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I Shouldn't Feel This Way- Chapter 4

I Shouldn't Feel This Way- Chapter 4

What happens when a young father and daughter are reunited again after 16 years?
Chapter 4 


I couldn’t wait for Friday to come any sooner. My dad had been taking care of some business in the city while he was here, so I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend time with him before he flew back to LA. 

I really didn’t know how I was going to survive through the week, but I was just too nervous to reach out and call him first. When I was at school, I found it hard to pay attention because my mind was so occupied with him…and whenever I was at home, I would either lie in bed all evening or skip dinner and just listen to my music while trying not to think about him.


It was a Wednesday evening, and I was sitting at the dinner table eating with my family when my cellphone suddenly vibrated. I placed my fork down and pulled out my iPhone thinking it was probably my best friend Alison texting me. But when I read the text, I desperately wanted to excuse myself from the table. 

Text message from Noah via iPhone: 

Hey baby girl, how are you doing tonight? I miss you. 

I shoved my phone back in my pocket and looked at my mom. “May I be excused please? I’m not so hungry anymore.” 

“Your ma slaved away in the kitchen all evening. You’re going to sit your ass down and finish your food,” Rob scowled at me with his beady brown eyes, burping disgustingly loud.

“Robbie, you promised you’d stop cursing so much.” 

“She’s being disrespectful Emily. She should know not to waste food.” 

I rolled my eyes and stuffed my mouth with the remaining mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables that were left on my plate, all in five hasty bites. 

“Done, thanks for dinner mom,” I gathered my plate and utensils then speed walked to the kitchen to place them in the sink before I ran to my room, ignoring Rob’s nonstop complaining. He always had a problem with me. It was getting old. 

I turned on my iPod and dropped my weight on my bed, lying on my stomach with my feet slowly swinging in the air as I texted my dad back as fast as I could. 

Text message from Aria via iPhone: 

Hey Noah, I’m ok. How r u doing 2nite? 

I waited about 20 seconds, and then my phone vibrated again. I was smiling like an idiot, as if my biggest crush was spontaneously texting me. 

Text message from Noah via iPhone: 

Just okay? What can I do to make you feel GREAT? And I’m doing fantastic since the world’s most beautiful daughter texted me back :) 

Even through text he made me blush. I wanted to tell him that Rob and mom were annoying me and getting on my case a lot, but decided against it. He already gave me the vibe that he was a very protective man. I didn’t want to cause trouble for mom, especially if I was going to attempt to convince her to go let me live with Noah. So I lied instead. 

Text message from Aria via iPhone: 

Just got in2 a dumb fight @ school with sum friends. They’re not talking 2 me now. 

Text message from Noah via iPhone: 

Whose ass do I need to kick? 

I couldn’t help but giggle. 

Text message from Aria via iPhone: 

It’s just 2 of my gf’s and u cant kick their asses :P 

Text message from Noah via iPhone: 

I’m here for you if you need advice or to vent. 

I took a deep breath and felt a little guilty for lying to him.

Text message from Aria via iPhone: 

Thanks. Ill be ok though. 

Text message from Noah via iPhone: 

I love you angel. 

I took a moment to re-read his last text over and over, feeling this surge of happiness before I texted him back. 

Text message from Aria via iPhone: 

xoxox :) 

I assumed he got busy, so I didn’t want to disturb him. My mom eventually came in my room without knocking as usual and nagged me to come wash the dishes. Ugh. It seriously sucked being a house slave.


“You are seriously so lucky, Aria. If I were you, I’d be guilt tripping him until he handed over the credit cards.” 

I laughed as I walked out of the double doors of my high school alongside my best friends Alison and Jade. I went to a public school, so uniforms weren’t mandatory. “I’m still getting to know him, Jade.” 

“Hey, I’m just saying that he’s got 16 years of making up to do.” 

We walked off the school premises and stood on the side walk waiting for Alison to light up her cigarette. I didn’t smoke, but my friends did. 

“So, the usual place ladies?” 

I looked at Ally and nodded. All three of us refused to eat the fried crap our school’s cafeteria ladies had to offer the student body, so we usually went to Subway for lunch. I stood in the middle of my friends as we started walking, when we heard loud music vibrating the entire street. Jade stopped and turned around. 

“Damn, definitely nice wheels. Look at that car approaching, probably some rich kid driving daddy’s wheels.” 

