An Unexpected Postcard

March 28, 2011
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My mailbox was half-full with my usual stack of bills. With a sigh, I took them out, rifling through them. I flipped through quickly, hoping my magazine subscription had finally come. Bill. Bill. Bill. Postcard?

I paused staring at it. A snowy, white wolf was on its front, a cocky grin on his face. I smiled- wolves had always been my favorite animal, ever since I was a little kid. The wolf was standing in-between the trees in a frosty winter forest. I had never seen a wolf so white before. Flipping over the postcard, I looked to see who had sent this to me.

Oh. I made a face, standing awkwardly with the postcard. I almost wanted to throw it away, or maybe even burn the thing. I couldn’t believe that now, after all this time, he would try to contact me. I couldn’t fathom what had driven him to try to talk to me now, after I’d waited for him for so many years. Never before had I gotten a single visit, phone-call, e-mail, or nothing. Much less a postcard.

The fact that he’d remembered my favorite animal made all those years of waiting come back. My eyes were stinging and on the verge of tears, but I forced myself not to cry. I’d cried over this too many times before; When your father ditches you as a child, you learn how to hold your emotions in. Why had he even left in the first place? I thought I’d gotten over it, over losing Dad. I would have been fine if he’d never contacted me. Now I had to face all that pain again, all at once. I had to decide if he’d waited to long; I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to know my father now.

I remembered how I used to watch my friends with their own fathers growing up. Smiling, laughing, teasing each other. I remembered how jealous I had been of them, and how I’d never understood their complaints about their fathers “over protectiveness” or how their fathers were “embarrassing”. All I could ever see was how lucky they were to have a father who loved them. A father who was actually there to see their concert band concerts, attended every birthday party, and was there to tuck them in at night. I blinked, let the tears fall, and I began to read his note:
Dear Julie,

Julie, I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have left you, and I wish I could make up all the time I already lost with you. I wasn’t ready for a child when you were born, but I really did try to be a good father to you. I failed, I know. I wish you could understand that I was too young, and I couldn’t handle a child all on my own. After your mother died, I knew I couldn’t do it. Being a parent is the scariest thing you can imagine; I’m sure you’ll find that out someday. I’m also sure you’ll be an amazing parent, unlike I have been. It was irresponsible and cruel of me to leave you to your Aunt Carol, without either parent to raise you.

But Julie, I’ve grown up. I could never get you out of my head, my daughter, and I miss you so much. I’ve been a coward; I’m terrified that you won’t love me or want me as a father after what I did. What scares me more is that you may have forgotten me. I’ve waited too long to write this, but I love you Julie. I hope you like the postcard- I picked it out because I remember you always loved wolves. Please call me, Julie. I hate note being in your life. Please call. My number is 1-879-978-2234.



Fat tears rolled down the tip of my nose, and I quickly pulled out my cell-phone. I dialed the number and waited fretfully for him to answer.

“Hello?” A deep voice said from the other end of the line. I froze, unable to say anything.

“Julie? Julie is it you?” The voice asked anxiously.

“Hi Dad.”

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm
really impressive work  keep it up!  could you please check out and comment on my story Manso' Shame  i would really appreciate the feedback
Kelsey B. replied...
Apr. 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Thank you so much :) I read your story- I loved it! I really liked how well you developed Manso's character! You did a really great job
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