I turn around to face the parking lot, looking into the car that pulled up several minutes ago. My
mom is sitting in the driver’s seat looking at me with wide, hurt eyes. I look at her for a minute
before saying anything.
“Mom,” I start.
“Don’t even try Brentley.” she exhales, turning her head towards the steering wheel.
“I told you to stop calling me Brentley. I don’t want to have that in common with him.”
“Why shouldn’t you? You apparently already have a lot of other things in common
with him.” she snaps. “I thought you were different Brentley. Brent. Whatever the hell your
name is. I thought you could make your own decisions, and be a better person than your
father ever was. I guess I was wrong - because you’re just like him.” she sighs.
I almost collapse to the ground. Those words came out of her mouth, through the open
window of the car, and stabbed me in the chest. I look at her, mouth open, for at least fifteen
seconds. I can’t believe she just said that. Honestly, it pisses me off.
I walk towards the red sedan, throw my things into the back, then slam my body into the
passenger’s seat. Mom glares at me for a minute.
“What? You’re not going to say anything?”
“How the hell can you say I’m just like him? I am nothing like him. In fact, I’m better
than him. Better looking too. I tell myself every morning.” I say, staring blankly through the
“Jesus Christ Brent. That’s pathetic. You’re almost as arrogant as he is.
“Brentley! Let’s go! We don’t have all day!” Camila yelled across the house.
Fixing his hair in the bathroom mirror Brentley yelled back, “You need to be patient honey!
Looking this good takes a lot of effort!”
“We’re going to the store, not having tea with the queen!”
Brentley rolled his eyes while continuing to fix his hair.
“Who cares? You never know who’ll be checking you out when you least expect it.”
“The only thing you better be checking out is our items at the store! Remember!
You’re married!” Camila retorted.
Brentley figured he had lost this battle. Brentley Jr. was walking from his room to the
staircase, passing the bathroom. Through the closed door he could hear his dad begin to speak
again. But not to Camila, to himself.
“Just remember handsome, you’re smart, you’re funny, and you’re the damn best
looking guy I’ve ever seen.”
We sit in silence for a moment, and I begin to think.
Could she be right? Am I more like my dad than I thought?
I cross my arms, trying to hide the fact that I’m questioning myself.
“That proves nothing.” I say, trying to convince my mom and myself..
“Fine.” she sighs. “What about how you can never talk about anything else but
yourself more than three seconds? Do you really think anyone wants to listen you constantly
talk about yourself?”
“Is it selfish to want to talk about myself all the time. I mean I’m funny, smart,
interesting...need I say more?” I say, raising an eyebrow.
Mom looks just about ready to blow. But she doesn’t. She keeps her cool and says calmly,
“That’s exactly my point. Do you even hear yourself? You sound like a jackass. ‘I’m so
funny.’ It’s just like your father.”
“Gooooood evening Trenton, New Jersey! This is Chris Wilks reporting for Channel
6abc.” the reporter shouted at the camera sitting in the Taylor living room.
“Tonight, I am joined by First Lieutenant Brentley Taylor, his wife Camila, and his
son Brentley Junior. Lieutenant Taylor will be heading to the base soon, so we wanted to
catch up with him before he left.”
The reporter turned to the family, smiling.
“So Lieutenant, what is your home life like? Are you and your wife strict with your son?”
“Well Chris. We don’t really have to be too strict with Junior here.” Brentley chuckled.
“He’s a great kid. But honestly, how can you not be when you’ve got a dad like me as a role
model?” Funny, smart, attractive - the kid couldn’t ask for better.”
The reporter shifted his eyes uncomfortably back and forth.
“Yes. I’m sure. Well what about you, Mrs. Taylor? Do you do a lot do work around
the house?” he asked, trying to change the subject. Camila opened her mouth to speak but her
husband decided to speak for her.
“Oh Chris. Silly, silly, Chris. Camila doesn’t need to lift a finger. She’s got her strong
husband to do it all for her.” he laughed, slinging his arm around Camila's shoulder.
“Actually Chris, I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and most of the yardwork.
Brentley does the sitting, the eating, and the watching T.V.” she remarked, looking to
The two of them sat there, laughing, but knowing there would be a big fight as soon as the
cameras were turned off.
