March 12th, 2007:
Milo walks home from the hospital, head down towards the sidewalk; his world has completely just crashed to the ground. He takes a deep breath in, closes his eyes, and the last year has flashed before his eyes: meeting Gwen, first kissing Gwen, first time making love to Gwen, Gwen tells him that she was pregnant, Gwen giving birth to their son, up until this morning when Gwen passed away. He had thought his world was complete when his son, Milo Jr, was born – not knowing that the rest of his life would come to the place where he is now.
When he entered his house, it was empty. No noise. Peaceful. He just needed to sleep away the sadness for a bit, until he felt okay enough to start making the next moves in his life. Will he raise the kid by himself? Would her parents take custody of his son because he was only a 16-year old teenage boy? He didn’t know what route he was going to take, but at least he had some time to figure it out, or he thought he did.
He entered his bedroom with his parents sitting on his bed, with two suitcases full of belongings, and his son. They found out about his son. His mother couldn’t even look at him; his father couldn’t stop yelling at him. He called him a “waste of life” while pointing at his weeks’ old son and calling him “the son of a bitch”. The kid was crying, his mother was crying, and he couldn’t take it anymore. When his father yelled, “get the fuck out of my house!”, he did not disobey. Milo took his son, the suitcases, and left.
June 25th, 2026 – Morning:
Milo straightens his navy blue tie in his bedroom. His wife, Jennifer, walks into the bedroom with her green dress on, barefoot, panicky putting things in a bag.
Milo: You’re okay, Pep?
Jennifer: *keeps looking in the closet* Yeah, I’m fine – I’m just trying to bring some extra things for the girls to keep them quiet and busy during Milo’s graduation.
Milo: They really don’t call it “terrible 2’s” for nothing.
Jennifer: Reagan and Dylan are the definitions of that saying, that’s for sure.
Milo laughs and helps Jennifer pack some things for their twin girls. Their 8-year old son, Micah, comes running in the bedroom.
Micah: Mom! Have you seen my game charger?
Jennifer: No, I haven’t, and you aren’t bringing that game thing anyway.
Micah: *whines* Why can’t I?!
Jennifer stops what she’s doing and takes a deep sigh. Milo looks at Jennifer, then at Micah.
Milo: It’s Milo’s high-school graduation, Micah. There’s going to be a lot of people there, and we don’t want you to lose this game again. Now go put your shoes on; we’re leaving in 15 minutes.
Micah turns around and huffs and puffs as he walks out of his parent’s bedroom.
Milo: *calls out* Keep stomping on the ground, Micah, and that game will be gone for a month!
Milo looks at Jennifer, who is now sitting on their bed, putting her heels on. She looks up at Milo when she’s done.
Milo: That’s your son.
Jennifer: *crosses her arms* Oh, so he’s only my son now?
Milo: Only when he acts like you.
He winks at his wife, and she rolls her eyes. Milo Jr. walks into the bedroom, with his graduation down on.
Milo Jr: How the hell is this little cap suppose to fit over my hair?
While Milo Jr. attempts to put on his cap without it falling off his head, Jennifer walks over to him to help him out.
Jennifer: *with bobby pins in her hands* I had the same problem with all my graduation caps. Thick curly hair wasn’t fitting in this little cap, so dreadlocks weren’t going to neither.
She secures the cap with bobby pins on Milo Jr’s head. Milo smiles at the sight of his wife and first-born together. He remembers when he first introduced Milo Jr. to Jennifer: it was when he frantically banged on her front door 18 years ago with two suitcases, crying to her that his parents kicked him out and he had nowhere else to go. He will forever be grateful for her family taken him in when he needed someone the most.
Jennifer pats Milo Jr. on the back when she’s done. She hears the twins being loud in the other room and walks over to see what they were up to.
Milo Jr. stares at the mirror in his parent’s bedroom.
Milo Jr: God, I’m nervous.
Milo walks over to his son and looks at them through the vanity mirror.
Milo: There’s no reason for you to be nervous. It’s high-school graduation, not a military draft.
Milo Jr: Funny, dad. I don’t know, I just can’t believe this is the end, y’know?
Milo: It may feel that way now, but you worked hard to get where you’re at. You’re going to a great college within the city, you have a supportive group of friends around you, you have a very nice girlfriend that cares about you; all of that isn’t going away.
Milo Jr: It’s still scary. Y’know, growing up.
Milo: Well, you’re 18. This chapter may be ending, but you’re still young and you have a lot of life to live still. Call me when you’re my age.
Milo Jr. smiles at his dad’s “dad joke”, then straights out his gown and the tassel ropes around his neck. Milo puts the finishing touches on his outfit as well.
Milo: You must be very proud of Sophie for being Valedictorian.
Milo notices the huge smile on his son’s face just by mentioning his girlfriend’s name.
Milo Jr: She so deserves it. I don’t know anyone else in that school who works as hard as she does. Barnard College doesn’t accept just anyone these days.
Milo listens to his son talk about his girlfriend with a beam in his eyes. He remembers being a teenager in love and having the same beam in his eyes for Gwen. He’s still glad that the beam in his eyes never left even after she was gone and his life-long childhood best friend, Jennifer, became his girlfriend, mother of his children, and wife when they were in their mid to late 20’s. Life took them through thick and thin, and the woman he was always in love with, even with Gwen all those years ago, was truly Jennifer. He smiles at his son as he continues to speak about Sophie.
Milo Jr. looks at the time on the vanity clock and panics; it’s time to graduate! The Kamalani’s leave the house to attend the first-born’s high-school graduation. Truly a milestone in the making.
June 25th, 2026 – Night:
Milo and Jennifer are both sitting in bed, cuddling, watching TV together. During one of the commercials, Jennifer gets up to stretch and take off her makeup for the day.
