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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Writing prompt.

I stood at the entrance, unable to force my feet to move and gazed up at the beautiful weeping angels that were perched on either side. Their judging eyes fixed on me. In that moment I felt like their tears were for me. Weeping for the lost girl who ran away when she was needed most. The girl who failed the person who'd loved her the most in the worst way.

           The funeral was months ago, what did I expect? Was it the fear that somehow the ghosts of their scornful comments had somehow waited all this time for me? I warm tear slide down my cheek. I watched it fall into the deep abyss of the cracked concrete.

So many memories flooded me. Our relationship was nothing if not fractured. I recalled the hateful things I had yelled at him. The way I pushed him away when he forgave me. But even those memories didn’t hurt as much as the one when I learned his secret. Even so young I felt betrayed, humiliated because everyone knew—everyone but me.

A strangled sob escaped my chapped lips. I fought the temptation to turn around and leave again and forced one foot forward. What a shockingly liberating feeling. I had to do this. A rain drop fell from the darkened sky. One after another my feet moved, pushing me forward, faster and faster until I found myself running against the sleet of rain.

I stopped in front of a simple headstone. The name of my secret hero engraved across the front. I dropped to my knees and ran my fingers across the cold concrete and sobbed. When my throat and shoulders ached, and my eyes burned I titled my head towards the sky and let the rain wash my tears away.

“Dad, do you remember when I found out I wasn’t yours biologically? And I asked you if it was true, oh, god, how I prayed you would demand who told me such an awful lie… But you didn’t.

“Do you remember what you said? ‘Well, baby, I guess that depends on your definition of a father.’ I didn’t understand then. At nine, how could I? My whole life everyone had lied to me. I grew to resent my own sister. So, I pushed you away.

“And when I ran away when I was fifteen, and you found me and brought me home. You told me since my mom couldn’t control me you were taking me home with you, and I threw that secret in your face. I started hating myself that day. I couldn’t face you after that—I know you forgave me—but my guilt wouldn’t let me forgive myself.” I glanced around the empty cemetery, looking for a sign that he could hear me. Thunder erupted loudly overhead, and I continued.

“The next thing I knew I had a kid of my own. I buried myself in her, my husband and work. No time for phone calls—until they called to tell me you were sick. Then like that all the wasted years caught up with me. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to come home and face you. To see you weak and in pain. I didn’t check that voicemail you left me until it was too late. I am so sorry i didn't come.

“I listen to it every day now, and I look at your granddaughter and everything is so clear. Now I understand the love you had for me, I know that it was easy to forgive me because I really was your baby the whole time. I understand that very few people in this world are capable of the capacity of love that you were. And I want you to know, that even though I never told you so, you have always been my hero.”

I laid the single rose in front of the headstone and stood up. I glanced around again and realized at some point the rain had stopped. A single ray of sunshine peaked from behind the clouds. I smiled to myself and started towards the exit.

When I reached the angels at the front gates a cool breeze swept against me and his voice wrapped around me warming me to my core. “I always knew, baby.” I glanced up at the angels—who no longer wept.  
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