“Alrighty folks,” Chris said trying to make the situation less awkward. “We’re going
to let these two cool off and we’ll be right back after this short commercial break.”
“That story was completely irrelevant.” I say, shifting my eyes back and forth,
becoming more uncomfortable as the seconds tick by.
“Mhhm. Okay.” mom says, rolling her eyes. “Well what about the way you bounce
from girl to girl? When was the last time you had a relationship that lasted more than three
I opened my mouth to speak, then immediately close it, realizing she has a point.
“Well. Umm. There was that one time - wait no. I cheated on her.” I thought aloud.
“Exactly. Brent, open your damn eyes.” she pleads. “You two could be twins.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. We couldn’t be more different.” I say,
shifting uncomfortably in my seat.
“Yeah right.” mom says sarcastically.”
“How could you?”
“Camila, it was an accident.” Brentley pleaded.
“Getting three women pregnant in three different countries was an accident?”
“Alright, it wasn’t an accident. But it was a mistake. I love you Camila.” he smiled,
putting his hand on her cheek.
Camila stared into his eyes, tears rolling down her face.
“Then you must have loved those other women enough to get them pregnant
The two stood face to face for what seemed like forever. Finally, Camila broke the silence
and said, “I’m going to forgive you Brentley but-”
“Oh thank you babe.” Brentley interrupted. “You won’t regret it.”
“You’re right Brentley. I won’t regret this...I would like you to leave. I can’t be with
you if I can’t trust you. And I don’t trust you.” Camila said.
“Camila, I love you. And I would never want to hurt you.” Brentley said placing a
hand softly on Camila's cheek.
“Well, you should have thought of that before you did what you did.” Camila
whispered turning her head.
“Camila-” Brentley pleaded.
She hugged him, then left the spot in which they were standing and went upstairs - right past
the spot from which their son had just watched his parents break up. Through the tears
welling up in his eyes, Brentley Jr. could see his dad look at him. Their eyes locked for a
moment, and then he left. Brentley walked out the front door and never came back.
“Look in the mirror.” mom says, snapping me out of my thoughts. “And not just to tell
yourself you’re hot. But look inside you. You could be his twin. Do you want to be like him?
He’s a drifter, and a womanizer. He literally got three different woman pregnant while he was
serving in the army - and we were still married.”
“Mom, you say that like I don’t know. Obviously I don’t want to be like him.” I snap.
“So why Brent? Why are you acting like this.” she asks, seeming genuinely curious.
“I don’t know.”
I slouch in my seat and look out the side window. I can feel my mom’s gaze on me but I
don’t acknowledge it.
“Cmon’ Brent. Talk to me.”
“I don’t know Mom.” I say, beginning to get annoyed.
“Brent, I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.”
I’m done. I can’t take it. She’s pissing me off.
“I don’t know mom. Did you ever think that I act like I’m all that so that I’ll feel like
I’m better than him? Did you ever think of that?” I yell as I sit up in the seat and turn towards
my mom.A few seconds after my outburst, I relax back into the seat. Neither of us is talking.
Finally, she puts the car in gear and pulls out of the parking lot. We’re both completely silent
the entire ride home.
We pull into the driveway of our house and my mom parks the car. It seems like
forever before she finally says, “I wanted you to be different Brent. I wanted to look at you
and see the man I thought your father was.”
She turns to me and I can see the tears forming in her eyes.
I turn my head back towards the front windshield.
I’m nothing like him. I think to myself. I don’t know what her problem is, but my father and I
couldn’t be more different. Whatever. Just smile and nod Brent. Maybe that will shut her up.
I put on my best fake smile and turn back to my mom.
“I know you did. And I’m sorry I haven’t been doing that for you. I promise, I’m
going to try really hard to be better.’
She looks at me and smiles, the tears beginning to fall down her face.
“Mom, I love you, and I would never want to hurt you.” I say still smiling.
“I love you too Brentle- I mean Brent.”
Then, she pulls me into a tight hug.
As soon as my face is on her shoulder and I’m sure she can’t see me, I wipe the smile off my
face and roll my eyes.
Well, at least it shut her up.