I paused and noticed a black BMW pull up to the curb next to us. The windows were tinted so we couldn’t see who was inside. All I heard was loud dubstep playing from the car stereo. The mystery driver turned down the music and we watched in curiosity as the passenger side window slowly slid down. My jaw dropped when I saw who was sitting in the driver’s seat. “Noah…” 

My girlfriends looked at me and then leaned down to get a better look at my dad. 

“Are you Aria’s father?” Alison asked as she quickly put out her cigarette. 

He killed the engine and got out of the car, walking around it so that he was standing on the sidewalk with us. “Yes I am, Noah Hunter—” he extended his right hand and shook both Jade and Alison’s hand. “Pleased to meet you.” 

I was too shell shocked to even introduce them properly, but my friends were more than capable of introducing themselves. Jade and Ally evidently had stars in their eyes as they swooned over my father. I seriously needed to snap out of it. “What are you doing here?” I asked him, adjusting my school bag over my shoulder. 

“Well, after what you told me last night, I thought I’d pick you up for lunch and cheer you up, but I guess you three already made up?” 

Ally arched her eyebrow at me, looking confused. 

Uh…yeah we did,” I replied. 

We did?” Jade smirked at me. She was giving me a hard time on purpose. 

“We were just going to Subway Mr. Hunter, but I think Aria’s getting sick of that routine.” 

“Then I guess I came at the right time. Let me take you out for lunch. You girls can come along too if you like.” 

Alison leaped at the opportunity. “We’d love—” 

“You should spend time with your daughter,” Jade cut her off. “But thanks.” 

He smiled at me and I was still having difficulty finding the words to say yes, so Jade gently pushed me forward. “She’s all yours Mr. Hunter. We’ll see you back in History class, Aria.” 

“Nice meeting you ladies,” Noah opened my passenger door and I waved goodbye to my friends before he got in next to me. The car engine roared back to life and we had only just pulled onto the street when my cellphone vibrated. 

Text Message from Alison via Blackberry: 

Umm wth!? U didn’t tell us ur dad is a hawty! Hes an absolute DILF! 

My face flushed in heat. I didn’t bother to text her back because I was embarrassed and worried that he saw the text when he glanced over at me. 

“Everything okay?” 

“Mhm,” I buckled my seatbelt and folded my hands in my lap. The car smelled brand new. 

“I’m sorry for dropping by unannounced.” 

“It’s okay, I don’t mind really.” Of course I didn’t mind, I was totally stoked! He looked just as sexy as the day I met him. 

“Technically your mom doesn’t know…” Noah sounded a little uneasy, and it took me long enough to clue in. God, I was such a blonde sometimes. 

“Oh, don’t worry about her. I won’t say anything.” 

“Thanks, princess,” he switched the gearshift and we turned down a main intersection. I made sure to stare out the window throughout the entire car ride, because it was too tempting to gaze at him. He was just too perfect and just as sexy if not more from his side profile. I hadn’t seen him in any casual attire yet. He was wearing a black trench coat, black tailored trousers, and I was sure he had on some sort of dress shirt underneath the coat. Though I wasn’t too certain what color. I had on a pair of baby blue skinny jeans, a white shirt and a purple cardigan underneath my black leather jacket. I was also fashioning some killer black wedge ankle boots. Jade said that I looked hot when she saw me in the morning. I didn’t usually wear my hair up. Although I had a lot of hair, it took me forever managing it. Chopping it off was out of the question. So I made sure to wake up an hour earlier in the morning to shower, blow dry, and straighten my locks.


Noah ended up taking me to a nice little Italian bistro not too far into town. We shared a stone baked pepperoni and veggie pizza, and he made me laugh a majority of the time. He had a wicked sense of humour.

“I love your laugh, Aria. Especially your smile.” 

“Well, then I guess that means you need to work extra hard to keep me laughing and smiling,” was I flirting with him? Seriously

“It doesn’t seem too hard of a task,” his eyes were seductive as hell. I watched him snap off the stem of a white rose from the vase in the middle of our table, and then he carefully tucked the flower behind my ear. I couldn’t help but giggle.

“See, what did I say? Piece of cake,” his voice, his dimpled smile, his eyes, everything about him was so heartbreakingly beautiful. My dad was devastatingly handsome and charming to a fault. He probably knew this since he had a bit of a cocky attitude about him. But it was so sexy. “What time do you need to be back at school?” 

I glanced at my phone. It was almost one in the afternoon. “I still have half an hour to kill.” 

“Do you want to go for a walk down central park?” 

I smiled and nodded as he got our server to bring us the bill.


