“This is my fault.” Cassandra admitted.
“Don’t blame yourself. You weren’t to know how he’d react.” Darren held his lover’s hands.
“Are you just going to leave him?” Cassandra wondered.
“I don’t know where he’s going.” Darren confessed.
“You don’t? Well where would you go if you found out your dad was ‘cheating‘ on your mum?”
“Dad always used to take me to the toy store when he felt guilty about his mistress!” Darren smiled, joking a little about his past.
“Your dad cheated on your mum?” Cassandra said a little shocked that Darren would just bring this up as a joke.
“He cheated, but they stayed together. In fact I’ve never known such a devoted couple. I’ve always dreamed of having what they have… minus the affairs of course!” Darren told Cassandra. “Do you mind if I leave you? I figure if I leave him alone for too long he won’t talk to me again, ever!”
“I thought you said you didn’t know where he was?” Cassandra queried.
“I didn’t. But you did.” He said, kissing her goodbye. Cassandra thought that maybe they were so close that sometimes they didn’t always need words to communicate.
He pulled up to the cemetery where his late wife rested. He could already see Dirk, sitting by his mother’s grave. He was too lost in thought to notice Darren walk up beside him. “What’s she saying?” Darren asked.
“I don’t know. Can’t hear her, my heads too full of my own selfish thoughts.” Dirk admitted.
“Do you mind if I listen?” Dirk shrugged, so Darren sat down next to his son.
“How did you know I’d be here? I didn’t even know this was where I was headed until I finally stopped running.”
“Cassandra knew you’d be here actually.” Darren said, trying to get his son to open up to his new love.
“So what? Just because your girlfriend guessed I’d be at my dead mum’s grave we share some special connection now!” Dirk mocked sarcastically.
“No, but I just wanted you to know she gets where your anger’s coming from. That she also knows how it feels to lose a mother.” Darren said, reminding Dirk about Cassandra’s mum, Bella.
“Her mum just disappeared; I can assure you in the back of her mind she hopes and believes that her mother’s going to come back one day. That isn’t something we share.” Darren stayed silent for a moment, void of any words to convince his son other wise.
“Do you think about her?” Dirk broke the silence when he was eager to find out if his dad still thought of Darleen.
“All the time.” Darren told his son.
Dirk looked at his dad for a second before looking back up at the clouds, “You’re lying.”
“I am not. Every time I think of you I think of her, what we made together, what our love made. And I’ve never not thought about you for even a second.” Dirk couldn’t help but look at his dad.
“And when you fell in love with Cassandra, were you thinking about me then?” Dirk asked, still hurting from the shocking revelation.
“I was. I knew that this was going to be so hard for you to understand. That even though she’s gone and I still love her everyday, I’ve managed to fall in love all over again. Surely you can understand just a little what it’s like to love two people at once?” Darren said, referring to Dirk’s girlfriends.
“Yeah, but I cheat because I’ve never felt ready to settle for just one girl.”
“So you can understand that there’s a difference between the two?”
Dirk looked at his dad and finally caved in. He was actually happy that his dad had fallen in love again. But he couldn’t admit it straight away. And he secretly promised he would never admit it out loud. Because of whom his dad had chosen to fall in love with.
“I’m sorry I called you a bastard,” Dirk said, and his dad winced from hearing such a vulgar word from his son’s mouth. “And I’m sorry for my language!” Dirk apologised, as the father and son hugged underneath the watch of Darleen.
When the two got home they finally sat down to the meal Darren had cooked, which had gone cold by this time, so Darren phoned for a pizza instead. After he placed his order he kept the receiver to his mouth and discreetly dialled out again, just in case Dirk was watching. He was calling Cassandra, just to inform her about what had happened. As she answered, Darren only spoke in one-worded sentences. Cassandra quickly figured that he was doing it so Dirk wasn’t hurt his dad couldn’t go five minutes without talking to her. She didn’t keep him on the phone for too long, but when it came to saying goodbye she wasn’t going to let him leave hearing those three little words, even if Dirk overheard. “Tell me you love me!”
Darren giggled but said in a emotionless voice, “No.”
“Do you love me?”
“Yes!” Darren answered.
“Then tell me!” Cassandra sweetly demanded. Looking around and not seeing Dirk close-by, Darren cupped his hand around his mouth and the receiver…
“I love you.” He whispered, as Dirk quietly listened in on the call from upstairs. Dirk waited for both ends to hang up until he calmly put the receiver to his mouth.
“I hate you.” Dirk uttered, thinking of Cassandra.