Dad Leaves Family For 20 Years To Pursue Career In Breakdance

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Making A Choice

People usually laughed when he said it out loud. ‘I left my wife and kid to breakdance across America.’ In the early years of his career, it had been a way to warm the crowd up.

Everyone wanted to know who this man who had left his family to dance was. They wondered if he was actually good at what he did.

Although he usually left them amazed, the fact that he’d left his wife and kid to pursue a dancing career rarely sat well with them. But the man never minded then. That would soon change.

Nothing To Show For It


For twenty years, he’d been touring across the country, showing everyone how good of a dancer he was. He could contort and twist his body in different ways, leaving gasps everywhere he went.

He hoped that by now, he’d have something substantial to show for his efforts. He thought he’d have a mansion somewhere in the Los Angeles hills with the biggest names in the business.

Twenty years had passed with nothing to show for it. He was in his forties and could barely get anyone to attend his shows. A failure in the one thing he thought he was good at, he returned home. And that’s when things took a turn for the worst.

Seeing Her


He’d been walking down the street when his eyes landed on her. She was sitting outside a cafe, a latte and muffin before her, and her mind was lost in the book in her lap.

He’d never thought he’d see her again. After leaving, he’d concluded that she’d move out of their small town. She’d always talked about doing so.

But there she was, engrossed in her novel as she sipped her coffee and took tiny bites of her muffin. The man stepped forward, knowing he had to talk to her. But his steps faltered when he saw who came to sit beside her. But they weren’t alone.

A Street Party


But for forty-four-year-old Jack Arlington, things were supposed to end differently. When he first met Samantha, the love of his life, he wanted nothing more than to give her the world.

The year was 2004, and the two had met at a street dance-off while still in high school. Samantha’s family had just moved into town, and her new friends were showing her around.

They wanted her to see what kids in Princeton, New Jersey, did for fun, and that centered around street parties filled with choreography and dance battles.

The Red Angels


Jack and Samantha met at one of these parties. Jack, a member of the Red Angels, one of the best dance crews in town, was immediately smitten by her.

His crew had mainly been focused on breakdancing, which they did perfectly. They won dance battle after dance battle, garnering a following like no other.

Jack had always been surrounded by girls in his high school years. He was a tall, handsome boy with a jawline that could cut through metal. His blonde hair, cut just above his shoulder, was the envy of many. He knew the effect he had on people and always wore a smug smile while walking. But all that changed when he saw her.

In The Crowd


She’d been in the middle of the crowd, watching as he battled alongside his crew. But her mind was elsewhere, even though tonight’s choreography was among the best Jack’s team had ever done.

They were still lost in the routine, wowing the crowd, when she turned and walked away. She looked unimpressed, which gored Jack in all the wrong ways.

He broke formation and hurried after her. Everyone gasped because, in the four years that Jack and the Red Angels had battled on the street, this was the first time he’d broken away from his team.

Samantha’s Side


Samantha had a lot on her mind that night. Although the dance parties on the streets were usually fun, with catchy pop and hip-hop music thumping through the space, she would have rather been at home.

Her ideal evening and night was her curled before the fireplace with a hot cup of chocolate milk and a historical fantasy novel. But her mom insisted she come out here, hoping she’d get out of her skin and make new friends.

The woman and Samantha’s dad worried that their daughter would grow up without any friends, given how much she usually spent her time buried in her novels. If only they knew where all this would lead.

Walking Away


And so, here Samantha was, trying to put her parents’ minds at peace. Her thoughts had wandered off as she continued watching the dance, and soon, she found herself walking away.

That was when she had people gasp. All of a sudden, a hand touched her shoulder. She turned to find him looking down at her, his blue eyes piercing through her.

She’d thought he was attractive from afar–everyone did. But up close, he was magnificent. He stared into her with zealous fervor, seemingly searching for a secret even she wasn’t sure she had. And then, his body started moving.



The crowd had gasped when Jack broke away from his crew to hurry after the new girl. They watched as he wended between them. Even his team was dumbfounded.

The girl turned around the moment his hand landed on her shoulder. Then, the two stared at each other for long moments, an angel and a mortal, caught in the timelessness of something unknown.

Then, Jack started moving. His fingers wiggled about, then his neck and entire body. The movement was so fluid and effortless that the entire crowd roared. But it was only the beginning.



Jack continued dancing. But he was also easing back into the battle. Samantha, enthralled by his angelic eyes, followed him. His crew, at first too stunned to move, now mirrored his movements.

And soon, the whole team was in sync, and Samantha, who couldn’t stop grinning, was rooted in place. After the dance, which the Red Angels won, Jack came over to talk to her.

He introduced himself and was positively surprised to learn that she knew nothing about him. She was also a breath of fresh air from the girls who usually hovered over him and his team. Nothing but good things could come out of this friendship.