It was sunny for once, surprisingly. All last week we had nothing but November rain, but the weather was more than agreeable on this particular day. We started walking along side each other down a concrete pathway. Almost all the trees were bare because the leaves had fallen to the ground, but there were a couple trees here and there that still had a cluster of yellow and red leaves hanging from the branches. 

“Wear this,” Noah unravelled his black scarf from his neck and wrapped it around mine. “I don’t want you getting sick. There’s still a bit of a chill in the air.”

“Thanks,” his gesture made me feel so warm, and I was in heaven because his cologne had infused the cotton fabric of the scarf. He really had no idea what this was doing to me. 

“Don’t mention it.” 

I almost secretly hoped that he would forget about his scarf and let me keep it. 

“I bet you miss the warm weather,” I decided to strike up a conversation. 

“Yeah, I do. But it’s not so bad over here. Some states are getting hit with a snow storm already.” 

The heel of my boots clicked against the pavement as we continued to walk at a slowed pace. There were a couple runners and bikers passing us every now and then. 

“Do you play any sports, Aria?” 

“I was always flexible as a kid. Mom put me in gymnastics all through middle school, and then I stopped because we couldn’t afford the classes anymore. I really love volley ball and I’m good at it. I also love to dance.” 

“I can put you in any extra circular activity you like when you come live with me.” 

I didn’t know how to respond to that. 

“Rob had a lot of money when mom married him. I remember them fighting about him gambling away 100,000 dollars’ worth of cash when I was little. They still argue about it.” 

He said nothing for a while and I could sense that something was putting him off. Noah looked at me and frowned. 

“Aria, I need to tell you something.” 

I stopped walking and faced him. 

“That night when I came up with you to your apartment…I was shocked that you were living there because my family-well, my mother in particular, wrote your mom a hundred thousand dollar cheque so that she would leave me alone and not come after me for child support ages ago. There was some secret contract between them, and believe me when I say that I had no idea about this until I was in my last few years of college. So when you showed me where you lived, I had expected it to be a better place of residence. I thought your mom would be sensible enough to invest in a house or an apartment in a better neighbourhood.”

“Oh…” it was all I could manage to say. I looked away and tried not to focus on the anger that was bubbling up inside of me. Now it all made sense. That money didn’t belong to Rob; it was my mother’s, (well, technically it belonged to my grandmother). Mom foolishly gave that money to my stepdad and he lost it all through a poker competition at a casino years ago. 

“You didn’t know this did you?”

I shook my head and heard him curse under his breath. “It’s okay, Noah. At least now I know the truth. I just wish mom never married that asshole.” 

He tilted his head to the side and looked at me inquisitively. 

“Sorry, I curse too,” I replied with a guilty smile.

“Come here,” Noah chuckled and pulled me into his arms. I exhaled deeply and wrapped my arms around him, taking comfort in the warmth of his body. 

“He doesn’t hurt you does he?” he pulled back and held my face. His hands were covered by black leather gloves. 

“What are you implying when you say hurt?” 

I watched his expression turn from worry to terror. “Jeezuz Aria…why didn’t you tell me before I dropped you off at your place!?” he looked genuinely upset and bordering on rage, though I couldn’t understand why. “I’m going to kill that mother fucker for touching you.” 

“Wait, what? No, it’s not like that! Noah, calm down.” 

He took a deep breath and looked at me. “Aria, just tell me straight up. Does that fucker abuse you?” his eyes were intimidating me. The ocean blue in his iris had completely frosted over and I was paralyzed in place. 

“He…he’s hit me a few times. But that’s it.” 

“I swear to God I’m going to kill him. And don’t worry about the jail time, I’m a lawyer, which means I’m an excellent liar,” he paced around in frustration. I was seeing a totally different side of him. It was intense, somewhat scary, and made me feel so unbelievably loved at the same time. “Why didn’t you mention this in court!? I could’ve gotten full custody of you!” Noah was shouting and it made me jump. I tried to control my trembling lip as I fought my hardest to hold back my hurt. 

“Like I said, he’s only hit me a few times. Mom keeps him under control.” 

Keeps him under control? Is he some rabid dog living with you guys? Aria, you’re my daughter! No one is allowed to lay a hand on you! Do you understand that? Do you understand how this makes me feel as your father?” 

There were a couple pedestrians walking by as they stared at us. Probably because they found it hard to believe that he was my dad. I was quivering. Not because I was cold, but because I had upset him. 

“I already feel like the world’s biggest failure as a father, now this certainly tops it. I let my family dictate my life to me and as a result you had to grow up getting beaten up every day. This is all my fault.” 

