Racheal's Tears

June 8, 2008
By Brittany Bailey, Roanoke, VA

Rachael knew that she was dreaming but she didn't care anymore. She just wanted to get to the part of the dream that she cared about the most, the part she had to get to before her alarm went off. She yearned for the part where she finally got to see him, the father that she had lost only a few months ago. She knew she should hate him for leaving her and her mother, but still she hated to feel that way. In her dream, she walked down the hall and down the stairs until she finally entered the kitchen where there sat a man with black hair and a newspaper covering half his face. The man put the newspaper down and smiled at his daughter. Then, he slowly got up and opened his arms, signaling the desire for a hug. A tear ran down Rachael’s check. She was surprised at how real it felt. Hours later, when she finally awoke, tears were still streaming down her face. Rachael cried harder, not wanting to stop until she was sure she would never cry again.

Rachael and her mother sat at the table eating breakfast, neither wanting to say a word to the other. Rachael stole a glance at her mother. She wore a waitress uniform from her new job down at a truck stop a few miles away, the only job she could find. She had auburn hair and huge, dark blue eyes with skin that was white as snow. Rachael remembered how her dad used to joke that if her mother dyed her hair black, she could go try out for Snow White at the theater. Remembering the laughter that used to be there between her parents, a giggle escaped from Rachael’s lips. She instantly wished that she had smothered it because her mother looked up to search her face. All Rachael could do was pray that she wouldn't find the love for her father that in her mother's eyes should have long been replaced by hate. Rachael coughed and straightened up in her chair, seeing her mother’s hidden pain. Her mother just stared down at her empty plate. “How?" she said it so low it was almost a whisper. "How can you not hate him?" she said it a little louder this time. ''How can you not despise him for running out on us? He packed his things and he left! And he is never stepping another foot in this house, even if he begged for me to let him in from the freezing cold." “But why?” Rachael yelled, getting up so fast that her chair fell to the floor. “Why'd he leave?” Tears welled up in her eyes and her mother became a blur. But Rachael didn't care anymore. She ran up the stairs and into her room, slamming the door behind her. “Please come back,” she whispered. “Please daddy, please.” She chanted the words non- stop until she drifted off into a restless sleep. Rachael heard a voice through the darkness. She tried to open her eyes but then she realized they were already open and that it was night and that all of her lights were off. She heard the voice a second time and she slowly and quietly got up from her bed. Her eyes were swollen and red; she realized that she had been holding her breath. She let it all out, breathing loud and deep breaths. Then, she snuck down the stairs and stopped cold on the staircase when she saw him. She had the urge to rush up and hug him, but something told her to stop and watch what was going on. “Why did you come back?” her mother said. “Please!” said her father. “Let me have Rachael. I need her. Let her live with me. Please Susan!!!!!” Susan took a step back from him. “George, don’t beg. It doesn't work for you.” Rachael was surprised at how cold her mother sounded. She had never heard her mother talk like that, not even when Rachael was in trouble. And for some reason it made her feel wrong, out of place, and almost scared. Rachael backed up the stairs but before she could reach the top, the stairs creaked. Both her parents looked up, surprised. All of the anger that was inside Rachael came out in one shout. “WHY'D YOU LEAVE?”

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