Friends And More


The two became friends. Jack taught Samantha about the world of dance battles and the art of breakdancing, and Samantha introduced him to the endless reaches of literature.

The two were meant for each other, complementing the other in many ways. So it wasn’t a surprise when, two months after becoming friends, they announced their romantic relationship.

The two stayed together through senior high school and most of college. But things were about to take a turn for the worse.

Morning Sickness


Everything changed one morning in their final year. Samantha woke up feeling sick. She rushed to the bathroom, throwing up everything she’d had for dinner.

Although she hoped it was a bug, she knew exactly what it meant. Without telling Jack, she hurried to the local store and bought three pregnancy tests.

Returning home, she took each test and was speechless to learn she’d fallen pregnant. She shared the news with Jack, hoping he’d help her think of a way out.

Is It Mine, Though?


Jack was only twenty-two when he got Samantha pregnant. He had a lot on his mind when he found out, from his education to his dance career, which was starting to pick up.

His Red Angels had been fighting to get some notoriety outside their town for a while, and they’d just landed a chance of a lifetime on a TV show being shot in New York.

When Samantha shared the news of her pregnancy, Jack asked her if it was his. The question left her reeling. He knew she’d never been with anyone but him. Why would he say such a vile thing?



He moved to suggest that they couldn’t be parents right now. Samantha understood his position. She’d been there as the mounting pressure pounded him day and night. She tried to see things from his perspective.

But the way he worded things left her in tears. He told her that a baby would only tie them down. “I am about to hit the big time,” he said. “We can’t be parents right now.”

He’d exited the house, seemingly to clear his mind. But he stayed away for a week before returning, his face split in a smile and his eyes full of life. What had happened?

Thinking It Through


He asked her what she’d decided. Was she going to keep their child, or was she considering an abortion? His choice of words made Samantha feel seen again.

Hearing him refer to the baby as his and hers was a sign that he was a good man. That thought made her consider something she hadn’t thought of before. What if I kept the child?

“I think I want to keep it,” she said. She already had a good job lined up, given the course she’d pursued, and only needed to finish her classes before starting. Jack was also about to be a famous dancer. The two would be great parents! Or so she thought.

We Can Do This


“You want to keep it?” Jack asked, puzzled. Then, he seemed to reign himself in. “We can do this,” he said, taking Samantha’s hand. He squeezed them before hugging her tightly. “We can do this.”

So, Jack and Samantha decided to keep the baby. But the nine months of pregnancy were nothing if not a nightmare.

To begin, Jack had to travel to New York every weekend to shoot his dancing show, leaving a pregnant Samantha to fend for herself. But toward the end of the pregnancy, disaster struck.

Seeking Perfection


Disaster came when Jack dropped out of school. He’d been doing well, given how much Samantha pushed him to focus on his books as much as he did his breakdancing.

But the first season of the show he was in did relatively well, filling his mind with promises of a future where education wasn’t necessary.

“I can use that time to train more and be perfect,” he said, his blue eyes broadening. “I want to be perfect!”
“What about your future?” Samantha asked. “What about our future?”

I Am Doing This For You!


Although Samantha believed in her boyfriend’s dancing capabilities, she’d always pushed him to pursue education as a backup plan. “You never know what will happen in the future,” she said.

“Better safe than sorry.” But Jack didn’t see things her way. He and his crew had managed to seize an opportunity of a lifetime. If he worked toward that goal, he’d give Samantha and their baby a life fit for a queen and princess.

“I am doing this for you!” he glared at her. “I am doing this for our child!” With that, he stopped attending his classes and left a student’s life behind. But it would come to bite him down the line.

He’s Leaving Again


Samantha continued pushing in school until she graduated. But a month later, right when she was about to give birth, Jack came home claiming he needed to go to Los Angeles.

“Can’t it wait a week?” Samantha asked, her belly full. “Chrisy is coming next week.” She and Jack had settled on the name Chrisy for their daughter.

Samantha had expected him to stay at least until the baby could talk. She wanted the child to know her father before he went to chase his dream. But it seemed Jack had other ideas.

A Chance I Can’t Pass Up


“This cannot wait,” he said while packing his belongings. In the last three months, he’d been living in Samantha’s flat after his parents chased him away for dropping out of college.

“You are leaving right now?” Samantha asked, tears starting to form in her eyes. Her pleas quickly changed from ‘stay until the end of the week’ to ‘to stay the night.’

But Jack’s mind was made up. His team had gotten a contract to dance for some of America’s most influential pop stars, a chance he couldn’t pass up.

He Is Her Everything


He threw the little clothes he had into a duffle bag and wore his travel jacket. Samantha cried and begged, asking him to stay till morning.

