"Come on! That was totally a penalty!" Ben yells towards the ref, who is just a high school kid who’s probably getting paid five bucks to be a referee at the game. This is classic Ben though; take a child’s game to the extreme.
Ben had insisted on Alex and I sitting next to him, but thankfully no one else sat on our row of the bleachers, so we weren’t forced to sit too close to him. "Ben, calm down. They’re four and five year olds. It’s just a game." I hiss at him, and send him a glare that could kill. Not only is he drawing attention from the coaches, but I still have a headache and it’s killing me.
Groaning, Ben sits down and slams his fist on to the bleacher. "Those coaches suck. They’re playing all the kids who could be great at defense as offensive players. He needs to switch up the lines."
Rolling my eyes, I slide my arm around Alex’s and rest my head on his shoulder. "I’m really sorry about last night." I whisper quietly, and smile at Charlie who turned around from the bench to wave.
"I know, but maybe you can make it up to me?" Alex speaks, "My company is having a retirement party for the president, and I was hoping you would be my date? It’s April 11th." He asks, with a small pout on his face.
"Well I don’t know… I’ll have to check my schedule." I smirk at him jokingly. "Of course I’ll go." I smile, and glance back at the field to see Charlie racing toward the goal, with no one anywhere near him. "Oh my gosh!" I smile and stand up from the bench, at the same time that Ben stands up. "Go Charlie!" I scream, and watch him kick the ball with force, so it pops above the goalie’s head and hits the back of the net. "Oh my god!" I say with my mouth open in shock. Charlie has never even come close to a goal before, and that was the shot that him and Alex had practiced with him. He was able to score with a slightly sprained ankle!
As Alex and I hi-five each other, we hear Charlie from on the field yelling, "Alex I finally got it!" Excitedly, earning Alex a glare from Ben. "I finally got it!" Charlie yells again, before running back to the center of the field with his teammates.
Settling back down onto the bleachers, with Alex’s arm over my shoulders, I tilt my head up to kiss Alex and whisper, "Thanks for helping him. I think he needed the confidence boost." I smile, as we both turn back to watch the game.
Charlie’s team still ended up losing 2-1, but they did at least put up a solid effort. Charlie is still excited because he got his first goal, so he comes bouncing up to where the three of us stood awkwardly without anything to say to one another. "Great goal, honey!" I smile, and pick him up just to spin him around and set him back on the ground. "Now, I know you’re excited, but remember out deal?" I ask him quizzically, referring to the conversation we had after parent teacher conferences.
Groaning, Charlie started walking toward the car, and Alex and I started following, but Ben grabbed my arm first; forcing me to face him again. "What’s going on? I was hoping we could take him out or something?" Ben asks, and I nod.
"I know, I usually do take him out afterward if they don’t win, but we agreed that he’d only be allowed to play at games, if afterward he went straight home to do his homework." I answer, as Alex and Charlie return to hear the conversation.
"Well isn’t that a little unfair? So what if he has a few missing assignments? He just scored an awesome goal, and he should be able to celebrate that." Ben argues.
Stepping closer to Ben, Charlie chimes in with, "Yeah! Who cares if I have missing homework?" He agrees, and crosses his arms over his chest.
Glaring at Ben, I bite my tongue slightly as I think through my reply. He shouldn’t have started this argument with Charlie right there, and he really shouldn’t have started it because he hasn’t been here for the last four years. "Look, Ben, Charlie and I made an agreement, and now he needs to stick to that agreement." I mutter, sending Charlie the best mom look I can muster.
"But mom!" Charlie groans, but I cross my arms over my chest, so he spins on his heel and starts walking toward the car again, "I hate you!" He shouts back, after he’s almost to the car. Charlie’s said things like that before, but for some reason, since Ben is standing here, Charlie’s words sting a little more than usual.
"Well," Alex interrupts, and I’m grateful for it, "We should go? I need to get home, so…" He trails off, resting his arm over my shoulders and leading me away from Ben.
"No wait, I’m his father, I should get to make decisions too!" Ben yells at us, and I grip Alex’s hand tighter as I turn around to face him once again. "You know it’s right. I deserve to be part of all decisions." Ben declared, and stepped closer to Alex and I, "Just because you’re still mad at me doesn’t mean you can keep me from being part of my kid’s life, and if you try then I’m sure in court I can tell the judge a few things that would make him question your judgment." Ben added with an arrogant smirk.
Rolling my eyes, I speak, "Don’t threaten me. I understand that you want to be part of his life, but right now I made a decision and you need to back it up because it’s what I said. Charlie needs authority, and structure, and he’ll never get that if you’re going to second guess me." I yell back at Ben.
After noticing a few other parents standing around and watching the argument, Alex finally steps in to intervene between Ben and I, "Ok, I think you guys should continue this another time… you know; just the two of you. Charlie doesn’t need to hear this, and neither does his entire soccer team. Why don’t you guys call each other tomorrow and figure out a time to meet alone, and work everything out."