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Dear Daddy

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Dear Daddy,

I’m glad you have decided to read this letter. I was afraid that you were going to use this paper as a place to set down your coffee, like you did with that birthday card I made you when I was five years old. I’m sure if you rummage around some of the drawers, you’ll find it. If I remember correctly, it still has that brown ring stained around the front.

That birthday card was the reason I killed myself.

Now I know what you are thinking. You got coffee on my stick figures ten years ago, what’s the big deal? You see, it was not just one event which caused me to kill myself. It’s something called the domino effect. One event caused another to occur, and finally, it led to my death.

By not even looking at my card, it sent me the message that you didn’t care about me. And if you didn’t care about me, why should I care about you? That was when I entered a rebellious stage, from flatly refusing to make you breakfast in the morning when you were hungry to telling all of your friends who came over to get drunk that you were a horrible person.

When I was seven, I developed a strong fear of being alone in the dark. Not knowing what hid in the shadows was terrifying. You used this fear to your advantage. Simply forgetting to say please or thank you could mean spending a couple of hours in the dark, dusty attic. The first few times you locked me up there, I screamed hours on end until it hurt my throat too much. I remember one time you locked me up there for two days. That was the first time I swore at you.

Eventually, I got a little clever and hid a flashlight up there, which definitely eased my fears. When the pitch black was penetrated with a beam of light, I was surprised to see all of the boxes that were stored up there. I began to spend my hours looking through them. For the most part, nothing special, just boxes filled with my baby clothes or forgotten about Christmas decorations. It took awhile to get to that last box hidden in the corner. That box changed my life.

The inside contained a photo album blanketed with a thick layer of dust. After brushing it off and opening it to the first page, I saw a family of four. Our family of four.

I never really gave much though about my mother until that day. Until that day, I just accepted that I didn’t know her and never would. But seeing her face, seeing where I got my dark brown hair from, struck something inside of me. I suddenly wanted to know everything about her.

Oh, and Daddy, when were you going to tell me I had a sister? Would I have known at all if not for that album? She has a pretty name, Ruby, you named her after a gem. It made me wonder why I wasn’t named after a gem. Being named Sapphire would have been much prettier than Fern. You named me after a plant.

After you let me out of the attic, I asked you about them. You just stated they left me. They didn’t care about me. Why was I surprised when you didn’t give me anymore information? Every time afterwards when I asked, you just looked the other way and pretended not to hear. Every single time.

So I had to live my life with a giant void where my mom and sister should have been. Maybe they really didn’t love me. Or maybe they did and you were just lying. I guess I will never know.

Each and every time you ignored my questions made me feel less and less important, to the point where I was desperate for attention.

Have you ever wanted bad things to happen to you, just so people would feel sorry for you?

I began daydreaming about being kidnapped. Sure, it would be scary, but I loved the thought of you worriedly pacing back and forth, wondering why you didn’t treat me better.

I figured that it was highly unlikely that some stranger would show up at my window in the middle of the night and take me away, so I decided to do the next best thing: runaway.

I thought about hiding out at a friend’s house for a couple of days, but immediately shook that thought away. Me? Have friends? It was almost laughable. I used to be invited places, but simply asking to go to a sleepover would result in a trip to the attic. Kids eventually stopped asking and I was left alone.

When I set out to runaway, I made my destination the playground. I was eleven, a little too old to be swinging on the swings. But, the tunnels would make a good hiding place and it was within walking distance.

I spent three days in a tunnel before hunger forced me home. I walked in to you sleeping soundly on the couch. I waited until you woke up, and the first thing you asked was where your dinner was.

By thirteen, I decided I just didn’t know what to do anymore.

In health class, we were discussing cutting and all I could think about was giving it a try. After searching through drawers, I found a razor in your bathroom. I timidly pressed the blade against my flesh, just enough to make the smallest cut. I winced and held my wrist tightly. Cutting didn’t feel good at all.

I thought that until a few weeks later. You had gotten drunk, and were screaming really loudly, though I could not understand what you were saying. You threw a glass dish at me, which shattered right in front of my toes. I grabbed one of the sharp pieces and retreated to the bathroom.

I didn’t give cutting a second thought, just striped both of my wrists with streaks of red. I loved the anticipation, followed by the sweet relief. And slowly, the anger faded.

I didn’t want to make too big of a mess, so I rinsed off my wrists with cold water, and watched my own blood run down the drain. The sound of the water against the surface of the sink was loud enough that I almost didn’t hear you knock on the door.

You didn’t ask me why I was cutting. You didn’t even seem to notice my bloody wrists. You just yelled at me for staining the sink.

And that, Daddy, was the final domino.

I am really scared to die, but I have given up. I have accepted that you will never see me as anything more than insignificant. I have accepted that I will never know about my mother or Ruby. I have accepted that after I am gone, you probably won’t miss me. I have accepted that it is my time to die.

I’m not even sure how I’m going to do it. I could drown myself in the creek nearby, but the person who finds me will have to live with that for the rest of their life. I could hang myself, but the thought of my lifeless body dangling a few inches about the ground makes me shudder. But I’m going to follow through.

Despite everything, I want you to know that I still love you, Daddy.

I wish you could say the same.

Join the Discussion

This article has 22 comments. Post your own now!

Danealle said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Wow is all I can say! Wonderful writing!
Emily.L said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm
That was too good for words! It's probably one of my favorite pieces of yours. You had me from the beginning :)
.Izzy. replied...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm
I'm glad you liked it(:
gracegirl29 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm
This was very chilling, haunting, and believable. The only thing is that i think runaway should have been run away. But that's just a small thing. This really died a lot of the things in your novel together. Great work!
KylaM said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm
i love tthis !!!  
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm
Thank you!
mayasplee said...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm
I loooove this, it really provokes emotion.
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm
Thanks for the feedback!
whitstar27 said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm
I really liked this piece.  It was so sad and emotional. i don;t often come across pieces on this site that make me really want to keep reading, but this piece did just that. Good job!
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 10:10 am
Awhh thanks(:
TheSilverLaurel said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 10:21 am
this is the most emotional piece i'v ever read. 5 stars but i really really really want to put six
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 11:34 am
Aww thanks for the nice feedback!
Mystiecub said...
Jul. 14, 2011 at 9:22 am
Ok I came to this from your novel Finding Fern, I started crying when I read this. It's REALLY good and actually appeals to how a child would really feel when living in neglect. Awesome, keep writing!
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 14, 2011 at 10:21 am
Oh wow, I didn't realize I would make a bunch of people cry O.o Thank you!
Mystiecub replied...
Jul. 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm
i personally blame it on the fact that im oversensitive. :P
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 10:09 am
Hahaha so am I :b
NinaAA said...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

This reminds me of a friend who started cutting.. Like Colorful Expectations I started crying.. I love your work :)


.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm
Thank you(:
ColorfulExpectations said...
Jul. 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm
Oh my god, I started crying halfway through. This is so sad...and very good. Ohhh, it's so sad though...
.Izzy. replied...
Jul. 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm
Awh really...sorry!
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