As I gave her one last friendly hug, she turned her gaze up towards my face, “I like you… Do you like me?” She almost cried. Those pleading eyes looked into mine with so much hope to hear the answer she wanted to hear. But you know what they say… Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.
    I leaned down and kissed the top of her head, “Not like that kiddo. Not like that.” And with that, we said goodnight and she walked slowly down the stairs. I watched her walk away, not with longing, but with the knowledge that I had done the right thing.
    I walked back into the house to see if my older son was still awake. I found him glassy eyed, still playing xbox. He looked up at me… “Everything ok dad?”
    “Ya kid… Everything is good. Don’t stay up to late, ok? I love you.”
    “Don’t worry dad, I’ll be crashing after this mission. I love you too.” He responded with a smile that always makes me smile.
    With that done, I checked on my youngest, still sleeping like a log, and layed down in my bed to get comfortable. As my eyelids started to grow heavy, and I felt sleep stealing over me, I heard very faint voices somewhere I couldn’t quite pinpoint.

  Bd, “Unhhh… WTF happened?! It feels like I was kicked in the teeth.”
    Br, *chuckles* “I don’t know. One minute you were arguing with me, and next thing I know you fell over. Maybe it was lack of blood to the more important parts of your body.”
  Bd, “Thank you! I’m sorry I was being a jerk.”
    Br, “Any time buddy. What are friends for?”
  Bd, “But you’re still an asshole. I just wanted you to know that.”
    Br, “I know my friend… I know.”
    I smiled as I continued to drift of to sleep. My body might not have gotten what it wanted, but I knew that I’d be able to look at myself in the mirror when I awoke. And I know that she will be able to as well. Remember, life is not about instant gratification! What good does it do if you can feel good for a short while, but you have to sacrifice your morals and ideals, and lose your self respect? Answer: It does no good. We must try our best to remain true to ourselves and our values. Don’t sell out!! Not even to yourself.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really do appreciate it. It is hard for me to bare my soul, and discuss my inner monologues, especially on a subject of this nature. 🙂