Sunday, November 4, 2012

You Won't Miss Him

It'll be hours before he packs his bags and you'll see him in the living room with tears in his eyes and you'll mistake this for sadness. You'll think that he's upset because he'll have to leave his children and his home. You'll think that he's finally realized that the affair with that twenty-something year old girl back on the island on one or two or three of his solo trips back home was a big huge mistake. You'll yell at your mother when she walks back into the house after one of her long drives. You'll tell her that she's selfish, mean, and doesn't understand how much she is hurting Papa. You'll see your mother walk out into the hallway, but not before she gives your father a look of disgust and tells him to tell his children the truth before he starts crying again. You'll hug his catatonic body and rub his bald head in between sniffles. You'll go to bed thinking that you'll miss him and vow to never forgive your mother for ruining your life. You will only be 8 years old when you tell your mother that you hate her.

You'll wake up and rush to the kitchen table. Kevin will eat his bagel and mustard sandwich, you'll snatch that second helping of cinnamon raisin bread with cream cheese still thinking that you have to sneak an extra slice onto your plate or hide one underneath a napkin. You'll savor a bite in between reading pages of some Judy Blume book. You'll watch Kevin pick up the bagel with his left hand and reserve the right for drumming. You will become a reader. Kevin will become a musician. All of this will happen in his absence. It will happen because of his absence. You will forget that your father was kicked out the night before until he calls you on the house phone and your mom makes you pick it up.

You'll keep waiting for the day when you'll miss him, but it never happens. Not even when you're 27 and Kevin tells you that your father is moving back to his motherland, Cabo Verde. Instead, you'll cut into your bloody steak and take a big bite. You'll look around the table and you'll be happy that there isn't any room for him at the table or in your life.

7 comments:

  1. Damn your honesty in your writing is inspiring

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  2. wow, powerful is all i can say.

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  3. very moving and powerful assessment about parental abandonment. Healing is a beautiful thing, I'm sorry you and your whole family had to go through it.

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