He stared down into the bottom of his glass, contemplating on whether he should order another round or not. He decided against it, for he would have to drive home tonight. He had downed two large glasses already, and even though he could hold his liquor extremely well, he didn't want to risk getting into an accident by ordering a third.
"Ludwig?" A voice called to him from what seemed like a vast distance, but was really only right in front of him. The bartender, a think Scott with red hair, stared cautiously at the German regular before him. He had never seen the strong man look so vulnerable and sad. Ludwig looked up with clouded blue eyes. "Do you want me to call ______ and ask her to pick you up, or do you want me to call a cab?"
"There's no need for either. I only had two." The gruff response came.
"I know you're sober, but you still don't look all that great."
"Don't worry about me, Allistor. If I needed someone to pick me up, I'd call Gilbert at the moment."
"Problems with the wife?"
"No, not necessarily. Just a lot going on in our relationship right now." With that, the German walked out, leaving the amount for his drink on the bar. He hopped into the white BMW that was parked in the front parking space and began the short drive home. He felt better, even if it was just a little. There truly was nothing that could calm his nerves than a few beers in the middle of the night while one's wife was sleeping. Unfortunately, he had been doing that a lot the past two weeks. He and his wife of a year, _______, had recently found out that they were expecting. While this was excellent news to _______, it wasn't as exciting to him.
He was excited to have a child, it's not like he didn't want to have children. All children were gifts! But, his main concern, the reason he was getting up at one in the morning to come to his favorite bar, was fatherhood. He knew that ______ would be a fantastic mother, but he didn't think that he would be the best father. He didn't even know what it was like to really have a father for God's sake! He was raised by his older brother Gilbert. His father had died when Gilbert was fourteen and when Ludwig was about four. What if he failed as a father? He didn't know the first thing about handling a child. He pulled into the driveway at about two in the morning still very unnerved. At least he could snuggle with _____ until seven. He took out his key and unlocked the door. Upon opening the door, he was met with a blinding light. Oh, no. He knew what that met.
"Ludwig?" He let his eyes adjust before he turned to find the voice. He found his wife still dressed in a pink nightie with a blanket around her shoulders sitting on the leather couch in the living room. He didn't show any signs of his guiltiness as he walked towards his wife. "Where have you been? Are you all right?" She stood up and met him halfway.
"Ja*, I'm fine, liebe*." He responded in a monotone voice. He placed a soft kiss on her lips before he hung up his coat.
"How many have you had, Ludwig?" He winced at the tone of voice she was using. "I know you've been drinking at Allistor's bar. You smell like sweat and booze and you taste like beer, which I know is your favorite. Something tells me this isn't the first time either." He turned around and walked back to the woman.
"_____, I... I can't tell you. I don't think you'll understand, schatzi*. But, it's nothing bad! I promise, I just...need to figure some things out. I'm sorry." She wrapped soft arms around his large frame.
"You can tell me anything, Luddy, I'm your wife and I'll be the mother of your children soon. Don't hide things from me, especially when it has to do with drinking at this time."
"I don't know if you'll understand though, honey. But, I'll tell you. I don't think I'm ready to be a father. Hell, I don't even know the first thing about raising a child! My father figure was my older brother, I don't want to raise our child as if I was your older brother. I just... I don't think I'm ready." She rubbed her hands up and down his back soothingly.
"No one's ready for parenthood, Ludwig! You think I'm ready to be a mother!? It'll be a learning experience for me too. Look at it this way, you don't have to carry a child for nine months, or experience all the pain that comes with that. I'm sure you'll be an excellent father. It's kind of like marriage. No one gets married thinking 'gee, I bet I'll be the best husband/wife ever!' Well, no logically thinking person says that. It's best to just relax and let things take its course. Please don't look down on yourself though, I don't want you drinking and driving, especially at this time." He smiled.
"I'm glad you have so much confidence in me, liebe. But, I still don't feel all that great. I'll stop drinking this late though."
"Instead of trying to deal with things yourself, tell me. I'll do everything I can to help, honey." She squeezed him tighter. "And, we have about nine months. We'll be fine." He leaned down to kiss her.
"Thanks, ______. I love you."
"I love you, too, Luddy."
"Vatti! Higher, higher!" It had been four years since ______ had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. They named her Heidi and she had grown to become a huge daddy's girl. They went everywhere together. They were currently at the park. She was riding on the swings while her father pushed. Everything had turned out well. In fact, Ludwig became one of the best fathers ______ had ever seen. He loved his little girl so much and had made it his life's goal to protect her and keep her safe from all of the world's harm. To be honest, he didn't feel like he was that bad of a father in the end either.