“I wasn’t beaten every day!” How could I get through to him? He was so visibly upset. I had to suck it up and just tell him. “What did you expect me to say at the court hearing? I didn’t know a single thing about you, and all of a sudden I was expected to trust you? You could’ve been worse than Rob for all I knew. And no matter what mistakes my mom made, I wasn’t going to throw her under the bus. So I asked the judge to give you both shared custody over me, which is pretty pointless considering the fact that I’ll be 18 in two years and none of this will matter. And you know what? In some ways I can’t wait, because my life won’t be controlled by my parents. I can choose my own goddamn path!” I turned away from him and began walking. How symbolic and ironic that I was walking down a park path. 

Aria…Aria!” He caught up beside me. “Will you just stop for a second please?” 

I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to keep going. I wanted to cry, but I steeled myself and immobilized my feet. And as tempting as it was, I refused to look at him. 

“Look at me, please,” his voice sounded so gentle, like he was compelling me. No matter how much my brain screamed no! I turned my head and met his gaze.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you. I lose my temper easily. It used to be worse before, and I’ve learned to control it better, but I don’t always succeed.” 

I remained silent and shifted my weight to my right leg, folding my arms against my chest. 

“I know you might not understand it, but I feel protective of you, and I just want you to be in a safe and loving environment. That bastard shouldn’t raise his hand on you or any of his kids—” 

“I understand that,” I interjected “I just don’t want trouble for mom, which is why—”

“Just let me finish,” Noah cut me off. “Let me finish what I have to say. Trust me, I realize where you’re coming from,” he looked at me and waited for a silent confirmation, to which I nodded. “I understand your feelings of loyalty towards your mother. But now I know more than ever, that you belong with me. Because there’s no way in hell that I’m going to be able to sleep at night, knowing you’re living under the same roof of a violent man who feels he has the right to lay his hands on you.” 

‘You belong with me’… those are the only words registered in my mind as I played them on repeat over and over. 

“Have you spoken to your mother yet about moving in with me and Vanessa?” 

I shook my head. “Not yet.” 

“Please talk to her about it before the week ends.” 

I nodded and he hugged me again. “I love you. Please believe that. I just want to protect you,” Noah whispered in my ear, as I tried my hardest to hold back my tears. I felt sad to feel him pull away so soon, but I knew it was most likely because he remembered I had to get back to school. 

“I should probably drive you back now. I don’t want you to be late,” I watched his eyes soften. “Please don’t pout like that.” 

I didn’t even realize that I was pouting. “Sorry,” I murmured. “I just wish I could spend the day with you.”

He looked like he was in deep thought for a good five seconds. “Do you have any tests today? Exams, pop quizzes?” 

“No, we’re supposed to be watching some boring video about early American settlers.” 

“Yikes, that does sound boring. Do you want to skip and hang out with me? I can sign you out of class and notify the office that you’re not feeling well.”

Wow, was he for real!?

“Did you let them know that I have guardianship over you now?” 

“Yeah, I filled out the forms yesterday.” 

“Excellent,” he smiled and held my gaze. “So what do you say?” 

“I would say— yes! But what about my mom?” 

“Leave that to me. I’ll give her a call.” 

I was so excited. I didn’t expect him to be this cool. “Oh my god, you’re the best!” I just couldn’t contain my happiness, as I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. I melted when he laughed.


Noah was in the car waiting for his daughter, hoping that she would take her time, just in case his phone call took longer than expected. He had successfully signed her out of school and told her that he would wait for her in the car while she picked up some textbooks from her locker. He took the opportunity to call his ex-lover, Emily. After three rings, she picked up. 

“Emily, it’s me—” 

“What do you want, Noah?” she recognized his voice and didn’t sound too happy to hear from him. 

“Aria wasn’t feeling well, so she called me. I showed up at her school and signed her out of her last period class.” 

What? Put her on the phone, I want to talk to her.” 

“I’m waiting for her in the car. She’s at her locker picking up some things.” 

“Then bring her home,” Emily rudely demanded. 

“She said she wants to spend some time with me, so I’m going to look after her for the rest of the afternoon. I’ll drop her off in the evening.” 

“If she’s sick then she should be at home in bed.” 

“Listen Em, it’s pretty obvious that she just wants to see her dad.” 

“So you help her play hooky?” she countered back. 

“No, I’m just being there for her.” 

“Bring her home Noah. I’m not going to ask you again.” 

“Well quite frankly Emily, you’re not asking at all, you’re demanding. And I’m not going to bring her home when that bastard has a twitching hand around her.” 

