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Twenty Three - Stay-At-Home Mom

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I wake up in the morning when dad is leaving for work, feeling disappointed that Xavier didn't fulfill his promise. He said he would call me when he got free, and might even come over. He might not have actually meant that, but calling wasn't so hard, was it?

My mood lifts and mind changes when I see his messages. 

11:47 -- Xavier: 'I'm free but don't want to disturb your sleep. If you reply to this, I'll call. Otherwise sweet dreams, Haley.'

12:03 -- Xavier: 'Sleep tight. X.'

I'm smiling again, unable to wipe the goofy grin off my face even when I get dressed and leave my room. Not before I reply to Xavier, however.

8:12 -- Haley: 'Aren't you just the nicest? Can't wait to see you tonight, though. Will wait up. X.'

8:13 -- Haley: 'P.S. The window will be open anyways.'

Humming to myself, I bounce down the stairs two at a time. Now that I have appeared in my final exams for high school, I have nothing to do except wait for the final results. Being free feels amazing!

I have life all thought out. I'm going to Stanford to study Advanced Geometrical Calculus, getting my own place, a car, and just being there, independent and strong, not my dad's little girl anymore. Although I have thought about it several times, the fact that I won't be living with dad anymore, he has been nothing but okay with it.

It was always the planned out future, something dad has been supportive of. He always supports my decision, whether they be wrong or right, and that gives me the strength and confidence of taking chances. Being risky. Being myself. 

And that worries me too, because I am nothing without my dad. Even though I really want to go out and be my own person, find my own strength and just be somebody without training wheels, it also scares me. What if I can't do it? What if I can't live up to my own expectations? What if I change and become someone my dad didn't raise me to be? What if I let him -- and myself -- down?

"Breakfast is ready," dad announces when he hears me enter the kitchen.

"You never let me spoil you," I pout, and my dad beams towards me.

"This is my time to spoil you," he says, wiggling his eyebrows. "Then you'll move into your own place, all grown up. I promise you you'll miss my pancakes."

I snort loudly, rolling my eyes and waving a hand as I turn away from his gaze. He and I both know how dependent I am on him, and just the thought of being apart tears me apart and makes me weak in the knees. Especially when I think about the fact that he has spent his entire life taking care of me. How can I just get up and leave him now?

Dad leaves for work, and I sit on the couch all day in front of the TV, dressed in my pajamas and my hair the messiest it has ever been. I feel like my mom, waiting for something big to happen. Only, she didn't like staying at home and I love it. What's not to love about being alone at home and comfy?

Then again ... my home is comfy. I can't help but wonder about people who don't have this kind of a home.

That gets me thinking about Xavier, who still hasn't replied. I check my phone every few minutes, sending short and -- totally unlike the insecure girlfriend I'm feeling like -- neutral texts to remind him of my presence.

He doesn't respond, and when my phone rings, I nearly dive off the couch and launch myself towards the charger where my phone is connected for recharging. Without glancing at the name, I answer the call and put the phone to my ear.

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