Ben stirred on the couch. One of his colorful arms was draped off the side, knuckles brushing the hardwood floor. He brought his other hand up to attempt rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He sighed and sat up. Two things could be heard in the apartment: the cars driving below the open balcony and Jimmy crying in the bedroom. Slipping his bare feet onto the floor, Ben began to walk in that awkward way that's common after just waking up. It was a short distance to the bedroom.

The room that he shared with Jimmy was a decent size – much smaller than the great room, which included both the living area and the kitchen. He immediately went to the crib next to his bed, leaning over the side to reach in to gently pull out his son. With the baby resting against his shoulder, he rocked him gently. "Shh," he whispered, closing his eyes and brushing his cheek against Jimmy's soft, fluffy hair. In his father's arms, it was only a moment before he stopped crying.

They had a schedule that had formed on its own – the lives of a father and son, meshed together. Jimmy always woke up early in the morning, before the sun had risen. It was usually around four when Ben first heard him. He'd get up from wherever he'd fallen asleep the night before (either in his bed next to Jimmy's crib or on the couch after watching late night television). Together, they would go about their morning routine. It had been that way ever since Stephanie, Jimmy's mother, left them to go to L.A. and become an actress five months ago, only a month after her son's birth.

It was fairly dark in the apartment, the only light coming from the city outside their windows. It was quiet, too, the rushing cars providing a constant lullaby to which they'd both become accustomed. Everything had a blue tinge to it – the black furniture, the gray walls, the sheer white curtains. It was peaceful, another thing Ben had gotten used to.

Holding Jimmy gently but securely, he went to the stereo across from the couch and pressed play. Immediately, a slow, melodic song leaked quietly from the speakers. As soon as the music began, Jimmy nestled himself into his father's embrace. Ben smiled. This was their song. They listened to it every morning.

Ben brought Jimmy across the room to the small bathroom. He switched on the light and placed Jimmy in the little bassinet that was situation between the counter and the shower. He made sure he was securely inside before pulling off his undershirt and turning the nozzle in the shower almost all the way to the side labeled "Hot". Leaning over the bassinet, he kissed Jimmy on the forehead. He then slipped off his boxers and stepped into the hot spray, pulling the curtain closed so Jimmy wouldn't get wet.

"Hey, buddy," he said quietly through the curtain. "What are you going to do today? Gonna play with Amy and Josh? I heard they got some new toys. I bet they'll share them with you…" He continued to talk throughout his shower. He didn't want Jimmy to forget he was there.

After a few minutes, he stepped out of the shower and into the hot, humid room. The mirror had fogged up and Jimmy seemed to have drifted back to sleep. He did that most mornings, but it never lasted, so after Ben had wrapped a towel securely around his waist, he removed his son from the bassinet. "Time to get dressed for work," he said, holding Jimmy in his favorite position, against his shoulder. He made a funny face and made his way back to the bedroom.

Placing Jimmy down in the middle of the bed, Ben went to his closet. Just before opening the door, he caught his reflection in the mirror that Stephanie had put there. The tattoos adorning his shoulders and arms were mostly red, orange and black. On his side, a simple word was written boldly: Dad. The majority of his tattoos, though, came from a wilder time in his life.

When he and Stephanie had met, they'd both been adamant party-goers. Every weekend and most weeknights, Ben would go to one club or another with his friends to drink and just have a good time. Stephanie did similar things and eventually they met at a bar. Their friends pushed for them to dance together, so they did. They ended up dating for a short period of time before Stephanie got pregnant.

Ben had been scared at first – absolutely terrified. There was no way he could be a father. He realized that he was barely grown up himself. How could he possibly take care of a child? He was going to fail and subject his own kid to a horrible life, he knew it. But there was something about finding out that it was a boy that had snapped Ben into focus. He wasn't just having a kid, he was having a son. He was going to be the father of a son.

After that, it was easy for him to decide what needed to be done. Ben stopped going clubbing every night and instead began to save his money for a bigger apartment one that could fit himself as well as his girlfriend and son. It was hard at first, especially since it meant drinking significantly less, and while Stephanie was glad he was doing it, she seemed to have no inclination that she should do it, too. Of course, she'd stopped drinking; she knew the affect it could have on her unborn son. But she didn't feel the need to help with money.

Ben knew that to raise his son, he'd have to stop drinking altogether. So, over the next nine months, he went to AA meetings and stopped buying alcohol when he went grocery shopping. He stopped going anywhere near it in the store. Soon, he was sober and searching for a good-sized apartment. Not long after that, he and Stephanie moved into their new home. A month later, they brought Jimmy home from the hospital.

They lived happily together for a while. Stephanie still went out with her friends on weekends, but she stayed home and took care of Jimmy while Ben worked on weekdays. Neither was sure if they really loved the other, but they both loved Jimmy so they figured they'd give it a shot. But then, one day when Ben came home from work, Stephanie had her things packed and mascara streaks down her cheeks. "I'm sorry, Ben. I can't stay here. I just have to…chase my dreams, you know? Everyone always says not to let your dreams die." She'd started to cry then, and Ben put a comforting hand on her shoulder. She gave him a sad smile. "I'm leaving Jimmy with you. I'm sure you can take better care of him than I can. He'll be happy with you." Ben mirrored her smile and gave her a hug. He told her that he understood and wished her luck.

