, I’ll rip your head off.”
“Stop it, dad!” Shannon said. “I had the lift stuck on purpose.”
“What the fuck?” I said.
“What the hell?” Bill said.
Shannon looks at me. “I wanted to see if you could be a good dad and how we dealt under pressure. It wasn’t supposed to be for three days. But the crew forgot about the plan.”
“So, we were stuck—”
“On purpose,” Shannon said.
I turn to Jim.
“Fine… I apologize,” Bill tells me.
“What do you say we go skiing for real this time?”
“No,” I said.
“Not a chance in hell,” Bill said