“Momma, why are we at the park again?”
“Well...um...you’re going to meet someone very special today, but I think I should let him explain that.”
Claudio looked around over the back of the bench,
“Well we’ve been here forever and he still hasn’t come! I’m bored and wanna go home!”
Coheed piped up,
“Yea Momma! We wanna go home! It’s hot and icky outside today and I wanna play with my toys!”
Harley shook her hands at both of her boys,
“Please boys, just listen. Let me call him and remind him it’s supposed to be today that we meet! Trust me this is someone you’ve been wanting to meet all your lives…”
Harley rummaged through her purse and pulled out her phone. She quickly punched in Mason’s number, which he gave her, and listened to the dialing tone.
Her patience was wearing thin and she thought to herself,
“Come on Mason! Don’t do this to me...you can’t leave us again…”
Mason felt his phone vibrating in his pocket but his whole body was rigid. He prepared himself the night before for what was to come today. He even trimmed his beard so he would look less threatening to his boys. But there they were, right in front of him. There was one in a red sweater that got antsy and got off the bench to climb on the monkey bars while the other one, which was wearing a black leather jacket, seemed to be pouting and begging Harley for something.
The scene was so foreign to him. Mason knew those were his kids and he obviously knew he loved Harley but he was gripped with this fear that he’d never known in his life.
Mason straightened up and prepared himself,
“It’s now or never Mason. You’ve been waiting for this.”
Harley was holding her head in her hands when a giant shadow cast over her. When she looked up she saw Mason. He looked better than he did yesterday, well rested and out of the nasty clothes he had on. He even shaved!
“Hey Harley...sorry I’m late. I had a, um, moment.”
Harley shook her head,
“It’s fine! I’m just glad you’re here-”
Mason saw Harley fixate her gaze at one part of his face and he already knew what part that was. The giant scar he had from his lip up to right under his nose.
“Now do you understand why I kept the beard?”
“No I wasn’t- I mean I’m sorry I didn’t-”
Mason grabbed Harley’s hand gently,
“Trust me. The other guy looks a lot worse.”
Harley smiled and they stood there looking at each other for a while. It still was surreal that they were back in each other's presence again.
Claudio cleared his throat,
“Eh-hem, excuse me mister! Are you the one me and my brother have been waiting all afternoon on? Because I gotta tell you, you’re really bad at keeping the time if that’s that case. So who are you anyways?”
“Claudio! That’s not a very nice way to introduce yourself!”
Claudio looked down and scuffled his feet,
“Sorry Momma...My name is Claudio Belle and that’s my Momma. Who are you?”
Mason chuckled. This boy was as full of sass as he had been at that age. He remembered his Mom telling him of how embarrassing he was as a child because he always spoke his mind.
“Um well...me and your Mom are...old friends-”
Harley nudged him with her elbow and glared,
Mason gulped, he could feel his insides shaking.
“I mean, I’m…I’m your father.”
That was all she wrote. As soon as Coheed heard that he rushed down from the monkey bars and both the boys grabbed him and they all sat on the bench. A million questions were being thrown at Mason and he couldn’t help but smile up at Harley. The boys didn’t care that he’d been away all this time, they were just ecstatic to have their Dad back.
“So where have you been all this time?!”
“Yea Dad! Momma could never tell us because she always got real sad…”
“Well...see it all started way back when we were teenagers…”
After finishing the story of how him and Harley met, of course leaving out certain tidbits of information that weren’t meant for kids ears, the boys thought their Dad was a hero.
“Are you for real Dad?! You did ALL that for our family?!”
Mason nodded his head,
“Yep I did. Of course if I would have known you boys were born I would have come home earlier.”
Coheed waved his hand,
“Aw that’s okay Dad! It wasn’t your fault! Me and Claudio always knew we had a Dad out there somewhere and he would come back to us!”
Claudio tugged on Mason’s shirt sleeve,
“So Dad, our birthday is coming up in a couple of days and we were wondering if you could maybe come? It’ll be out teenage one so it’s super important!”
Mason felt his face drop as he looked on at his two smiling boys. Going into that house meant confronting Harley’s Dad and her brother...even if Harley and the boys had forgiven him he knew that Delsin wouldn’t, and he sure as heck knew that Harley’s Dad wouldn’t considering he hated him from the beginning.
Harley interrupted the awkward silence with a laugh,
“Of course your Dad is going to be there! He wouldn’t miss it for the world! Right Mason?”
“Uh..yea! I’ll even bring a present for you both! We’ll have lots of fun together, okay?”
Both the boys fist bumped the air,
“Yes! This party is going to be awesome!”
After a couple more hours of playing at the park and hanging out together for the first time as a family, it was time for everyone to head home.
Mason scooped up both the boys in tight bear hugs and promised them he’d be there at their party.
When it came for Harley and him to say goodbye it took all of his being not to sweep her up into a kiss.
Harley laid her hands on his chest and leaned against him,
“You are going to come to that party. You hear me? I don’t care what my family thinks. You’re back and I am the leader of this legacy now, I make the rules. If I say you’re going to come to something and they don’t like it? Well they can suck it up.”
Mason chuckled and gave her a lopsided grin,
“Don’t worry I’ll come beautiful. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”