I’m crying

on

My eyes are wet. The rain isn’t falling from the skies anymore. It’s falling
from the sea that is now at my feet. “Why are you crying?”

“Because you left me,” he says. “You just up and left me.”

“I had to.”

“No you didn’t! You just ran off to find yourself! Look, I’ve got no
friends! No family! My sister hates me! Your father hates me! He hates me
because I refused to come home for Christmas. But, I didn’t think he would
ever leave you. You must have seen him! You must be able to see his face when
he turns the pages of his newspaper and turns to the sports page.”

“That’s not true. If Dad wanted to get rid of me, he would have sent me to
college.”

“You just ran off to be his plaything! Where did you get off calling him
that? He didn’t make you throw me over the side, did he?”

“No.”

“Then what did he make you do?”

“He didn’t.”

“It doesn’t matter!”

His voice is shrill, filled with anger. I step in beside him and turn to
face him. My hand clasps his shoulder.

“You know what he’s going to do with us! I know you’ve been thinking of that
all along, but you’ve got to stop yourself. You don’t know how much he hates
you.”

I lean against him. My hand slips from his shoulder. He stares at his
broken door on the bottom of the window.

One day, the ocean will wash our bones back into the ocean. He will leave
our room. He will leave me. He will leave us all.

How will I live without him?

***

What’s a little heartache got to do with being a captain?

Lance was angry with me that day when I had to face my father and step up
and make the choices. I felt responsible. I couldn’t stop him from throwing
me overboard. I couldn’t save him.

I knew I couldn’t. My father was gone. I hadn’t even been able to hold
myself together. I was nothing to my father. No one asked him to save me.
That day, I finally realized that.

I was his, but he was so angry with me, that he couldn’t save me.

I was lucky to escape that night, and his fury has not stopped for two
weeks.

This is the story of how I ended him and saved him.

The man who would have murdered my father never stopped being my father. The
man who would have drowned my father in his drunken rage. The man who threw
me over the side was the man who made him believe he could control me. That
he could control my pain and my anger. That he could control my tears and my
hiding. The man who would have kept me in fear forever.

The man who was finally dead.

In the darkness, I could see his face, one last time. I could finally see
the evil that was hidden behind the kind eyes and the kind lips.

I couldn’t save him that day. I couldn’t save my father that night. I
still can’t save my father.

My heart is full.

***

I wake from one of my dreams. I think it was a dream but I don’t remember
it anymore. I’m still dreaming.

I’m sitting on the edge of the bed. I’m still in my clothes. My clothes
that were given to me by the man who loved me.

He loved me so much, that he gave me his clothes.

So I can finally stop hiding.

I still don’t know who’s doing this to my father. You know how it is
with people who love you. You love them too. You can’t blame them for
trying to control you.

The man who loved me is gone. This new man has nothing to do with him.

But, I still want him to love me.

I reach out to the man and wrap my arms around his neck. The man who gave
me his clothes.

He pulls away.

“I don’t want to touch him,” I say.

I get up and go to the kitchen. I need to get some coffee.

I make my coffee. It is warm and sweet from the roast. I drink it and then
sit down with the paper that my father gave me. I start reading about the
president. I get into a debate about the economy. I write my report on how
you can make your life better through improving yourself.

I put down my pen.

I think that I’m going to have that coffee. I’m going to need
something to make my heart stop.

I look out the window. The rain has stopped. I look up and see a
newly-paved road. There is a fence on either side of the road.

I think that this is for the military. It could be for people traveling to
the military bases. Maybe it was once for a school or a new hospital. I
suppose it could be for a new school. A new hospital. I think some of those
people who lost their parents when everything collapsed were going to
welcome their new school or their new hospital.

I look down at the road and the fence. I think this could be for the
people who live here, but maybe they thought they would live in this quiet
place.

I open the newspaper and start reading the article. There is an article
about the first responders. They say that the city of Chicago is sending
the first firefighters and paramedics out today to help.

I go to the kitchen. I can’t find any coffee. I look around the house.
There isn’t much left of it.

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