In The End

The tears in my beloved’s eyes was enough to get me heated. The people seated across from her were already on my shit list. They may have produced her, and watched her grow up, but as far as I was concerned, that didn’t make them her parents. Parents are supposed to protect and care for their offspring. I bit down on my ire and vowed to get answers first.
“Hey, my love. What’s going on? Why’re you crying?”
“Nothing, Stan. I’m okay.”
“Little One, please don’t lie to me.”
Her mother spoke up. “It’s not your business, but we where asking why we can’t see our grand children. Stay out of it.”
My head whipped around so quick, my neck crackled. “Stay out? I don’t think so.” I felt Ann’s hand on my wrist. I glanced down to her.
“Please, Stan. This is under control.”
I sighed, then sat beside her. Ann wrapped my right arm in both of hers, and twined her fingers with mine. She kissed my cheek, and glanced at her parents.”As long as Steven is in your house, my kids will not be.”
“You have no right to keep our grandkids from us,” her mother said, “Nor from their father. We’ve done nothing wrong.”
I started to sit up with a growl, but Ann’s grip on my arm tightened a bit. I subsided and waited for her lead.
“You did nothing wrong? What about letting Steven yell and scream at me for over 10 years, or constantly blame me for everything that went wrong? What about staying silent when I came to your house with a bruise on my face?”
“You made him mad, Ann. Had you not been so selfish, and self-centered all the time, you wouldn’t have deser-”
I shook Ann’s arms off me and lunged to my feet. I dropped my clenched fists to the table, causing it to jump, and glasses of tea to spill. “Are you fucking kidding me? How dare you blame her for that piece of shit’s treatment of her?”
Ann tugged on my shoulder. I turned, reluctantly. She cupped my cheek. I turned my face into her palm and kissed her hand. “Look at me, Stan.” I met her eyes. “I got this.” I growled in the back of my throat. “You trust me, right?”
“Dirty fighter.” She smiled, and waited. “Of course I do.”
“Thank you.” She turned to her mom. “I did not deserve anything Steven did, nor said. I deserved to be treated with love, honor, respect and dignity. Stan always tells me I am a good person. It took me five years to believe. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be in that hell. Stan is a real man. Maybe one day, Steven will grow up. Until then, he doesn’t get to see my girls. As long as he lives with you, the only way you can is if you come for a visit. Please go now.”
Her mother opened her mouth. I glared at her balefully. She rose and walked to the door. “C’mon, Murphy. We’re not welcome here.” Murphy rose to his feet, eyes wet. He seemed about to speak. “Let’s go, Murphy!”
Ann’s parents left without another word.

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