Hello and welcome to a Thursday post! Sorry i keep missing Writing Wednesday, we have family and friends visiting and it’s so busy. Today, it’s the same day, the same time, the same city, and the same place but from the perspective of Lucille and Daniel’s dad, the teen and child from the first TBOTS.
I wake to my alarm at around six fifteen. The morning sun is shining through the curtains and i turn to see that Eleanor, my wife, has already left for work. I don’t know why she keeps leaving the house so early; she’s only a fashion designer. I make most of our money because i’m a film producer. I have been for nearly thirty years. My daughter, Lucille, is going to The Cinema School, which is a film high school, so she can become one too and carry on the family fame and legacy.
I roll out of bed and jump in the shower. Once i get dressed, i walk downstairs and make sure Daniel, my son, is awake and help him get dressed. He has down syndrome so he can’t do much himself. Then i go into the kitchen and make breakfast for myself, Lucille, and Daniel. Just when I’m done, Daniel comes running down the stairs.
“Daddy, is breakfast ready?” he asks and sets down his backpack.
“Yes, D.” I say. “Could you go wake Lucille up first? I’ve got to leave so you’ll both have to take the subway, okay?” I lie. I’ll explain why i lied later.
“Okay, dad.” he says and wraps his arms around my middle. I reach down and hug him and then say,
“Bye, dad.” he says back. He untangles from me and runs up the stairs and I’m out of the door equally as fast. I jump into my car and start it, the radio going onto the rock station. I back out of our drive and stare up at the mansion my wife in insisted we buy. Once the gate at the end of the driveway opens, i drive down the street and to my office in Manhattan.
Okay, i think i owe you the explanation about why i lied to both of my kids. Our family is famous. Im not saying that in a big-headed way, it’s true. We are in all the news headlines and our last name is a family name. That’s one of the reasons i don’t like taking Lucille and Daniel to school. No one has really seen any of them. I usually make them ride on the subway or the nanny will take them in a different car so they don’t know who it is. I don’t like them being in the spotlight. By doing this, I’m protecting them. I don’t want them to be on every newspaper, magazine, and website just because of our last name. It’s unfair. They’re only kids and just because of my wife and my’s success, they shouldn’t be like zoo animals. So, thats why. Lucille thinks I’m embarrassed to be with her but she’s wrong. Daniel just doesn’t understand.
Once i get into my office, i immediately get a call. It’s Eleanor, my wife.
“Gregory Fitzgerald,” i answer.
“Turn on the news,” she says. She sounds like she’s crying.
“What? Why?” i ask, turning in my chair and finding the remote.
“Right now,” she says.
“Why? Is everything okay?” Then a thought dawns on me. “Are the kids okay?”
“More than okay. Just watch it,” she says and hangs up. I turn on the TV in a panic. All of the people who work for me gather around. I find the local news and click it and…
I sigh as i see nothing bad has happened. It’s a video filmed on a cell phone of the underground subway. I finally see what the phone camera is pointing towards. My children.
A man in a suit much like the one i’m wearing walks by Lucille and Daniel, then stops and doubles back. The subway isn’t there so i can hear what he says.
“What’s wrong with him?” Lucille turns around and faces him, her hand tightening on Daniel’s so much her knuckles are white. “I said what’s wrong with him?”
“Excuse me?” my daughter asks the man.
“Are you the retarded one or is he?” the man asks and jerks his filthy briefcase in Daniel’s direction. Daniel hasn’t even noticed anything and is staring at the empty spot where the subway should be. Lucille’s face contorts into anger but she calms herself and asks,
“What’s wrong with the way he looks? Just because he doesn’t look like you or looks different doesn’t mean he’s retarded. Just because he has down syndrome doesn’t mean he is retarded. He isn’t just a mess-up, he has a name and it’s Daniel. Daniel has a brain and Daniel also has ears and i don’t want Daniel to hear you make assumptions just because of a medical condition so, if you’ll excuse me.”
Then she grips Daniel and walks away. Cheers and yelps and claps erupt through the subway underground station and i don’t think i’ve ever been prouder. Everyone in my office is standing and clapping and yelling and someone pulls me to my feet and hugs me. Another coworker slaps me on the back. I’m smiling and crying just like my wife was and i love my daughter so much more than i did when she left the house this morning, if thats even possible.
Someone who works for me, Micah, i think, grabs my arm and pulls me outside of the room that is still clapping.
“My daughter has down syndrome. Lucille just spoke for everyone with a disfiguring medical condition; down syndrome, amputees, leprosy… everyone. Everyone should be raising children like yours; thank you.” He pulls me into a hug and i hug him back.
“Everything happens for a reason,” i say to myself. At least, i thought i did until he turns to me, smiles, and says,
“That it does.”
Thanks for reading and please like, comment any suggestions, feedback,or questions, and follow for weekly posts! Next Wednesday will be the same day, the same time, the same city, and the same place from the perspective of The Boy on the Subway‘s Mom. Until next time,