Not My Blessings

A young family soon discovers their twin children are not the blessing they thought they had received, but instead a true horror.


2. Promises


Dan’s voice was raw and raspy, like that of a man’s who has drunk the salty ocean. His eyes fluttered open as memories came back, closing only when his thoughts were not on his past. He stammered and gurgled a bit, but soon had his voice under control. Darrell stared at him, a killing look of hate, fear, and pity at the poor man. Maurice held Laura’s hand, who was still quite afraid of Darrell’s rage. The twins slept, stirring only when tensions got high, grins spreading on their faces.


Maurice held much grief in her heart for Dan. It was obvious; his life had not been swell. She wondered why the heavenly father would go to such lengths to make such a vulnerable and helpless man so depressed. She knew it wasn’t his fault they had been in the accident, but Darrell just didn’t get it. The poor man hadn’t even been able to have anesthetic while they amputated his leg, casted his arm, or gave him his stitches because his situation was so dire he would have died had they waited for him to sink to sleep. He had been in much pain. That was why he was awake now, instead of hours later. She glanced down at his stump of a leg, only reaching down to his knee. The poor, poor man, so full of grief and pain. His whole life has been pain. That’s all he knows. Pain, hate, and grief. And the fear his parents cast on him. The poor soul. She thought to herself.


Dan’s parents had been abusive throughout the time he lived with them. His father was a drunk, and his mother used meth, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and every other drug available. He was born with speech problems because of the drugs his mother used while pregnant. He had no siblings, and was beaten daily. Dan was seven when the authorities took action after he had been beat to the point of near death. He was shipped off to an orphanage. He then experienced seven different sets of foster parents before he escaped the system. He was the father of many children at a young age. When he was fourteen, he had one son. At fifteen, he had another. At sixteen he had two daughters. When he was seventeen he had one son and one daughter, and at eighteen three sons and four daughters. In two years, when he was nineteen and twenty, he had nine daughters and twelve sons. None were of the same mother, and he left their moms when he first found out. He received numerous letters and calls saying he was a father and needed to take care of them, all of which he denied.


At twenty-one, he got married and had three sons. By the time he was twenty-four all the divorce papers had been signed, and he denied custody of the children. He remarried that same year and had two daughters. He also started heavy meth. He divorced again at twenty-eight, once again denying custody. At twenty-nine he remarried. He abused her and put her in ICU, and was sent promptly to jail. After seven years, he was released, and though he was clean and his wife had forgiven him, he divorced again. At thirty-nine he married for the last time. They had two sons, but by forty-one he had divorced again. It was at forty-two when his midlife crisis began.


He went and lived with his last wife’s brother, but he was still broke from child support and without a car. He lived there for ten years, and then Demeter died. His ex-wife took the money, home and car that Demeter had left for Dan. His sons, eleven and twelve, and his ex-wife demanded that he come and drive the corvette she took from him to her house so he could not only drop off the car, but see his sons. He had never spent more than three years with any of his children, so he was quite nervous. He was trying to hurry, and hadn’t seen their SUV and cut them off. No one, not even Darrell, needed any more explanation.


Poor Laura was exhausted, and requested that she, Maurice, and the twins go to her room and sleep. Darrell stayed and apologized to the grief stricken man.

“I wasn’t thinking clearly. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the whole dad thing.” Dan smiled sadly and replied.

 “Just be the dad I wasn’t. Of all the children I had, I only stayed with them for a few years at the longest. But do I wish I had stayed around to watch them grow. I know only ten of their names, because I was there when they were born, but of the rest I have no clue. Jesse, Lila, Teresa, Manny, Chris, Alvin, Sarah, Emily, Demetrius, and Daunte are the only ones I know, and I left them in diapers. Stay with that beautiful wife of yours and those precious babes. You’ll regret it otherwise.” And with that, Dan Gimeno passed away, away from his pain, grief, fear, and regret to be free and at peace at last.


            Darrell returned to the room that held his wife and children. Maurice had gone to the cafeteria to get some coffee. Laura mumbled in her sleep, a fitful rest that restored her no energy or strength, but one that allowed her mind to mull over the events of the last few days. The twins were sleeping deeply, oblivious to the struggle in Darrell’s head. He died. After all of that pain and suffering, he had to nearly kill us all and then be in excruciating pain. All of that torture life gave him and suddenly he just doesn’t exist. I watched the existence of two lives come into focus and watched as four lives were almost snuffed out in a car accident. I also saw one blown out completely. Maurice would say it was God’s plan, but I say that fate seems to be toying with me. I have a beautiful wife, an excellent job, and two children. I have a full deck. But I almost lost, and that was too big of a gamble. That was my last bet. No more risks. This ends now. With resolve he looked up from his clenched fists.  My wife and my children need me. Next time, I won’t fail. I will keep them safe and I will ensure there is no next time. This won’t happen again. Darrell got up and walked to the portable cradles. Inside, he saw life, precious life. This life had to be preserved. Darrell then walked to the bed. On it laid Laura. Her face was battered and full of grief and fatigue, but in her he saw hope and happiness. This also had to be saved, and he was willing to give his life for it. Nothing in this world matters more to me than you and our children. I will stop at nothing to please you and keep you safe. You are all of my life now. Nothing can break my promise. You will be safe and happy. I swear to it. Then Darrell left to go fulfill his promise, his back straight with resolve, his face set and hard with determination.

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