Status: Coming soon...

Parts of Me

Five Years Old

“Daddy! I can’t do my buttons!”

I sigh and send Eric a look. He nods and tends to Mesa’s latest dilemma while I continue to pack their lunch.

Kindergarten. It’s the first day and I’m just as nervous as they are, if not more. It helps a little that I’ve got Eric with me to help out, because God knows I’d be forgetting all sorts of things. He’s matured a lot recently since finding out Leah’s pregnant. They weren’t trying of course, they’ve only been together almost two years, but they were a strong unit; they could handle this.

“Stop freaking out, bud,” Eric chuckles as he helps Mesa button his shirt. “Today is going to be so much fun!”

“I know!” Mesa beams, clapping his hands and almost poking Eric in the eye. “I’m going to make so many friends.”

“Just remember to stay with your brother,” I tell him as I close the final lunch tin. “He’s nervous, Mes, he’s gonna need you with him, okay?”

Mesa nods ferociously. “Yes dada!”

A smile tugs at my lips. They always have each other’s back, which makes raising twins that little bit easier. “Good boy. You almost ready to go?”

Mesa nods again and I take that as my cue to go find his brother. Phoenix isn’t like Mesa; he’s been a little nervous about going to school for the first time. The boys never went to day care because we were always on the road so I brought them with me. They would do all the little educational games and all that when they stayed with my parents, as my mom used to be a teacher so she was really on the ball about keeping them up to date with their learning; it’s why they can speak so well at only five.

But, they’ve never experienced the real ‘school’ environment and I’m starting to worry about how Phoenix will go. Socially, he can be a little shy (unlike his brother) and tends to hang around me. Seeing as I won’t be there, I hope he’ll be okay with his brother.
I get upstairs to the boys’ room and find Phoenix sitting on his bed, playing with one of the many drumsticks he’s been given to by Pat. They shared a real bond those two, as Pat has already started to teach Phoenix how to play drums.

“Hey bub, you okay?” I ask softly as I enter the room, sitting beside him on his bed.

Phoenix looks up at me, his eyes full of tears. “I don’t wanna go, daddy.” He whimpers, before looking back down at the stick in his hands.

I sigh and pull him into my lap. “You’re going to be just fine, kid.”

Phoenix shakes his head and buries his face into my chest, his arms tightly wrapped around me. “I’m scared.”

I kiss the top of his head. “You’re not going to be alone, you’re going to be with Mesa all day. He’s your big brother, he’ll be right by your side, Phoenix.”

“But I want you, daddy.” Phoenix sniffs. “I want you to come too.”

“I can’t buddy,” I chuckle, trying to lighten his mood. “There’s so many other kids that are going to be feeling just like you, bub. You know that?” I tell him, causing him to look up at me. “But you know what you have and they don’t?”

“What?” He asks, eyes wide.

“You have a brother who’s going to be right by your side the whole time. All of the other kids won’t have a Mesa. They have to do it alone. Can you imagine if you had to do it alone? Then it would be scary.” I explain. “But you’ve got a big brother who’s going to help you, and play with you. You’re not going to be alone just because I’m not there.”

Phoenix hums as he thinks about it. He peeks back up at me through his long hair. I’ve decided to tie it back today, make him look a little less scruffy. “Are you sure you can’t come too?”

“I’m sure, bub,” I chuckle, “daddy has to go to work with Uncle Eric, but we’ll be waiting for you right outside those gates when you finish.”

“You promise?” Phoenix mumbles, twirling the stick in his hands. Pat had even had Phoenix’s name engraved into the side of them. He claims he’s his best student, even though I know for a fact that he only teaches his nephew aside from Phoenix.

“I promise, kid.” I nod firmly, swearing by my pinky. “You’re going to have fun today!” I tell him as I stand, carrying him back down to the kitchen. “All you have to do is listen to the teacher and be nice to the other kids.”

“Okay,” Phoenix smiles, with a small nod. That’s what I love most about this kid; even though he may be scared or nervous about something, he trusts me enough to give it a go, sometimes he just needs that little bit of persuasion.

“Alright! Who’s ready for school?!”


“Dude, I haven’t done this before, but I’m pretty sure you actually have to take them into their class at some point today.” Eric smirks as we sit in my truck in the parking lot.

I look over at him, lowering my voice. “Maybe I can get ma to home school?”

He rolls his eyes. “Dude. They’re going to be fine; you said so yourself.”

I take a deep breath and nod; nobody told me how hard this would be for me. “You’re right, okay. Let’s do this.”

We get the boys out of the car and I lock the doors, my hand shaking in Phoenix’s. I spot Tim and Ashley over by the school gate with their daughter Mia. She’s too young to go to school, being a couple years younger than the boys, so they must be here to wish them good luck. It doesn’t surprise me, Ash is very involved in the boys’ lives and I’m incredibly lucky for that.

“Hey guys, I didn’t know you were coming.” I state as we approach them.

Ashley gives me a look. “Do you really think I would miss this?”

“I guess not.” I laugh, greeting them both in a hug. “I should’ve known.”

