TITLE: A Million Tiny Shards (WIP)
GENRE: Commercial Fiction
WIP: Jimmy is waiting for his daughter to tell him something that's making her uncomfortable.
The front door banged open and Jimmy frowned. "Tate! How many times do I have to tell you to quit slamming that damn door open? You've already paid to have the wall fixed once."
"Sorry, Mr. Hanson. Did you tell 'em yet, Glads?"
"No. I was waiting for you."
Jimmy waited, wondering what in the world was going on. His daughter wasn't the nervous type, so it must be especially bad. Listening to the rustle of clothing, he figured his daughter and her boyfriend were sitting on the couch across from his recliner.
"Okay. Well, this is the hard part then," Tate said. Jimmy barely resisted the urge to strangle the young man so he'd get to the point faster. "Well, uhm, Gladys and I got a surprise at the doctor the other day. She went for her annual appointment and I offered to take her." Tate cleared his throat as Jimmy started to sweat. "Uhm, well, it appears that all of our carefulness didn't have quite the intended result. Uhm, Mr. Hanson—"
"Dad, I'm pregnant!" Gladys blurted out.
Jimmy stared in the direction of his daughter's voice, mouth hanging open. His chest heaved with every breath, his hands balled into fists. He stood up, starting to pace, no clue how to handle the current situation. On the one hand, he'd be a hypocrite to be angry: he'd been a dad at fifteen. But he'd also taught her better and hoped she'd had more sense.
"Gladys, I—I don't even know what to say," he muttered, sinking into his chair. He rubbed his hands over his face. "Oh f***."
"It wasn't planned, dad. It was a surprise to me, too. I only found out because I was super late with my period. The doctor said that was normal. But then Tate told her we were, you know, doing…it, and she did a test right away. I'm sorry, dad."
"Oh f***, Gladys. F***, f***, f***. I raised you better than this." He pulled in a deep breath, counting to ten. His heart threatened to leap from his chest, it was beating so hard. "I know I was a dad at fifteen, Gladys, but I thought we'd talked about this. I mean, kids your age have sex all the time, but I didn't want to be a grandpa at thirty!"