People think that because I’m fourteen years old that I don’t know stuff.

But I know plenty of stuff.

Like – I know that my mom took off her old wedding rings again when she started dating Deacon. I know that she ended up selling them at a pawnshop, actually. I know that when she is “going out with the girls” that she’s usually going out with Deacon. I know that Miley has been asking if she can call Deacon ‘dad’ when I’m not in the room.

And, I know that mom has been planning a third wedding. It’s been eight months since Deacon came into our lives and I’ve hated every minute of it. He just showed up and soon he’s probably going to have us all move into some “big family house” so that we can be a “big family” together.

I don’t want any of that, though. Nobody is even asking me if I like what’s happening with mom and Deacon. I can’t believe that mom hasn’t sat down and asked if I like him or if I approve of this relationship or being a part of a family with him. She’s a great mom but this is the crappiest behavior I’ve ever seen from her. What kind of parent makes a decision like that without asking their kids first?

Sure, Miley loves Lee and she adores Deacon. Mom and Deacon take the girls out to the park all the time. They invite me but what’s the point? They’re just going to ignore me and pretend to be happy the entire time. It’s totally ridiculous.

Mom is being so selfish. Deacon makes her a terrible person.

… … … …

I know this doesn’t classify this as a win, but I told mom I hate Deacon.

I only told her because apparently I was right. They are purchasing a home together now and want to move in right after the wedding! She took this opportunity to also tell me that they are getting married in exactly three months. So I told her that I would rather live with my barely sober dad than live with her and Deacon and Miley and Lee, because that’s not a family. That’s all a lie.

Of course, a parent’s punishment for honesty is putting a kid closer to the thing that they hate. So I hate Deacon – and as the result I am condemned to a “man’s dinner” out with Deacon – and lucky me, he’s available right now for dinner. My arms are crossed and I’m making it perfectly clear that I’m ignoring him. The waiter keeps asking me if I’m ready to order my food and I just ignore him too.

Protesters don’t win by giving into the man. So I am standing my ground.

“Evan, you’re being ridiculous.” Deacon points out.

He doesn’t know what ridiculous actually looks like – he thinks the silent treatment is – me being – ridiculous? Wait until I start throwing food and talking about smearing poop on the walls in the bathroom! I will embarrass him so much that he’ll go home and cancel the purchase and the wedding and leave my mom on the doorstep. She deserves better – and better is just her being with her kids.

“Your mother wants to put you in therapy. She thinks that you have anger issues and anti-social behavior.” Deacon isn’t the first person to tell me this, and it sounds the same coming from his lips. It just sounds like nonsense. I don’t need the therapy that they think I do – they need the therapy.

“I keep telling her that you don’t need a psychologist, though. You just need a dose of reality. I had to fight with her tooth and nail just to convince her that one good talk with you could set you straight.” Deacon thinks he can fix anything, doesn’t he? He thinks he can fix my mom’s heart but it wasn’t broken. He thinks he can fix our family, but it never needed anyone else. He thinks he can buy a house that we don’t need; bring us another child that isn’t necessary, and be a second father to me that I never wanted.

Nothing needed to change and he came in to destroy the world I knew and loved. Deacon is nothing but a rotten home wrecking jerk. He is a man that nobody wants. I know – otherwise he’d still be with Lee’s mother. I also heard mom and grandma talking about how he was divorced before that; so clearly he’s an undesirable husband.

“I’m going to tell you how it is – your mother asked me out first. Your mother is the one that found the house. Your mother is the one that brought up marriage. I let her dictate the relationship because I failed at my previous ones. I cheated on my first wife with Lee’s mother. She left me because she didn’t want to have kids. I landed myself in a mess, albeit a happy one, and never thought in a million years that I’d find love anywhere else again. I was just like you – I thought my life with Lee was content and good because it was working.” Deacon’s voice is annoying. I can’t help but listen, though, because that’s how my brain works. Years of public school can teach you that skill, and it doesn’t ever shut off. But I really hear what he’s trying to tell me.

And I can’t believe he’s trying to convince me that my mother is single handedly trying to ruin my life. She loves me and she would never do that; “You’re an ass hole liar face.”

“Your mother would not appreciate that kind of language. But I suppose with a sailor’s mouth like hers I shouldn’t be surprised.” Deacon doesn’t even try to correct me. Good – I am right. He’s an ass hole liar face.

“You are mad because nobody loves you. So you are taking advantage of my mom for being such a nice lady.” That is obviously the reason for all of this change. His selfishness is spreading and I refuse it. I refuse all of it.

Deacon crinkles his face; “Your mother never needed to ask your permission to fall in love, Evan.”

“But you needed my permission to fall in love with her!” I scream at him. Everyone in the restaurant looks at our table. Waiters and waitresses scatter everywhere in an attempt to busy themselves with as many people as possible. Surely the manager will come and kick us out of the restaurant. I would be okay with that at this point.

Not just because this is the crappiest night of my life…

…but also because I’m crying.

“You never asked me if I was okay with you taking my mom away from me!” I decide to excuse myself from the table. I run outside and just wander in the parking lot. Well, I wander around before I decide to commit to just sitting on Deacon’s car. It seems he expected me to come back, though, because he’s already standing with his back against the driver door.

Deacon urges for me to get in the car, but I don’t. So he urges me to sit on the hood of the car and take a few breaths instead. Since I’m not crying anymore I figure I should just give it a shot.

And I sit there until every other car leaves the parking lot.

… … …

Liking Deacon, maybe that will come with time.

But for right now – he is at least right – and that’s a good start.

My mother never had to ask if she could love someone else, just like she didn’t have to ask to leave my dad when he was an alcoholic. She didn’t need to ask to have Miley or leave her father rotting in jail after he got caught selling drugs. My mom has made a lot of hard decisions but I know now that this wasn’t hard for her to choose. She loves Deacon and Deacon loves her. Somewhere in that mess of icky romance there’s a lesson – Deacon thinks someday I’ll be grateful for it.

I don’t know that I’d ever describe myself as grateful, but maybe when I’m an adult I’ll change. Maybe I’ll understand more things. Maybe I’ll make my own mistakes and fall in love without asking first. I have no idea what I’m going to do…

But it seems like a good start to say this:

I am fourteen years old and even though I know a lot of stuff – I certainly don’t know everything.