Friday, 14th February 2041
Even though it was already past sunset, the evening was unusually hot for this time of year. Samuel decided to leave the car parked at the coffeehouse and take a walk in the park by the river. When he was crossing the road he overheard a familiar voice coming from the direction he was headed to.
“It’s my child, dad! Not yours!” Chloe desperately shouted at Benjamin. “It’s a tiny little person. You can’t make me kill my baby!”
“It’s not a person yet, Chloe. You’re gonna ruin your life if you keep it!”
“I will not have the abortion! Finally understand that I’m no longer your little girl and that I have a life of my own!” she continued screaming at her father.
“Stop yelling at me, young lady!” Ben shouted back at Chloe.
“You’re the one who started screaming at me! I only told you I was going to keep the baby,” she said to her father and frowned. “By the time my son or daughter is born, I’ll be already eighteen.”
“No, dad. This time around I’ll have it my way.”
“But you’re gonna ruin your life! Do you have any idea what it takes to be a mother?!”
“No, you’re gonna ruin my life if you keep on talking about my baby as if it was the worst thing that ever happened to me, dad,” Chloe flashed an angry look at Benjamin. Ben felt suddenly taken aback by the words his daughter just said. The two stared at each other in silence for a short moment.
Without a word, Chloe walked down the stairs leading to the riverbank, sat down on the wooden bench by the stairs and crossed her arms. Benjamin followed her.
“Yeah, this is exactly how an adult behaves. Just look at yourself! You’re nothing more than a spoilt little brat who won’t talk to her father until she gets what she wants!” Benjamin told a hurtful truth to his daughter. Chloe just badly looked at him. “Well, I’m not falling for this game of yours anymore. You’re still underage and I have a full responsibility for you, and, until you live under my roof you’re gonna play by my rules.”
“It’s not your roof, dad. We both know the house we live in belongs to grandma and grandpa,” she scoffed.
“Don’t play the smart girl with me, Chloe. You know very well what I meant.”
“So, you’re not going to sign the consent?” she asked him provocatively.
“Great,” Chloe sighed. “I have two options then. I’m gonna fake your signature and you’ll eventually get over it or I’m still gonna fake your signature and we don’t have to see each other ever again.”
“Oh, really? And where will you go?” Benjamin asked his daughter with a slight mockery in his voice.
“Don’t worry. I can take care of myself,” she snapped at him. Ben opened his mouth to say something to his daughter when suddenly, Samuel appeared out of nowhere and rushed towards Chloe.
“Are you okay?” he asked his friend and looked at Benjamin. “I heard some voices and when I saw it was you and your dad…,” he said and sat down next to Chloe.
“I’m fine, Sam. Thanks,” Chloe whispered to her classmate and leaned her head on his shoulder. “It’s my dad here who needs a chill pill,” she added and looked at Ben who seemed very unpleasantly surprised by Samuel’s unexpected appearance at the riverbank.
“So… you’re the one responsible for my daughter’s pregnancy?” Benjamin asked him courageously. Sam looked at Chloe, at Ben, then at Chloe again and started laughing.
“No, of course not, Mr. Thomas,” he said with a grin. “I’m gay,” Sam added casually.
“Yeah, yeah. Tell that to your grandmother,” Benjamin waved his hand in disbelief.
“He’s really gay, dad,” Chloe interjected.
“Is he, huh?” Benjamin jeered and looked at Sam from head to toe.
“All the girls at the DSA are head over heels in love with him, but he’s just not interested in pussy,” Chloe said nonchalantly and enjoyed Ben’s horrified facial expression. “Wake up, dad. Dribbledine is all about sex, drugs, and alcohol,” she added with a smirk.
“And experiments,” Sam smiled from ear to ear. Benjamin was at a loss for words. Chloe and Sam exchanged amused looks. After a moment of silence, Benjamin finally gathered the courage to speak.
“Was that an experiment as well?” he asked Chloe and pointed at her abdomen. “Just because your friend here is gay doesn’t mean he couldn’t have performed one of his ‘experiments’ on you.”
“No, dad. That was really an accident,” Chloe shook her head from side to side. “Sam has nothing to do with this.”
“Oh, an accident…”
“So are you going to sign this?” Chloe asked her father again and rose the letter of consent in the air.
“No, I am not,” Ben said decisively and tried to grab the paper, but Chloe was quicker than him. “Give it to me!” he commanded, but before he could get any closer to his daughter, Samuel stopped him. Chloe briskly took a pen out of the pocket of her jeans and faked her father’s signature in front of his eyes. “Don’t be stupid, Chloe. Do you really want me to call Mr. Goodwell and tell him you faked my signature?!” Ben asked his daughter but no matter how much he moved he couldn’t release himself from Samuel’s tightly clutched arms.
“So, what’s your plan now?” Sam asked his classmate.
“Kill him and get rid of his body in the swamps,” Chloe said coldly.
Both men looked at each other with horror in their eyes. Chloe enjoyed the look on their faces for a little longer before she spoke again. “I’m joking!” she said laughingly. “You should have seen your faces!” Chloe laughed out loud.
“Don’t be the stubborn little kid and let’s talk about it as grownups, Chloe,” Benjamin looked at his daughter with deep concern in his eyes.
“Let him go,” Chloe said to Sam who immediately released Ben from his arms.
“So, what other places do the cool kids go to these days?” Benjamin asked the two. Chloe and Sam looked at each other. “C’mon, there has to be someplace where we can go, right?”
“We?” Chloe asked her father.
“I’m not going anywhere with you except Goodwell’s office.”
“Why not? Are you ashamed of your old man?” Benjamin smiled at Chloe.
“Never mind, dad.”
“What’s it now?”
“Do you really think that after what just happened I’ll let you take me by the hand and walk me to the luna park? Don’t be silly, dad! I hate you!”
“Oh, I see. Well. So… uhm… what do I have to do in order to change that?”
“Come with me to the Principal’s office and sign another copy of this,” told him Chloe and waved the paper in front of his eyes.
“Fine. Nevermind. Let’s go, Sam.”
“I’ll keep the baby with or without your consent, dad. It’s my life, not yours.”
“May I at least know who’s the father?”
“I’m sorry but I won’t tell you until I tell him first.”
“He doesn’t know?”
“And what will you do if he’ll not want the baby?”
“He loves me. Why are you even asking such a question?!”
“Just making sure it’s not some kind of a rogue,” Ben told her worriedly. “Well, if you’re sure it’s what you really want, then… I guess I have no other option,” he sighed and sadly looked at his daughter. “You know I only want the best for you, don’t you, pumpkin?” Ben softly pinched her cheek.
“Dad, please!” Chloe yelled at Benjamin while Sam chuckled, amused by Chloe’s funny pet name.