Status: one shot

How it Goes

mommy, daddy & daddy

I reached up as far as I could, but still, only the tips of my fingers grazed the gallon of milk I was trying so hard to grab without spilling all over the floor. Daddy would get mad. He’s never really happy either, so I don’t want to make him even more angry.

Especially not now, I don’t know who he’s talking to, but I can hear him yelling all the way in the kitchen from his bedroom. I’ve learned to just ignore him, it’s worse if I ask and remind him what’s wrong. I whined, throwing myself on the ground in front of the refrigerator. I sat cross legged, letting my mind wander to daddy’s yells.

“What are you talking about? I can’t raise a fucking six year old on my own. I’m in college, for fuck’s sake,”

It’s never good when daddy says a lot of bad words. That’s when he’s mostly angry. He took a pause, as if he was listening to someone else. But I heard no one else, I guess he was speaking on the phone with someone.

“Listen, I have to pay rent here, a part of my college tuition and now full expenses on whatever Cassidy needs. How the fuck am I supposed to do that? I’ll never even see her if I find a way to pay for all of that,”

Is this about me? I haven’t done anything.


Then there was a thud. A loud one, and I felt bad for whatever it was that Daddy threw.

“Daddy!” I called out, hoping he’d come.

After a bit of silence, he yelled back “What,”.

“Can you help me?” I asked.

Daddy came into the kitchen, his shoulders were slumped and his dark hair that I loved was sticking out in different directions. His grey eyes looked expressionless, and it was evident that he hadn’t been able to sleep for a few days by the dark circles around his eyes.

“What do you need?” He asked, his voice much softer than before, but there was still an edge of rudeness hidden in there.

“I can’t reach the milk,” I mumbled.

“And why do you need it right now?”

“I want to make cereal, I’m hungry,”

Daddy had a puzzled look on his face that faded away when he saw the 10:26 on the microwave displayed by glowing green numbers.

“Oh,” he whispered. He walked over and easily grabbed the milk, without the amount of difficulty that I had when I tried to grab it.

“Get up, I’ll help you,” He muttered, and I wouldn’t have caught what he said if the room was not silent.

I pulled out a chair from the table and climbed on top of it, letting my legs swing back and forth as Daddy grabbed a box of Cocoa Puffs from the cabinet above the stove.

Then he came back beside me with the cereal, a bowl and spoon. I accidentally kicked him and whispered and apology, to which he softly nodded his head at. As he poured the cereal over the milk, I remembered to ask him something that was on my mind a day ago.

“Daddy, where’s Mommy?” Daddy tensed up a little, but he replied, “She...” He paused for a while, again. “She... She’s in a hospital. She’s kind of sick,”.

“Oh,” I frowned. “When is she coming back?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he sighed, handing me the spoon. I thanked him, but he didn’t say anything as he left the kitchen.


Aunt Heather sat on the couch, staring rather blankly at the tv screen. I don’t know what she was watching, I was too busy playing with my Barbies to pay attention to her. I never liked Aunt Heather either, I don’t know why Daddy didn’t let me stay with Aunt Connie. She’s fun, but I guess it’s because she’s Mommy’s sister and Daddy doesn’t like Mommy.

“You havin’ fun there,” she asked. Her voice sounded a little weird, but I paid to mind to it and just nodded. She got off the couch for what I guess was the first time since I’ve been here, but came back shortly with a bottle in her hand. I’d say it was juice, but I doubt it, I’ve never seen juice like that. She took a large gulp, I cringed at the sound.

“Heather, what time is it?” I asked.

“7:28, and don’t call me by my first name,” she answered.

You know, by her young age and pretty appearance, you’d guess that she wouldn’t be so stuffy. Well, you’d be wrong.

She reminded me of Mommy, in some ways. Mommy was very pretty, very young, as Daddy was. Unlike Daddy who was mostly nice, or at least calm, Mommy was always uncomfortable. As if something was continuously bothering her. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen Mommy in a few weeks. I guess she isn’t coming back in a while.

There was a knock on the door, and internally, I was screaming with excitement. Daddy was here. And I wouldn’t have to spend time with Aunt Heather anymore. The grouchy lady.

Heather put down the bottle, groaning before getting up to answer the door.

I grabbed my Barbies and book-bag before I followed her, keeping my distance though. For all I knew, maybe I could catch her grumpiness. Maybe it was all caused by cooties that made you mad all the time. Not only that, every little motion bugs her.