"It's just you and me, little guy," he said now, turning to see Jimmy watching him from the bed. "But that's okay, isn't it? We have fun together, huh?" He smiled. "Yes, we do."

He stepped into his khaki pants and slipped on the white dress shirt that was required for his job as the manager of a restaurant a couple blocks away. He was glad he'd never gotten any tattoos on his neck; he didn't know what he would have done all these months without that restaurant job.

Once he'd tied his shoes, he walked to the other side of the bed where Jimmy's dresser stood up against the wall. "What are you going to wear today?" he asked himself rather than Jimmy. Opening the top drawer, he pulled out a clean diaper, the wipes and the changing mat. From the next drawer, he grabbed a blue shirt with a little bunny on the chest and matching pants.

Jimmy was making tiny squealing sounds from the bed and squirming around. This was usually about the time that he really started waking up. As Ben went to him, he grabbed his feet and his lips twisted up into a toothless baby-smile. Ben grinned back. "Alright, let's get you changed up," he said, laughing at his son's strange position, holding his feet as if he wanted to help.

Ben placed the mat next to his son and repositioned him so he was lying on it. "One of the less pleasant things about being a dad," he told Jimmy. "Changing diapers." Jimmy made a funny gurgling sound that Ben took to be laughter. "Oh, you laugh now. Wait 'til you get to do it yourself," he said, his eyes wide in mock sincerity. Despite his friendly complaints, Ben had gotten quite good at diaper changing and was finished in record time.

"After the diaper, it's easy," he said, slipping on his son's pale blue pants and bunny shirt. He went back to the dresser to grab a pair of tiny socks and "booties" as he'd heard that they were called. Ben preferred to call them baby sneakers. "When you're a bit older, I'll get you a pair of Chucks, like you Daddy wears, how 'bout that?" he said, picking Jimmy up off the bed and one handedly putting away his changing equipment and disposing of the dirty diaper.

"Breakfast time! Best part of the day." Jimmy gave one of his gurgle-laughs as they walked to the kitchen, which was just as much the living room as the living room was, really. It was just a long counter across from the bedroom that had a stove, sink, and a dishwasher. The refrigerator was at the end of the counter on the right. Another counter was parallel to the first, adding cooking and storage space while helping to separate it from the living room. A microwave was mounted on a shelf above the dishwasher. After mixing some formula in a bottle ("Look Jimmy: one hand!") that was where Ben went first – to the microwave. "You need your formula warm, huh?" he said, and then poured himself some Apple Jacks and milk.

With his own breakfast placed on the small table situated between the two counters, Ben put Jimmy in his highchair and buckled him so he'd stay. As soon as Jimmy was in place, the microwave dinged. Ben grabbed the now-warm formula and took the seat next to his son. Jimmy gratefully took the bottle into his mouth and began drinking happily. Ben's eyes stayed on his son, and his hand held the bottle while his other fed his own mouth the cereal.

They ate quietly together. Ben enjoyed his breakfast, all the while keeping a watchful eye on Jimmy, who had reached up his own hands to rest on the warm bottle, his tiny fingers resting on his dad's much bigger ones. His blue eyes almost seemed to dance. Ben smiled.

Dishes in the sink, Ben removed Jimmy from his highchair and cradled him in his arms. It was time for his favorite part of the day. By this time, the sun had risen mostly. He brought Jimmy out onto the small balcony that overlooked the city. Making sure to hold him close, he closed his eyes for a second just to listen to the cars and feel the warm sun on his face. "It's beautiful, isn't it, Jimmy?" He looked out around them, at the sun rising above the skyline, the pinks and yellows that surrounded it as it came, and at the life surrounding them. "Yeah. It's beautiful." And it was; it was the mirror image of Ben's own life. He'd always thought of it that way.

The various different cars sped along the busy streets. Every one had a different driver, a different destination, a different purpose. They didn't acknowledge each other, instead only moving on, thinking only about where they need to go and why they needed to go there. The buildings that pierced the sky were their only obstacles. Twisting and turning around them, the structures simply stood still in their places.

The driving cars were Ben's duties, the things he had to do to make a living for himself and his son. Maybe that blue one speeding past the apartment building across the street was his job at the restaurant. And that red mini-van that seemed to be in such a hurry was him bringing Jimmy to his sister Jane's house everyday. Of course, the Lays Potato Chip truck was grocery shopping.

The buildings, stark and stern and obstacles for the cars, were Ben's obstacles, too. They were how he made barely enough money to pay for the apartment and food, how Jane was going to be moving soon and he'd have to find a new place to bring Jimmy during the day, and they were how his son was going to grow up without ever knowing his mother.

By itself, the city was dull, gray, and dark. The cars, unable to see the grand things around them, were cast into total darkness by the buildings and the black sky and everything seemed bleak. That is, until this time of day, when the sun was just beginning to peak over the faces of the buildings. The sky was pale pink-yellow and everything seemed to glimmer. It made the city that much brighter and suddenly the buildings seemed friendlier and the cars, though still rushed, saw more as they went on their way.

Ben cradled Jimmy against his shoulder with one hand while the other held that of the tiny baby's. Gently, he rocked him back and forth, looking out over the city as the sun rose overhead. He brushed his cheek against Jimmy's peach-fuzz blonde hair and breathed in slowly, careful not to miss anything. "My sun," he whispered. Jimmy moved his head to the crook of his father's neck and made a small sound of content.

Ben smiled.