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Indent

It was the summer before my junior year of high school. I woke up like clockwork at noon and made myself a bowl of Cheerios as I had every day that summer. I flipped through the boring Tuesday morning soaps until I finally settled with The Jerry Springer Show. For some sick reason, the show always made me feel better. Maybe because it made me realize I'm not the only one with problems. Poor b****rds.
I heard the front door open and tried to figure out who would be home this early. I stood up to see my father, looking more flustered than usual today, setting his keys and wallet on the table as he had every day at 6 pm for as far back as I could remember.
"Father?" I called out, skeptically.
He looked over the banister at his still pajama'd daughter and didn't even attempt to put a smile on his grave face.
"Kira," was all he said, with a slight nod.
He walked down the hall and took the last right into "Mom's Room," where he only dared enter to fetch his work clothes each morning. I looked back at the couch at the permanent indent that my dad's long body had left after a year of sleeping there.
I sat back down on the couch again and fixed my eyes, but not my mind, back to the television.
I looked over at my dad's side of the couch again and wondered how things got this way. I never really knew how it had happened, I just knew that my parents didn't talk anymore. I know they were in love once. Obviously. They had gotten married and had a child. I never really asked for details on why they didn't share a bed anymore. I was afraid to upset them. Or maybe I was afraid to find out the truth. Either way, I never asked. And I never planned to.
A few minutes later, I heard footsteps coming from the hall, and my dad appeared with a duffle bag in his right hand. He didn't look at me as he rounded the corner to the kitchen. I sat silently. I heard keys jingle and the front door opened and closed. All I could hear now was the couple on television screaming at each other. I watched until my eyes were too blurry. And my head fell into my hands. Alone, I sat. On the couch, with my head in my lap, I remained next to the indent of my father's body for what seemed like an eternity.



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