I BELIEVE

Chapter 1 Todd Thomas

I am Todd Thomas. I am fourteen years old and in grade 8. I'm not a punk, jock, or a popular guy; I'm just an average guy who has two best friends and one girlfriend. I am not a genius. I do not make straight A's. I make B's and sometimes A's, or maybe either some C's. It depends weather I am in the mood or not. I get ticked off real quick if I don't get my way or the homework/schoolwork is too hard. If I'd smart-mouthed the teachers, I'd get a detention, which my parents would ground me. That is not always fair; well for me anyway.

Besides hanging out with my friends and girlfriend, I spend time with my parents, Lassi and Max, which I just call Mom and Dad. I like to create videos, which I think I'd got that from my Dad. Sometimes he even teaches me to edit videos, add music and much, much more. Sometimes I would get very ticked off if I don't do something right. My Dad always tells me, "Don't get angry just because you can't get it right the first time. Just try again and if that doesn't work, then keep trying and you'll get it right."

In addition, I like to sing, which I think I'd got that from my Mom. I am much too shy to let anyone hear it. Come to mention it, my Mom seen me singing along with a song in my room last summer. It wasn't about ten seconds later until I noticed her standing at the doorway. I was so embarrassed. She had told me that she would get embarrassed if someone heard her as a teenager too. Now she sings all the time and does not get embarrassed.

Both parents are the best parents on earth, no wait, not the earth, the universe. I am glad that my parents got back together, because I would never know what I'd do without them being a couple again.

* When I was eight years old, my mom and dad got separated. I was sound asleep in my bed, until I heard yelling and screaming. I got out of bed and went to my parent's room door. I looked in the keyhole and as soon as I saw them yelling and cursing at each other, tears formed in my eyes. I was scared, because I had never seen them like that. Well, maybe I had seen them in little fights, but they weren't cursing at each other.

Ten minutes later, they still hadn't quit fighting. I'd went and sat on the couch, hoping that my parent's would stop and make up soon, but no. I saw my Dad come out of the room with two suitcases in his hands. He was about to step out the front door, but I stopped him by yelling, "Dad, where are you going?" "Uh, I'm going to work, because I got called in for a pipe burst. Love you." He replied as he walked out the door and slammed it behind him. I knew he was lying, because why the heck would he take suitcases to work? He had never taken suitcases to work before.

Two months later, my Dad hadn't returned. I guessed that he'd moved back in with his folks. He had written me, and I had written him a couple of times, but when he written me back, he would never tell me why he'd left. He had never written about Mom. He would always tell me how much he had missed me, and all the memories we had shared in the past. I miss my Dad everyday and night. I cried everyday and night. I wish my Dad would just come back into my life.

I had written a poem for my Dad, but I didn't send it to him. I read it to my best friend, Jason, first.

"When my dad left, I started to cry. I was very sad, because I thought we would never say bye. I think about him everyday. I remember the fun we had together. We would play forever and ever. He always helped me with my homework. That's why I'm so good at my schoolwork. In the morning he spiked my hair. If it was messy I did not care. Now that he is gone, I hope he's all right. I cry so much everyday and night. Now that he's gone, I hope he misses me too. If my dad would happen read this, I just want to say that I really love you!"

"Dude, you should enter a poetry contest." Jason said.

"Well, I don't know if I should. I mean I just wrote this for my Dad." I said.

"Wait," Jason paused. "Does your Dad like to go to Oooey Gooey Pizza World?"

"Yeah. He loves that place, but why did you ask that?" I asked.

"Because every Wednesday they have a poetry contest. Well, it's sort of like a poetry reading." Jason explained.

"They do? I mean poetry readings at a pizza place?" I asked confusedly.

"I know. It's weird, but if you win, you'll get a free pass next time you visit." Jason explained again.

"Well, it makes it nice they give you a free pass if you win. That'll save my Mom bunches of money." I said.

"Are you up for it?" Jason asked.

"Okay, but only one problem." I said as I made a face.

"What is it?" Jason asked.

