Fiction Friday: A Visit

The Barn

April Fool’s

A Visit




“Hey. Are you coming over tonight?”

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”

“It’s been three weeks, Orphan Annie. Come home.”

Phil didn’t wait for Kennedy to respond before he hung up. He hadn’t wanted to make the call, but he was exhausted. For the first time since his daughter was born, he actually wasn’t sure if he’d be able to take care of her. For the first time since her mother left, he wasn’t sure if he could take care of her alone. The thought terrified him.

Barely 20, there was something old about him. It could be the three jobs that he worked, and the fact that he didn’t sleep much. He would sleep more, but his only consistently free slot was between 2 and 7- when Rain was home from preschool and before his friend Shawn came to put her to bed and watch her while he went to his second and third jobs. It was the only time he got to see her, and he needed that time. Her big green eyes were the only thing that got him through. He knew he needed to take better care of himself, but he also knew that things wouldn’t always be this hard.

But goddamn, he needed Kennedy. If only for a week or two. He needed more than that check once a month. He hated to admit that he needed her. But when Rain had looked at him at the dinner table, cocked her head, and said, “Daddy? Why are you sad?”, he knew he needed more. She was too little to see their apartment, or their neighborhood. She didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to be babysat by a bartender, at a bar. But she could see him struggle, and he couldn’t ruin her innocence. She deserved more time than he had had. He would see to it that she did.

Kennedy was there within the hour. Rain was happy to see her.

Phil cried. Phil wished he was dead. Phil slept.

Phil woke up. He washed his face, and he smelled hotcakes.


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