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Mirabella #3 – Dad’s New Girlfriend

October 9, 2009

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I have to admit the week started well. Finally, the promotion to Manager. A small step toward my dream of one day becoming a celebrity chef, but a step nonetheless. It meant more money, better hours, and the best bonus of all — my hands would no longer be permanently infested with the stench of hot dog.  To celebrate, Dad invited me over to his house to make me a big breakfast, just like old times. I can’t tell you how excited I was. All I could think about all morning as I got ready was how nice it would feel to sit down with Dad over a big stack of pancakes and just talk. Like we used to.

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When I got there, though, it seemed like no one was home. I used the spare key to let myself in to use the bathroom and figure out where Dad had gotten off to. As I walked through the door, it was a little surprising to hear soft jazz coming from Dad’s stereo…he was always more of a rock ‘n roll guy. But, hey, people change, tastes change. I get that.

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The jazz mystery was solved the second I walked out of the bathroom and saw Dad whispering with his new girlfriend, Bella. Like I said, I understand that people change. What I don’t get is people’s entire personalities changing just because they’re with someone new. Maybe I was just angry at Dad for shacking up with someone other than Mom, but I don’t think so. I think I just felt something was off.

I stood there in the den feeling totally awkward and out of place. After a few noisy attempts to clear my throat, Dad turned my way. But when Dad finally noticed me, he seemed confused.

“Mira, sweetie. What are you doing here?”

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“Um, the celebration breakfast? The one YOU told ME to come over for?” I said.

“Oh, Mira…oh gosh, I’m sorry…I…”

“Dad, come on. I mean, you’re still in your pajamas! It’s the middle of the morning!”

I’d had it. I’d had it with Dad’s flaky behavior. I’d had it with his strange new girlfriend. So I left.

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There was something about Dad’s girlfriend Bella I didn’t like…something so familiar, yet eerie…I just couldn’t figure her out, or the feeling. As I walked away from Dad’s house, though, I started to feel bad. I mean, I’d spent entire days in my pajamas. Who was I to yell at my Dad? He was only human after all. I turned around to go back and apologize, and to see what I could salvage of the day, but it seemed Bella was already helping him forget our argument. Ugh. I really didn’t need to see that, so I just went home.

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Dad called later that day, but I was done.

“Dad I don’t know what happened to you. That woman…that Bella…she’s done something to you. I can’t believe you don’t see it!”

“Dad…no more. I can’t take it. Maria can’t take it. No more of you and your weird behavior, and especially no more Bella!

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And he hung up on me. My own father hung up on me. Life couldn’t get any worse at that moment.

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There was more…through it all I had this constant feeling someone, somewhere, was watching me.

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