"How are we going to get my Dad there?" I asked.

"Maybe you should give him a call?" Jason suggested.

"Okay, I will. I hope he could come." I said with tears in my eyes. "I just don't get why my Dad left. They were such a good couple, and parents. I just don't get it?"

"I know how you feel. I know you all ready know this, but it can't hurt if I tell you again. My Dad left or should I say died when I was only five. I miss him a lot. I can't stop thinking about him. Never will stop thinking about him, because I love him with all my heart." Jason said with now tears in his eyes.

"I'm sorry Jay. I didn't mean to make you bring up your Dad." I said sadly.

"It's okay. Really."

"I just miss him so much." I cried even harder.

"I know how you feel, buddy."

When it was around four 'O clock, I called my Dad's folks house to see he was there. He was. I was glad too. I told him to meet me at Oooey Gooey Pizza World. He replied with a sure. I hung up the phone happily.

Later that night, I sat at the edge of my bed watching some old videos of my Dad. As I sat there watching memory after memory, a single tear rolled down my cheek.

* * *

Wednesday, at Oooey Gooey Pizza World, I stood up on the stage. I was really nervous, because I was only seven. When I read my poem, my Mom and Dad looked at me kind of sad. I almost started to cry, but didn't.

When I was finished, I took a bow and looked at my parents. I hoped that they would just look and smile at each other, but no. They refused to look at each other. I ran off stage and outside to a bench.

I sat there thinking about my parents. They were a good couple, so why did they break up? I hate not having a Dad. It really stinks. No one to hold me when I have a bad dream. No one to play football with. Mom could play, but Dad's the best. Now I know how Jay felt when his Dad left. It's boring and makes me cry to see that every morning when I wake up I do not have a Dad there to guide me through first crushes, first date, and a lot of first stuff. Again Mom could guide me through that stuff, but she's just a Mom, and she's not like a Dad. I wish I had a Dad that'll last forever. Not no step-Dad, I just want my one and only Dad back into my life.

I gave a sigh and cried until my Dad came out and sat next to me on the bench.

"Why did you run out here." He asked me.

I turned away. I just couldn't say anything back. I was scared he would turn me down just like Mom.

"Todd, did you write that poem for me?" he asked.

I didn't say anything.

"If you did, I really liked it. I never knew you had that kind of talent." He said.

I turned around and wiped my tears. "Dad, why did you leave?"

Dad just sat there.

"Why Dad? Why? I ask you. Why?" I repeated. "Dad, do you remember Mom anymore? I mean you remember all the memories you and I shared, but you don't remember what memories you and Mom shared?" I shook my head. "Dad, I bet you can't remember one memory you shared with Mom."

Dad sat there as he made a face. It looked like he was thinking about something, but what? What?

I had guessed that he was thinking about Mom. I had guessed that he had missed her.

Dad was still daydreaming until I had waved my hand in front of his face. "Are you okay?"

"Huh? Yeah, but I've got to go." He got up off the bench.

"Why?"

"Because, I have some thinking to do." He replied as he kissed me on the head and started to head off, but was stopped by a voice. "Max."

Dad turned around, "Lassi."

"Max, I need to talk with you in private."

He shrugged his shoulders and walked to her. She had taken him inside the pizza place. I peaked my head inside the door and listened to them. They stood about five inches away from each other. The first person that'd said something was Dad. "L-Lassi."

"Max, I have something to tell you." She said, pausing. "I-I- missed you," she cried. "For so long!"

I could not believe what I had heard. I started to tear up.

Max stood quietly and then said a few seconds later, "I-I-I- had missed you, too." I could see that he was about to cry.

They came closer to each other, and Mom held Dad's hand.

Dad smiled. "Lassi, I have something to ask you." He sighed and then gulped, "Would you marry me again?"

Mom was shocked. "S-s-sure!" She smiled, then leaned toward Dad, put her arms around him, and gave him a slow kiss on the lips. He kissed her back.

I had a big smile on his face, 'cause I knew that my parents made my dream come true. That is getting back together.