“Yeah, and maybe told her the wrong date, or y’know, not seven o’clock in the morning.” Tim mumbles in my ear.

“How are my favourite little men today?” Ashley asks the boys, bending down to their height. “Are you excited?”

“Yes!” Mesa beams, jumping up and down. “Phoenix is scared but that’s okay because I’m his big brother!” Mesa insists, taking Phoenix’s hand in his and waving it about. These guys…

“That’s good to hear! You’ve got nothing to be scared of, Phoenix. You’re going to have so much fun!” Ashley beams, making them feel a little better about today. I could see it even in Mesa, he’s nervous but he just doesn’t want to admit it.

We hang out a little longer before it’s finally time to go inside. The bell rings and everyone starts flooding in for the first day of school. I figure we’d get labelled as the ‘gay couple’ again so Eric agrees when I ask him to sit this one out. Taking each of my boys’ hands, we walk through the gets and into a new world for the first time.

School. The beginning of a new chapter in their lives; I hated it, but here’s to them loving it.

“Now if anything happens, the teacher will call me, okay?” I tell them as we get to the door. “But you’ve got each other…so make sure you remember that.” I mumble as I kneel down to their level. All of the parents around me had begun to say goodbye to their kids after holding on for as long as possible. I guess this was the start of letting go. Just a little though, I’m nowhere near ready to start letting go for real. Maybe I’ll get drunk at their high school graduation to make it easier.

“I’m gonna miss you daddy.” Phoenix whines, his lip beginning to quiver.

“Hey, it’s gonna be fine, bub,” I chuckle, rubbing his back. “I’m going to be waiting out here when you boys finish and then we can go get a milkshake and you can tell me all about your first day, hmm? How does that sound?” I ask, trying to lift his mood.

“A little bit okay.” He nods.

“Okay. Well you boys have to go in now with all the other kids. Why don’t you sit next to some of the other boys so they don’t feel so scared too, okay? Then you’ll all be together.” I suggest.

“Okay!” Mesa beams, strangling me with a hug. “I’ll look after Phoenix, daddy.” He whispers in my ear.

“Good boy.” I whisper back, patting his shoulder as he pulls away. “You’re big boys now, and big boys have to go to school to get a good education so you can get a better job than daddy.”

“Okay,” Phoenix giggles as he falls into my arms for a hug. “I love you daddy.”

“I love you too, nugget.” I chuckle, kissing his cheek. “You’re going to do great, okay? Have fun and don’t worry. I’ll see you boys really soon.” I say finally as I stand up, my thirty-two year old bones cracking as I straighten them out.

“Okay! Bye daddy!” Mesa giggles, waving at me as he pulls his brother inside the classroom. He’s sticking to his word about looking after his brother and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve raised that kid well and I was just as stoked for Phoenix to follow in his footsteps.

I wave back and when they’re out of sight, I take a deep breath and walk back towards the gates where my friends are talking. I can’t believe I just sent my kids off to their first day of kindergarten. Shit. Time really does fly.

As I make it to the gates, I feel my eyes well up with tears. I can’t help but laugh as Halvo meets me with a smirk.

“Aw, is daddy getting sad?” He pouts, a laugh following.

I let out a laugh and punch him in the shoulder. “You’re a fucking ass. I need a drink, Jesus.”

“John,” Ashley chuckles, giving me a hug. “It’ll get better. They’re going to be fine.”

“Yeah man, I’m sure they’ll call you as soon as the boys start beating up all the other kids.” Tim nods supportively.

“Hell yeah, I taught those kids well.” Eric nods, pumping a fist in the air. “This milestone deserves a celebratory breakfast because I had absolutely no time to eat this morning.”

“You and me both,” I chuckle as we walk to our cars. I take one last look back at the school. “I just can’t believe how old they’re getting. It’s like it was only yesterday that they were crawling around with no teeth. Today they’re…shit they’re going to school.”

“You’re lucky Mia isn’t listening right now.” Tim mumbles as Mia chews on the sleeve of his shirt, totally oblivious to my foul-mouth.

“Sorry man, I’m just tripping the f-u-c-k out right now.” I admit.

“Much better.”

“Aw, it’s okay John,” Ash assures as we stop at my truck. “You’ve done a great job…I guess this is just the part where you start to let them be their own little people. You never know, they might just surprise you.”

I nod and look inside the truck, my eyes catching Phoenix’s stuffed giraffe he decided to leave behind today, a remnant of his glory days before he decided to become a ‘big boy’. A smile tugs at my lips.

“I sure hope so.”


“Okay dude no way, would I ever wear that.” I scoff at the television in front of us.

“He looks like a major douchebag.” Eric laughs in agreement as he sips on his root beer.

We watch the very feminine men walk down the catwalk at whatever fashion week event is on, leaving our remarks on each and every outfit. Now that the boys are at school, I’m beside myself with nothing to do, so I’ve taken up residence on Halvo’s couch until he or Leah kick me out for the day.

“What are you boys watching?” Leah asks as she walks in with a glass of orange juice. She’s only a month and a half along, but already Eric’s acting as if she’s eight or nine months, getting up so she can sit on the comfier chair while he sits on the arm. It’s good though, she’s brought out the man in him and he’s a better person because of it.