Jennifer: Congratulations, Mr. Kamalani – we raised a high-school graduate.
Milo: *puts his hands behind his head* What can I say? We make a good team, Mrs. Kamalani.
Jennifer looks at Milo through the mirror, smiling at his cheesy comeback. She continues to take off her makeup as Milo gets up out of the bed and walks over to his dresser.
Jennifer: Sophie’s speech was very touching today, wasn’t it? I know Milo was very proud of her.
Milo: I think the whole auditorium knew that by the way he yelled and cheered for her throughout it.
They both laugh.
Jennifer: You know he loves her, right?
Milo: *puts a shirt on* Of course he does.
Jennifer: That doesn’t scare you?
Milo: Why would it?
Jennifer turns around and faces Milo.
Jennifer: We are talking about an 18-year-old boy, Mi. I don’t know if you don’t see it, but he’s exactly how you were when you were a teenager: blindly in love. You fell hard.
Milo: Yeah, well Milo knows better. We’ve had these talks already. I told him the reality of it all. He knows about my teenage years, and I made it very clear to treat her right, be there for her, but still be smart. We can’t stop him from growing, Pep. We can only help him make the right decisions.
Jennifer: I guess you’re right.
Jennifer turns back around to face the vanity, and Milo walks to her and hugs her from behind. She stops what he’s doing.
Milo: We raised an amazing kid, babe, and we are raising even more amazing kids. I couldn’t have done this without you.
He turns her around and kisses her. The kiss breaks up when Jennifer looks at the time.
Jennifer: What time is Milo coming home from Sophie’s?
Milo: I told him before midnight.
He looks at the clock; it’s 10:30pm.
Milo: He’ll be home, don’t worry.
— LATER THAT NIGHT —
The lights are off in Milo and Jennifer’s bedroom. Jennifer is sleeping on the left side of the bed, and Milo turns over on the right side, ultimately waking up. He rubs his eyes and puts on his slippers to go use the bathroom. He walks out to the hallway and checks on the kids’ rooms: Micah is asleep, the twins are asleep, and Milo Jr is… not in his room. He looks around the house for his son, until he notices the basement light is on through the crack of the open door.
He walks down the creaky staircase until he sees his son laying down on the hardwood floor, throwing a little ball up in the air.
Milo Jr looks towards his dad and gets up from the floor. He is still wearing the outfit he had on for his graduation, just now looking more worn in and stressed.
Milo Jr: Hey, dad. I was just gonna go upstairs now.
Milo Jr. tries to walk past his father, but his father knows him best. Milo stops him by putting his hand on his shoulder and looks at Milo Jr. in the face.
Milo: What’s going on, Milo?
Milo Jr: I’m fine dad, really, I just have a lot of stuff going on in my head, nothing to be worried about.
Milo Jr. walks back down the stairs and plops himself on one of the beanbags in the basement. Milo isn’t buying it. Milo walks down the rest of the stairs and sits next to his son on the other beanbag chair.
Milo: I know you may not hear it often, but you should know how proud I am of you.
Milo Jr: I know.
Milo: You think you may know, but I want you to understand, Mi. My dad didn’t come to my high-school graduation. Or my college one; none of them. I didn’t have someone tell me what to do during the hard times. I didn’t have another man in my life tell me that I was doing an okay job juggling everything. I don’t ever want you to think that I don’t support you, or you don’t feel the support I give for you. You’re my first-born, Milo. Today will always hold a special place in my heart.
Milo Jr: I do feel it, dad. Thank you.
Milo notices his son fidgeting with his fingers. He takes note of it.
Milo: Pep was very moved by Sophie’s speech.
Milo Jr: Yeah, she did an amazing job.
That beam in Milo Jr’s eyes isn’t there anymore.
Milo: Did you and Sophie break up?
Milo Jr: *looks at his dad* What? No, we didn’t break up, dad.
Milo: So what’s wrong?
Milo Jr: Nothing is wrong, dad.
Milo: Mi, I know you; clearly something is wrong–
Milo Jr: *annoyed* Will you just drop it already?!
Milo Jr gets up from the beanbag chair and tries to flee towards the stairs, but Milo gets up to block them.
Milo: I told you to be home by midnight, but clearly you didn’t hear me when I told you that.
They both look at each other intently.
Milo: You may be rebellious every now and then, Milo, but ever since that girl entered your life, it turned you around and made you better. You never missed curfew, you have never not checked in with us; come on, Milo. I know you. What’s going on?
Milo notices his son get teary-eyed; he is now concerned. Milo Jr. turns back around and walks away from his father.
Milo: You know you can tell me anything. I promise I won’t judge you. *takes a deep breath* What happened, Milo?
Milo Jr. doesn’t say anything. His father begins to get annoyed and impatient.
Milo: Clearly it has something to do with Sophie, Milo. You were fine after the graduation dinner, you were fine before you went over to hang out with her; what happened? She cheated on you or something? *sigh* Look I know it hurts now but it’s not the end of the–
Milo Jr. turns around to face his father.
Milo Jr: *yells* She didn’t cheat on me! She’s pregnant!
Both Milo and his son look at each other. Milo doesn’t know what to say. Half of him feels like the future he hoped for his son, the son he had to struggle with when he was just a teenager himself, was crashing down. He sees himself as the scared 16-year-old teenager again, holding his son with his own father screaming at him, calling him a waste of life and his son “the son of a bitch”. Milo comes back to reality to see his own son, now 18, with his hands on his face and his knees on the ground, as if his life is crashing down all at once.
Milo walks over to his son, looks down, and sits right next to him on the floor. He grabs his son and hugs him. Milo Jr. sobs in his father’s lap.
Milo: It’s going to be okay.
— The End —