After Ever Happy (After, #4) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)
Many times in my life I felt unwanted, out of place in the worst way. I had a mum who tried, she really, honestly tried, but it just wasn’t enough. She worked too much; she slept during the days because she was on her feet all night. Trish tried, but a boy, especially a lost boy, needs his father.
I knew Ken Scott was a troubled man, an unpolished wanna-be man who was never pleased or impressed by anything I did. The little Hardin who was pathetic in the way he tried to impress the tall man whose shouts and stumbles filled the cramped space of our shitty house would be pleased at the possibility that the cold man isn’t his father. He would sigh, grab his book from the table, and ask his mum when Christian, the nice man who made him laugh by reciting passages from old books, was coming over.
But Hardin Scott, the adult man struggling with addiction and anger passed down by the shitty excuse for a father he was given, is fucking livid. I feel betrayed, confused as fucking hell, and fucking angry. It makes no sense, the cheesy plot of the switched fathers that every shitty sitcom uses couldn’t possibly be my life. Buried memories resurface.
My mum, on the phone the morning after one of my essays was chosen for the local paper: “I just thought you would want to know, Hardin is brilliant. Like his father,” she softly praised into the line.
I looked around the small living room. The man with the dark hair, passed out on the chair with a bottle of brown liquor at his feet, wasn’t brilliant. He’s a fucking mess, I thought as he stirred in the chair, and my mum quickly hung up the phone. There were numerous times like this, too many to count, that I was too stupid, too young, to understand why Ken Scott was so distant with me, why he never hugged me the way my friends’ dads would their sons. He never played baseball with me or taught me anything except how to be a fucking drunk.
Was all of that a waste? Is Christian Vance actually my father?
The room is spinning, and I stare at him, the man who supposedly fathered me, and I see something familiar in his green eyes, the line of his jaw. His hands are shaking as he pushes his hair back from his forehead, and I freeze, realizing that I’m doing the exact same thing.
I stand but quickly sit back down on the bench when the grass underneath me seems to sway unsteadily. The park is filling with people now. Families with small children, balloons and presents in their arms despite the cold weather.
“It’s true, Hardin is Christian’s son,” Kimberly says, her blue eyes bright and focused.
“But Ken . . . Hardin looks just like him.” I remember the first time I met Ken Scott, inside a yogurt shop. I immediately knew he was Hardin’s father; his dark hair and his height brought me to the easy conclusion.