Your Empty Eyes This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 15, 2010
I remember the first time you looked at me and felt nothing.

It was the day I turned 22, but I wasn’t surprised.
I knew it was coming but still I dreaded the moment it happened.
It all started when I was six, preforming in a child’s ballet recital.
I twirled and swirled, I even remembered to curtsy after the dip, I even tried to smile, but the whole time my mind was out in the crowd.
I almost went blind, trying to squint through the imprisoning lights that glimmered
with satisfaction. I squinted my beady blue eyes together trying to make out your
face in the blurry bundle of people, but I had no luck, and my attempts of a smile failed.
Later you came home drunk, your breath as smelly as trash Wednesdays, and
you gave me a crappy old stuffed animal that was bought at the gas station.
I cried over it, but I’m not sure why.

I remember the day you took off your mask for the first time.

I came home crying, eight teen and mascara running. My prom date
wasn’t loyal. You said you didn’t care when I came to you with my burdens,
then you turned back to the TV. That darn TV.
Then my tears of betrayal turned into those of worthlessness, and I swore
never to bore you with my troubles again.
So I faded away into the background of your meaningless life, becoming one with the autographed pictures of baseball players you never let me touch. And I couldn’t smile, not then, not now, not ever.

So here I am now, 22 and still waiting.

Waiting for you to come to me, waiting for me to realize that’s not going to happen, waiting for God to have mercy on me. Thats one more man who I can’t trust.
Sitting by my bed, looking over all my captured memories. I relive my life with each picture, my first day of life laying in my dead mothers arms, my tear streaked face as you took away my barbie dolls, my graduation, where you didn’t show. Still not a surprise. And for the first time in forever I smile, not because It’s my birthday or the dates April 1st, but because I realize that I’m finally free.

All of my life I have tried and strived to please you, to make your eyes shine with pride, but now why try? The only thing your eyes are capable of holding is hate. So thanks for not caring dad, It was the key to my freedom.
I remember the first time you looked at me and felt nothing, It was the start of my new beginning.

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