He knew it was going to be messy. There was no way in the world that it wouldn’t be. He knew he had to do it. There was no way around it. He did everything to prepare himself for what he was about to experience. He told himself it was the right thing to do. He told himself that if he didn’t, then nothing would ever change.
He mapped it all out in his head. Where he would start from. Where he would end up. How it would happen. Everytime he got to the last few steps though, he faltered. He wondered if anyone else could do it.
“No. It’s my task. I have to do this. Man up.” He would remind himself.
After all, it was for her. He was doing it for her. She deserved his best. He was so envious of her now. Having it so easy. Not understanding the struggle of doing the right thing, of having to be the guy who would do something like this. All in the name of love. But, she deserved this act of… what.. penance? Sacrifice? Yes. Sacrifice. His wife deserved at least that much.
So, he approached the dark hallway, quietly walking the length. He could hear the rustling coming from behind the door. Grunts and cries emanated from the room. His nose wrinkled from the smell the filled the hallway, a smell that would turn any man’s stomach. His heart beat faster as he reached out his hand toward the door knob.
He did his best to hold his breath as the stench grew stronger. Calculating his next few moves, he knew he would have to be quick. If not, this could be a disaster. He could hear a rustling noise close to the door and everything in his body froze in that brief second.
“You can do this. You can do this.” He repeated in his head, afraid to say it out loud. He gripped the doorknob, took one final deep breath and felt the smell burn his nose and pushed the door open.
Even with all his preparations… even with having served in a war zone during his military career…nothing he had ever experience could have readied him for this moment.
Because nothing in life can prepare you for walking into your teenager’s bedroom.