He was her first love and the father of her child. He was the man she’d given everything, the man who meant the world to her. And here he was, leaving when their child was about to be born.

How would she fare as a young single mother? Her parents warned her that raising a child was challenging for young couples. What would they say when they discovered that Jack skipped town a week away from the child’s birth?

Five Years


“When will you be back?” Samantha asked. While filming the show in New York, Jack had been leaving every Friday night and returning by Sunday evening. Here, Samantha calculated two months at most, given that he’d have to fly from coast to coast.

“Probably when Chrisy is like five?” he said nonchalantly. “I still don’t know. But the contract lasts five years, with daily shoots that take up the whole day.”

He pecked her wet cheeks and rubbed her belly before rushing out of the house. He should have known that what goes around comes around.



Samantha endured the huddles of motherhood alone. Every Friday evening, she turned on MTV to see the man she loved, alongside his Red Angels, dance.

At the start of his performances, he’d talk about her with dreamy eyes, sending love through beautiful words. He’d even call her his wife! But soon enough, that changed. He stopped talking to her at all. In one of their last conversations, he claimed that she’d had his child to tie him down. He denounced her and the baby immediately.

Samantha started hearing stories about him and other girls, and as if that wasn’t enough, she started seeing it in magazines and on the internet. It was then that she made the desperate decision to move on.

It Hurts When I Exist


It was a painful but necessary decision. Jack had stopped calling or picking up Samantha’s calls. He wouldn’t reply to her texts and even blocked her number.

Meanwhile, his erratic behavior online grew. He was changing partners as fast as he changed his clothes, goring Samantha’s heart at every turn.

It took a good ten years of pain and heartbreak for her to pull through. She’d thrown herself into her work and her life as a mom to combat the agony. She never thought she’d survive, but she did. After a while, she stopped thinking about him completely.

Lattes And Good Stories


Twenty years passed, and Samantha, who had continued with her life, went out for a cup of coffee in a coffee shop she’d recently co-opened with her best friend.

She was seated outside, enjoying a latte, muffin, and novel, when she saw him appear. Life had aged him. His eyes were bloodshot and lined with dark circles, and faded tattoos and piercings marred his skin.

He’d also put on weight, and his hair was matted. Regardless, Samantha recognized him immediately.

Chrisy And Eli


But he stood there momentarily, his eyes landing on the people she was sitting with. Next to her was her daughter Christy, who was just about to graduate from college, and adjacent to her was Eli, her twin brother, who was leaving for military aviation school.

Jack looked at them with his mouth wide open, unable to muster the courage to walk over and say hi. Samantha wondered what was going on in his head.

When she was pregnant, she thought she was having just one child. But it turned out she was carrying twins. As great as that news was, it meant the burden of being a young mom had been doubled. But Samantha had made it work.

She Endured


She remembered the nights she’d spent crying alone, with her babies bawling their eyes next to her. She recalled having to look for a babysitter so she could go to work and prove for them.

Then came the pain of taking them to school, church, and the playground while barely resting, let alone sleeping. The pain of having to explain why their dad abandoned them.

Samantha had gracefully endured all these huddles, emerging on the other side stronger and better. It had been a cruel decade after Jack abandoned her, but once she figured things out, everything else became a cakewalk. But that didn’t seem to be the case with him.

I’ve Seen Better Days


Jack looked like he’d seen better days. There was a limp in his step and guilt and shame in his eyes. Once his mind seemed to come to terms with the fact that he’d not only abandoned one child but two, tears started racing down his cheeks.

What Samantha didn’t know was that toward the end of her suffering, his had started. The big names that had taken him in spat him out for younger, relevant talent. For the last decade, he’d been living with his friends in a shared apartment in Los Angeles.

Soon, however, each of his friends moved out, looking to find work so they could live as adults. Jack remained alone, unable to pay the rent and without a degree to secure a job he could depend on. Before he knew it, he was back home, living in his parents’ garage.

Everyone Moved On


It took Jack twenty years to return home. During this time, Samantha had found love and remarried. Her twin kids had the best stepdad ever and were doing great in school and their personal lives.

She’d told them about their biological father and even showed them photos. But given that they’d been around as she suffered, they didn’t want anything to do with him.

When he finally walked over to say hi, they only stared at him before completely ignoring him. Samantha was the one to hold a quick conversation with him. But to her, this was only out of courtesy.

Tears Of Regret


The same way he’d walked away, choosing not to give her or their kids a chance, is the same way she and her children walked into the coffee shop, leaving him outside.

Jack never thought it would come to this. At the start, he’d hoped to be famous so he could give his love the life she deserved. But the flashing lights had blinded him, and he had lost sight of what he was fighting for.

As he staggered away from the coffee shop, awash in tears of regret, he could blame no one but himself. ‘I left my wife and kid to breakdance across America.’ “Man.”