“What the hell are you on about? What did she say to you?” 

“Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know everything because clearly she’s protecting you, but I know enough to come to the conclusion that your fucking husband physically and verbally abuses our daughter.” 

“You don’t know what you’re talking about—” 

“You listen to me, and you listen good. Because if you don’t, I’m going to make your miserable little life much worse than it already is, and I’ll especially target that pussy husband of yours. I have the power to do it, I have the money to do it, and I’m straight forwardly telling you that you don’t want to push me Emily.” 

“You want full custody of her don’t you? Are you threatening me, Noah?” 

“It’s not a threat, it’s a warning. And no, I don’t want full custody of her. I wouldn’t dream of taking her away from you like the way you took her away from me, and poisoned her mind,” he expressed in a sardonic voice.

“You did that all on your own,” Emily angrily argued back. 

“I want Aria living with me for the remainder of the year.” 

“Absolutely not!” 

“She’s already said yes to me.” 

“Well I’m her mother and I say no!” 

“Are you a bitter bitch now, Em? You just can’t stand the fact that you said no to me all those years ago, and chose to run away with some loser, cashing in on my family’s bribe money only to have it all blown away overnight. You can’t fathom how disappointing your life turned out—” 

“Shut up!” 

“Let me tell you this so that it’s crystal clear for you. If you don’t allow Aria to come to LA with me, you can kiss your life goodbye. I’ll have Child Protective Services at your door so quick that you won’t even know what hit you. Your kids will become government property and placed into the system. What system is that? Foster care, sweetheart. And lastly, your pathetic excuse for a husband will be behind bars. Maybe I’ll have you thrown in there with him as well, since you’ve been a fucking neglectful mother.” 

“You’re bluffing, there’s nothing you can do. Aria would never testify against me and I’m not neglectful!” 

“She wouldn’t need to. Don’t tempt me, Emily, because I swear on her life that I’d do it and you would eternally regret it.” 

There was a long pause. 

“You bastard—damn you…fine! She’s yours!” 

“And one other thing— if you mention this little convo of ours to her, you’ll be sorry.” 

“I won’t mention shit! Happy? Are we done now!?” Emily was so upset, but she took his warnings very seriously because she knew what his family was capable of. And now that Noah was a lawyer, the chances of Robert getting slapped with a jail sentence was very likely to happen if he dragged his ass to court. 

Noah suddenly saw his daughter approaching from the distance. “You have a good day, Em.” he said with a sly, sarcastic smile. 

“Go to hell, Noah.” She hung up. 

Aria got inside the car and strapped her seat belt on. 

“Did you call mom?” 

“Yeah, I just got off the phone with her. She’s fine with you hanging out with me. I told her I’d bring you back home in the evening.” 

“Oh, okay. That’s good.” 

“So tell me princess, what do you feel like doing since we’re bordering on a rebellion today?” he smiled crookedly at her. 

“Umm...” long seconds passed and Aria still couldn’t decide on a destination. 

“I know where to take you,” Noah smiled to himself and drove out of the school parking lot. “We’re going shopping.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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Posted 07 Jun 2013 20:51
I am so loving the build up to this story.
Posted 25 Mar 2013 15:12
You are a great writer, keeps getting better.
Posted 08 Mar 2013 12:16
Am enjoying the build-up. Can't wait for the rest.
Posted 08 Mar 2013 11:20
Great story so far. Keep it coming!!!
Posted 08 Mar 2013 07:22
Excellent series. "V=5++."
Posted 08 Mar 2013 04:25
I keep saying, I'm not reading any more of this series. But then I see it come up and I am on it like flies on you know what. I love it.5+
Posted 07 Mar 2013 21:20
I have been a member here for quite some time, and have NEVER commented or rated on anything. This is the best series I have ever read. I am going to give you 5 for sure.
Posted 07 Mar 2013 20:56
The build up of each passing chapter is growing with such intensity. This is by far my favorite series I've read on Lush. You are easily, hands down, my favorite author on Lush.
Posted 07 Mar 2013 20:37
Damn you are killing me making me wait like this ........
Posted 07 Mar 2013 19:12
Thank you for another GOOD chapter

Posted 07 Mar 2013 16:44
This is so good....probably best series...most believable series in Lush...Like all your fans, I am
Posted 07 Mar 2013 05:02
oh man, you got me hooked and so damn excited, i cant seem to leave lush to do my chores 5+++ excellent story
Posted 07 Mar 2013 02:44
Another great story. The character of Aria is somewhat does not correspond to her age, but still a great build up. 5

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