“Fashion week,” Eric answers, “taking Johno’s mind off of the absence of his children.”

Leah throws a pout my way. “How did the little munchkins go on their first day?” She asks with a sad smile.

“Surprisingly well,” I chuckle, shaking my head. “It’s just something I’ll have to get used to, I guess. At least it’s only three days a week. That way all of us can slowly ease into it. I know it’s going to be a big change for them to get used to.”

“Definitely,” Leah nods with a chuckle. “God, it’s gone so fast. I can’t wait until our little one gets here.”
She hums, placing a hand instinctively on her stomach.

“We’ve still got a long time for that.” Eric muses, the panic in his eyes fading as he gets used to the idea.

“How are you guys going with that?” I ask, sipping my beer. Unlike Eric, I was able to have beer. “You seem a lot more at ease.”

“We were freaking out the first few weeks,” Leah nods in agreement, “but we’ll be okay. It’s a lot to take on but I think we’ll be able to handle it.”

“It’s definitely not orthodox but than again, we moved in after four months so neither was that.” Eric laughs.

“Plus you basically moved home to be with her.” I threw in teasingly.

Leah’s eyes widen as she looks at Eric, giving the impression that he’s never mentioned that before.

“Oh, I thought she knew.” I mumble, giving Eric an apologetic look as he sends me a glare. He really doesn’t like admitting how whipped he is.

“Babe…” she begins, her pregnant emotions getting the best of her as she wraps her arms around Eric. “I can’t believe you did that for me.”

He glares at me when Leah isn’t looking but deep down I know he couldn’t be happier with where he is in life. I guess it’s kind of like how I became a single parent to the boys…I sure as hell wasn’t ready for it, but I had no choice. I adapted, I learnt and I grew with them; it’s the best thing to happen to me- I needed what happened to happen so I could become the person I’m supposed to be. Sure, the hard party days are over, but they’ve been replaced with even better ones. That’s not to say I’ll always pass up bar night, I just make sure I put my kids to bed each night and spend that quality time with them that I won’t always get. I know my limits and I know what I can handle- I also know what the better and smarter decision is. The boys have taught me so much and I know the same will happen when Halvo and Leah have their baby in eight months.

Life is good when you let it take control.


By the time two o’clock hits, I’m waiting nervously with all of the moms for my kids to come out. They’re actually really nice and not as bitchy as I first thought they’d all be.

Finally, the door opens and the kids come running out, finding their parents and greeting them with hugs. As usual, my two are the last to emerge, Mesa first and Phoenix close behind.
As they make their way towards me, Phoenix waves at another little boy with a wide smile on his face. I can’t help but smile at the fact that they’ve managed to make friends on the first day.

“Daddy!” Mesa squeals, jumping into my arms.

“Hey kid, how’d it go?” I chuckle, kneeling down to pull Phoenix in for a hug too.

“It was so fun!” He exclaims, clapping his hands together.

“I made a friend, daddy,” Phoenix smiles before pointing to a child standing with his mother across the playground. “His name is Jaxon!”

“That’s so good bub,” I tell him, kissing his cheek. “I’m so proud of you boys. Are you ready to go back tomorrow?”

“Yes!” The cheer at the same time, attacking me with hugs. I laugh and stand up, taking a hand of theirs in my own and leading them out of the schoolyard.

“Did you two stick together?” I ask as I help them into the back of my truck.

“Yes daddy.” Mesa nods firmly. “I stayed with Phe-phe.”

“That’s good,” I chuckle as I lift Phoenix into the truck. “It’s important that you two stick together.” I tell them before getting into the front seat.

“So we don’t get lonely?” Mesa pipes up.

“Well, yeah, sort of. I just want you to always be there for each other.” I explain as I pull out of the parking lot and start the drive to my parents’ house. Ma’s promised to make milkshakes for the boys if I agreed to bring them straight to her after their first day of school; they’re the first and only grandkids my parents have got, so they get incredibly spoilt by them. The boys love it, of course.

As I drive to their house, I can’t help but smile as the boys tell me about their day, their voices full of excitement and happiness. They seem to really love school and the kids that they made friends with, and I’m really thankful for that. I was so worried that growing up without a mother would damage them psychologically and turn them into badly introverted kids. So hearing how much they wanted to go back was somewhat of a sign that I’ve done a good job alone. There’s so much she’s missing out on and I’ll probably never forgive her for that, but I sure as hell am glad to be here for it. I guess some things are just meant to happen in certain ways and they’re meant to fall apart before you have to put them back together. The important part I guess, is that you do put them back together, and that you don’t lose any of them.

“Who wants a milkshake?!” I call as we pull up at my parents’ house.


“Me daddy!”

As long as I have these parts of me, I’ll be whole forever.
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Sorry for the wait! I didn't realise it'd been six days already since I last updated, because I didn't get many notifications about the last chapter aha, almost forgot about the series altogether! Let me know what you think guys, I don't know if i'm as keen as I was before about it!