If Only, If Only

BZZZZZZZZ! The irritating buzz of the alarm resounds unpleasantly causing an uncomfortable throbbing in my head. I briefly entertain the thought of drifting back into luxurious sleep. Last night’s slumber had been so deep, that I have no recollection of dreams. In fact, I think I barely moved during the night. Even now, the comfort of sleep beckons me to return to that sweet escape. Slowly, I open my eyes and stare at the ceiling. The persistence of the alarm urges me to arise so I finally make the effort to roll to my side. To my surprise…

I was no longer in my dorm room at college. The usually white walls were covered in that terrible blue-green wallpaper with mauve-colored roses all over that was on my walls growing up. My Fuzzy Posters and all the pictures of my favorite bands and movies plastered the wall, trying to cover the peeling paper. What was I doing back here?! I sat up in bed, smacking my head on the bunk overhead that hadn’t been there when I went to sleep. Looking around the room, I saw all my furniture from my childhood. Yep, I was back. I looked down at my body, half expecting to see my 10-year old self sitting there. Nope, I was still 20-years old, body-wise. Tossing the covers off my body, I stood and made my way across the room to the door. The smell of baking cinnamon rolls wafted down the hallway. That was what my dad would make for breakfast on Saturdays when I was younger and he was still at home. Curious, I walked down the hallway to the kitchen. “Dad?” I called.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” he called back. I stopped, frozen. I hadn’t heard those words in almost 5 years. I hadn’t heard his voice in almost 3. Hearing his voice again just made my heart skip a beat. Slowly I walked into the kitchen, twisting to see around the cabinets for proof that it was really him. There he stood, icing the cinnamon rolls. “You’re the first one up this week,” he said, “so you get the extra frosting.” That was our usual tradition. One I would never forget.

“Daddy, what are you doing here?” I asked him.

“I live here, silly,” he replied, “did you forget?”

“No. “I said out loud while thinking “YES!” in my head.

I sat down at the table and watched him finish icing the cinnamon rolls. He looked like the daddy I remember, the one without a Mohawk and an earring in his left ear, the one who taught me how to drive and how to use a computer, the one who played video games and tennis with me, the one before her. While watching him, I began to wonder. I began to wonder why he changed, why he left. And I was going to ask him.

“Daddy, why’d you leave us? Did you not want us anymore?” I asked him, sounding very much like the child I had been.

“Leave? I haven’t left you! And I never will. You’re my Dolly,” He said in a soothing yet shocked voice, using his special nickname for me, “I’ll never leave you.”

“But you did leave me!” I cried, teardrops falling from my eyes. I closed my eyes to blink them away and when I opened them again I was laying on my bed in my dorm, facing the plain white walls. I lay there under the covers and wept, all the memories and hurt from the past 5 years rushing back into my heart.





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