When Amanda woke up, she decided to crawl out of bed to get a bowl of cereal. And eat it on the couch, of course.
“Ain’t nothing beat couch cereal.” She declared to the empty room and dug into her delicious and dangerously sugary cereal.
Almost immediately after taking a bite out of her cereal, she heard footsteps coming from her dad’s room, but, when she glanced up, she saw Damien walking by her.
“Good morning, Amanda dear.” Damien greeted.
“Mornin.” Amanda responded. She KNEW it. Her dad and Damien had been getting pretty close, so it wasn’t a completely wild assumption that they would start dating. And, of course, the footsteps she heard must be…
“You get enough sleep, kiddo? Always good to get up early, but make sure you snooze enough.” Craig greeted as he walked past. Okay, so clearly the next person to walk out must be her dad, right?
Wrong. It was Brian.
“Don’t fill up on cereal!” Brian said. “I’m making eggs and sausage! Teacher incoming, by the way.”
That just made Amanda even more confused, and OH MY GOD IT’S MR. VEGA.
Hugo walked past Amanda as quickly as he could, shielding his face with his hand and pointedly turning away from Amanda. He didn’t give Amanda any greeting, but he did whisper a steady stream of the word ‘shit’.
Amanda put a pillow over her face and barely even noticed when she dropped her bowl of cereal. She could hear more steps, and then she heard Mat’s voice.
“Coast clear, pillow gal.”
Amanda held up one of her hands in a rock and roll gesture to signal that she had heard Mat.
As she put down the pillow, Robert started walking past her, wearing her father’s robe.
“Tell your dad I’m keeping this robe.”
“You want me to tell him before or after I beat him up?” Amanda asked.
“After.” Came the definitive answer.
Surely, SURELY, that was the last of them, and the steps she was hearing was the footsteps of her dad, but, she was, yet again, wrong.
Joseph walked in and turned to her.
“Cookies?” He offered.
“WHY AM I ONLY FINDING OUT ABOUT ALL THIS NOW?”
“...does that mean you don’t want cookies?”
“Oh, no, I want the cookies.”
“Here you go, then! They’ll tide you over while I help make breakfast with the others.” Joseph moved towards the kitchen, leaving Amanda to contemplate what just happened.
She began to eat the cookies.
“My hunger for answers still rages.” She said as she shoved another cookie into her mouth.
It wasn’t long before her dad finally came out of his room.
Amanda took a bite of a cookie without breaking eye contact.
“So, dad,” Amanda began. “I see that you’ve been getting around.”
Her dad at least had the decency to look embarrassed.
“Well, uh, you see, um…” After a moment or two of fumbling for words, her dad finally came to a tentative conclusion. “I made friends?”
“Dad, this isn’t exactly what I meant when I told you to make friends.” Amanda deadpanned. “I come back from college for two days, and this is what I wake up to? How did they all even fit in your room?”
“Have you ever seen a clown car?”
“No, dad. I’m afraid of clowns, remember?”
“Yes, I remember. The actual answer is that a bunch of us just sleep on the floor like gremlins. It’s gotten to the point where people bring their own sleeping bags or air mattresses.”
Amanda almost chokes on her cookie.
“You mean this has happened multiple times? Dad, what have you even been doing while I’ve been gone?”
“I guess I’ve been getting busy.”
“Hey! Amanda! Jessie! Breakfast is ready!” Brian shouted.
Amanda put down her empty plate of cookies and went over to where the food, which also happened to be the place where she would likely get the most answers.
But who to interrogate? Robert was obviously out. He would probably just weave some weird story about how they all started dating because they went through this horrific thing. She also did not want to confront her old teacher for obvious reasons. Anyone else would probably be a good bet.
Amanda eventually decided that Mat would be the one to give her the most answers in the most straightforward fashion.
Before confronting him, however, she did graciously accept food from Brian, who did, in fact, cook eggs and sausage. Afterwards, she went over to Mat.
“Alright, Mat. I need answers and I need them now.”
“I think you might need to be a little more specific on what you need answers to.”
“I need the answers to all of this!” Amanda gestured to everyone that had somehow piled into the kitchen. “How did this even happen?”
“If you want the truth, I honestly have no idea.” Mat answered. “It just kind of happened. We just all kind of just got feelings for Jessie at some point or another, and then we all started dating each other, and now we have this large polyamorous group of people consisting of all the dads in the cul-de-sac.”
“How does my dad have that much game? Like, I basically expected him to be dating someone from the neighborhood at some point or another, but holy shit.”
“Careful. You might activate the Dad sensors of everyone in this room.” Robert interrupted the conversation.
“I can swear if I want to! Besides, it is perfectly justifiable swearing!”
“Robert, could you give me back my robe?”
“That’s my notice to scram.” Robert practically dashed out the door.
“ROBERT! GET BACK HERE AND GIVE ME BACK MY ROBE!”
It was too late. Robert had already gotten away scot free.
“Jokes on him. He left his jacket here. It’s mine now.” Amanda’s dad said. He dashed to his room and came back with a leather jacket on.
“Sometimes you have to take whatever opportunities have been given to you. And, if those opportunities involve wearing your boyfriend’s leather jacket because he left it at your place, then so be it.”
“Hey, bro! I’m going to go out on my daily jog. Want to come with?” Craig asked.
“Sorry, dude, but not today. I think Amanda has questions that I’m going to have to answer.”
“I should probably get going too.” Mat said. “I’ve got to open up the Coffee Spoon at some point, after all.”
Mat kissed Amanda’s dad on the cheek before going around and saying bye to all the other dads. Hugo said something about needing to make sure that Ernest didn’t get into too much trouble before leaving along with Mat.
Amanda’s dad said goodbye to both of them.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the dads left, saying how they needed to check to make sure their kids were okay, and then Amanda was in the perfect position to interrogate her father.
“So, dad.” She paused for dramatic effect. “What the fuck?”
“It just kind of happened? I was making friends, and then it became a bit more than friends, and soon enough, I was dating all the dads in the cul-de-sac.”
“How does that sort of thing just happen? I was just sitting on the couch, having a good time eating some cereal, when a bunch of dads just left your room one at a time in the kind of systematic fashion you see in comedic television.”
“So, what exactly do you want to know? How I got together with each of my boyfriends?”
“That would be a good start, yes. Please do it in as little detail as possible.”
“Well, you conspired with Daisy to get me and Brian to be friends, but we ended up as boyfriends. Go figure. I went on a camping trip with Craig, and there was only one sleeping bag. Played a song on stage with Mat. A lot of discussion of extremely personal stuff with Robert. Found a runaway dog with Damien. Joseph took me on his yacht and we ran out of gas. And then Hugo. Wrestling match. Kiss cam. Take a wild guess.”
“...It’s weird how you can remember all that, but you can barely remember where you put flour in the kitchen.”
“What can I say? It’s a skill of mine.”
“Are all the dads together?”
“Not all of them, but some of them are.” Her dad answered.
“Why hadn't I been told about this sooner?”
“Well, I don’t really have much of an excuse for that, but the best I have is that I was so concerned about how you were doing in college that I guess it just slipped my mind. I’m sorry for not telling you sooner.”
“I forgive you, Popsicle. But…”
“How am I possibly going to deal with seven times the dad jokes???”