“You’re late,” she immediately said as she opened the door. I rolled my eyes and ran to hug his leg. He just patted my back.

“Why are you always mad? Cassidy’s not even annoying, right?” He retorted, looking down at me. I looked up at him and shook my head.

“I don’t care. Yeah, ’cause you love her so much,” Heather’s voice dripped with sarcasm, and I hated it. Daddy does love me.

“Shut the fuck up,” Daddy responded, obviously agitated before he grabbed my hand, “Let’s go, Cas,”

Daddy led me out of the apartment building, and no matter how many times I’ve been here, I’ve yet to figure out my way through here. Once we were in the car and on the road, I asked “How was work, Daddy?”

“Fine. How was school?” his hands briefly clenched the steering wheel, but it was so brief that I’m surprised that I caught it.

“Good, Mrs. Burns made me Student of the Month this month,” I grinned.

He held out his hand and I gave him a high five, and he returned his focus on the road while I stayed silent.


I didn’t go back to Aunt Heather’s apartment anymore after that day. Daddy said it was because Aunt Heather was too busy to take care of me. So, instead of going to Aunt Heather’s house after school (which always smelled like those white sticks that Daddy used to put in his mouth when I was younger), I started going to my Nana’s house. She was better, compared to Aunt Heather, but I would still rather go to Aunt Connie’s.

After helping me with my homework, Nana would let me watch Spongebob Squarepants or play with my GameBoy that I would always bring to her house. Because, after a while, the Barbies got boring and Super Mario Bros. 3 was much more interesting. Daddy started picking me up from Nana’s house late too.

When I was with Aunt Heather, he’d pick me up at 6:00, but ever since I’ve been in my Nana’s house, he’s been picking me up at 8:00, after getting a scolding from my Nana. But I don’t mind, because we still see each other during the weekends. So I sat in the living room, ecstatic that I had finally reached the Boss level in world two, when the doorbell rang. Nana called me, and I almost didn’t want to leave.

I grabbed my stuff and ran over to hug Daddy, surprised that he hugged me this time. Usually, he pats me or just rubs my back. No, this was a real hug. And I liked it. I was grateful for whatever it whoever made him happy enough to be like this.

“Bye,” he quickly mumbled to my Nana. She didn’t respond, but he didn’t seem to care as he dashed out of the house to the car.

He stopped me before we got there though, and knelt down.

“Cas, I have a friend in there and he’s very nice, okay, just say hi to him and be nice, yeah?” I nodded my head, and he gave me a peck on the forehead.

I noticed the man, who looked younger or as young as Daddy in the passenger seat in his car. He was blonde, like Mrs. Burns, and he was very pretty. Like Daddy.

Daddy opened the back seat door for me and I climbed in happily. The man looked back, smiled, and said “Hi,”

I blushed, it’s a nasty habit I have when meeting new people that I can’t control. “Hi,” I whispered back.

“Cassidy, this is Brett,” Daddy chimed in. I didn’t even notice when he got in.

“Hi, Brett,” I mumbled.

“She’s adorable, Mitch,” Brett told Daddy, to which I blushed deeper.

Once we got home, Daddy told me to go straight to bed, which I found weird. Daddy would usually let me stay up longer, maybe it was because Brett was here. I don’t know.

So I laid in bed for an hour, staring at a blank ceiling. I’d occasionally look at the clock, which read 8:25, 8:40, 8:59, 9:16....

Until I eventually fell asleep.


The next morning was a Saturday, which I was happy for. Daddy promised a few days ago that we would do something fun. I don’t know what, but I was looking forward to it. I could hear a door opening out side of my room, so I got out I bed and peeked out the small crease of my door which is caused when Daddy opens my door at night. Last night, he barely opened it.

I could see Daddy’s door and the door leading to the outside of the apartment from this angle. I made sure not to make too much noise because I don’t think Daddy would want me to be awake at this time. I see Daddy and Brett coming out of his room, Daddy wearing only a t-shirt and his boxers while Brett was fully clothed. But why was Brett still here?

Daddy led Brett to the door, but Brett didn’t leave before kissing Daddy. Which was a weird sight, I had only seen Daddy kissing Mommy like, once.


Had he forgotten about her? I doubt she would be happy if she knew Daddy kissed Brett. Brett left and Daddy turned to come back to his room, or maybe my room, who knows? Either way, I jumped back on my bed and pretended to sleep.

And Daddy was headed towards my room, to wake me up. Either I’m good at acting or Daddy didn’t care that I was awake, because he didn’t seem to notice that I was already awake. I got up, brushed my teeth, and sat down with Daddy to eat cereal for breakfast. Daddy’s not a good cook.

Not once did I mention Brett.


Brett did come again sometimes afterword, and I would always hear weird noises that I would ignore when he did. Daddy and I barely ever spoke now. But I don’t think he noticed, because he never tried to do anything about it. I missed Mommy. A lot. I anxiously waited for the day when she would come back.

But tonight was one of those nights that Brett came. One of the nights when I was stuck staring at the ceiling and listening to weird noises. Every night seemed harder and harder to fall asleep. I expected the weird noises, but they never came. Instead, I could faintly hear a conversation going on between Daddy and Brett. My curiosity lead me to my ear being pressed up again my door with my full attention on their words.

“So, where’s Cassidy’s mother?”

I’m pretty sure that was Brett.

I could barely hear Daddy’s response, all I could make out was a really long word like schiz, schizo-something and hospital.

However, I could hear Brett’s response clear when he said,
“Oh. Wow. I didn’t think it was that serious. So, you’re like a single father?”

Daddy chuckled. “This boy is on fire,”

Brett laughed, but I didn’t know what was so funny. They’re weird.

“Yeah. But I think all I’ve learned is how not to raise a little girl,” I don’t know why, but Daddy sounded kind of sad.

“Does Cassidy miss her?”

Daddy took a long time to answer. But he finally responded with a “I don’t know,”

And in that moment, I wanted to yell out that I did. That each day without Mommy confused me more and more, that I only wanted to know where Mommy was. That I was mad at Daddy for not telling me. That I was mad at Mommy for being away for so long. That everything was bugging me.

Instead, I turned to my side and pulled the sheets over my head. I never wanted to wake up.

The next morning when I woke up, Daddy was still asleep I wasn’t sure if Brett was still here, but I got up anyway. But I guess he wasn’t. Daddy was already up though, I was mad at him. He sat on the sofa, eyes glued on his phone while a programme played on the television. I looked over at the time on the stove and freaked out. 8:45!

Did Daddy not care about taking me to school?

“Daddy!” I ran over to him and shook his arm. “I’m supposed to be in school, why are you here?”

“Cas,” Daddy stopped me. “It’s Good Friday, school’s closed,” I stopped as I felt the warm redness rush to my cheeks. “Oh,” I breathed. I never quite understood what ‘Good Friday’ was, or why it was so important that school had to be canceled. When I asked Daddy last year, he brushed it off as ‘pointless nonsense’.

Daddy pulled me up and sat me beside him, I asked “Why does Brett stay sometimes at night?” which made him seemingly freeze. “Because he likes to,”


“Do you like Brett?” Daddy tensed up again, though not as much.

“Yes. Do you like him?” I nodded. “He’s nice enough,” I stared at the show on the TV for a while, wondering whether or not I should tell him that I do miss Mommy.

“I miss Mommy,” I blurted out. “Do you think I can see her again soon?”

Daddy shook his head. “I don’t think anyone can,” he mumbled. “Why?”

“She’s not safe to be around,“ his response was rushed and sudden, it bothered me a little.

“But I want to,” I pushed on. “They won’t let anyone see her,”

I huffed, wanting to be anywhere else but there.


I really like Brett. He convinced Daddy to let me go Easter-Egg-Hunting with him. I loved it. The town held the event at many parks, Brett took me to a park near an ice cream shop that had delicious vanilla ice cream. He also told me we’d get ice cream if I find enough eggs.

So I dashed through every corner of the park, occasionally knocking other kids over and getting my yellow dress caught on twigs that lay on the floor. I left with a dozen eggs, satisfied as we sat in Borreli’s Ice Cream Shop licking our vanilla ice cream.

“Daddy likes you,” I announced, looking up at Brett. It was very noticeable that Daddy liked Brett, he got very happy when Brett was around and he’d become nicer over time. He stopped swearing as much as he used to, thank goodness. I never liked it when Daddy swore.

Brett smiled. “I’m glad he does,” he said. “Do you like him?” I asked as I tried to stop the melted ice cream from dripping down the sides onto my dress. I loved this dress, it had already gotten abused by stray branches on the ground.

“Yes,” he answered, that smile wouldn’t come off his face.

“Good,” I said. “Because I really like you,”

And I did.
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I tried to convey my inner six-year-old, but I don't think I did a terrific job. Oh well. I'm trying to write as much as I can because I want to start an actual story, so I apologise for the continuous one-shots.