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Daddy Always Comes Back

She's five years old.
She fills her days with dolls and princesses and dresses and the color pink. She goes to school with the innocent joy of a kindergarten child, coming home each day to the arms of Mommy and a warm snack and cold cup of juice. She colors in her book of princesses, filling the black and white spaces with various shades of pinks and blues and golds. After coloring, she watches TV, or plays on her swing set. Most days, she plays with her dolls.
Her dolls are her favorite. She dresses them up and does their hair. The dolls are always waiting for her; they can't dress themselves, just like she waits for Mommy to pick out her clothes in the morning. After her dolls are dressed, she takes them on trips. Sometimes, they go to the beach, but then they have to be quiet. Mommy doesn't know about the secret ocean in the bathtub, that's a secret she's only shared with Daddy.
Every day, Daddy comes home and scoops her in his arms. He's the one to give her dessert after dinner, and he's the one to tuck her in at night. He gives her a kiss every morning before he leaves. Every day he leaves for work, but it's alright.
Daddy always comes back.
She dreams of being a princess. She dreams of a castle, built with white stones and touching the sky. In every dream, she's always rescued by her knight in shining armor. He's tall and strong, the strongest man she's ever known. He slays dragons, rescues princesses, makes omelettes every Saturday—nothing is impossible for her hero. He never misses a tea party. Sometimes, he even brings Mommy. She's sad when he leaves, but he always comes back. Daddy always comes back.
She's twelve years old.
She fills her days with tears and sadness and friends and the color black. Every day is a struggle; every day is pain. She misses her Daddy. She knows he'll come back one day, but it still hurts so much. She's too young to understand words like "cardiac arrest," but she knows that’s why Daddy's gone.
She prays every night for Daddy. She asks the Lord if he can come home for Christmas, or her birthday. She would give up candy and dolls for a whole year if Daddy could just come home for Christmas. She heard Jesus promise her one night, right before she fell asleep, that Daddy was ok. He told her that Daddy would come back, like he always did. Daddy always comes back.
She dreams of being a princess. She dreams of a castle, grand and magnificent and painted in the sky. In every dream, she's always rescued by her knight in shining armor. He's forgiving and vengeful at the same time, instilling both fear and love into her trembling heart. He's her Savior, cloaked in white and covering her with redeeming grace. He brings back Daddy. Every night, she sees him in her fragile dreamland. Every night, he comes back. Daddy always comes back.
She's twenty years old.
She fills her days with college and jobs and boys and the color blue. His eyes are blue. Blue as the ocean. They remind her of her Daddy's eyes. It makes her sad to think about Daddy; he would've loved the woman she has become, and the man she's going to marry. He's funny and smart and caring; he's perfect. She used to think that no man would ever love her again like Daddy did; she knew she'd never love anyone that much again.
But somehow, he's changed her mind. She feels better and happier than she's felt since she lost her Daddy. Now, she has him. He can never replace Daddy, but he gives her hope that one day, she will see her Daddy again. He'll come back. Daddy always comes back.
She dreams of being a princess. She dreams of a castle, filled with family and flowers and wedding bells. In every dream, she's always rescued by her knight in shining armor. He's handsome—so handsome it takes her breath away. He loves her. He loves her so much, and it makes her think of how much Daddy always loved her. Because of him, she is complete. Because of him, she feels the same glowing feeling she used to get from Daddy. She knows he'll come back. Daddy always comes back.
She's eighty-three years old.
She fills her days with nurses and medical bills and goodbyes and the color white. White are the sheets, the bonds that keep him held down, that keep him away from her. She can't lose him, not like she lost her Daddy all those years ago.
She loves him. She loves the man lying in front of her more than anyone else in the world. She loves him even as he lays still, pain dulling his eyes. She loves him for being a stronger man than the cancer slowly taking over his body. She loves him for being a better husband than she deserved. She loves him for being the Daddy of her little girl.
On the other side of the hospital bed, she watches her daughter wipe a tear away. She knows what her daughter is going through. She takes her hand and promises that it will all be ok. They watch as his breathing slows, and doctors and nurses begin scrambling about the room. She holds her daughter tight. For the second time in her life, she watches a man she loves slip away. The only words she can find to comfort her daughter manage to escape.
"Daddy always comes back."
She dreams of being a princess. She dreams of a castle, familiar and warm and full of everyone she loves. In every dream, she sees them again. She sees her Daddy, and she sees her husband. Two men she's loved more than anything or anyone else. Her Daddy always tells her how proud of her he is, and her husband always looks down upon the earth with her, and tells her how proud of their little girl he is. And she's happy again. Her Daddy came back. Daddy always comes back.
But this time, as she meets her Daddy, her husband, and her Savior at the white castle, she isn't dreaming anymore.




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This article has 11 comments. Post your own!

E.J.MathewsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm:
This was very beautiful, and very sad. I honestly have nothing to say about this article. It was carefully written, and the imagery blew me away. Outstanding work.
 
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Sakuya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm:
This is really great! My only thing, and this is just one of my personal things, is that many of your sentences start with the same word, usually "she", or the same sound, which (for me) can leave a too familiar taste in my mouth though your descriptions and story line make it go away for the most part
 
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jetta.bugThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm:
WOW. This is purely amazing. Wow. This is beautiful; it honestly brought fat, salty tears to my eyes. Wow. This is really beautiful; I don't know where you got your inspiration for this, but this is amazing. Wow. That's all I have to say. This really captures the concept and purpose of LIFE. Great job!!
 
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Stormy9890 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm:
I've read a few of you're stories, and I can say you're an amazing writer. I don't know if you'll join my collab; my work isn't near as beautiful as your's, but I'd love to have you on the team! If you have any suggestions on who to pick to be our last member just post them on the forum! Even if you don't join your writing is beautiful, and it has been my pleasure to read it.
 
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ArianaKnightThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm:
This was great! I loved the ending; it was just how it was meant to end. My favorite part was where she told her daughter the same thing and that even as an old woman, the girl retained her dreaming state of mind.
 
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Waffuleez said...
Jul. 27, 2012 at 8:56 am:

First, the compliments:

1. The reptition of "Daddy always comes back" was very affective. Even as she's eighty-three, it shows that the girl still believes she'll see her daddy again.

2. I like how the dream changed with each stage of her life. It captured the girl's happiness and how she saw what her life would be.

3. The ending line, "But this time, as she meets her Daddy, her husband, and her Savior at the white castle, she isn't dreaming anymor... (more »)

 
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Black_Rose_Princess said...
Jul. 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm:

Alright this was amazing! And as Daddy's Little Princess, this really stuck a chord. The emoton, the hope, the faith...it was all very powerful and well written.

I loved how throughout the entire thing Dad stayed Daddy, because that was how the girl would always remember him even when she was 83...he was her Daddy, and he always will be. And the repition of that phrase: "Daddy always comes back." Everytime it was said, it became stronger and stronger. The dream with the knight in armor... (more »)

 
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WSwilliamsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm:
What a splendid story. I loved the way you wrote about the strong bond between the girl and her father. It kind of reminds me of a story of mine called "My Mother's Arms". You should go check it out. Its on TeenInk
 
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AlwaysAbditive said...
Jul. 22, 2012 at 12:15 am:
This piece is unbelievably sweet. I love, love, love it. I love how you made each part of the girl's life parralell in description. Also, the story line is priceless. My suggestions are to work on the beginning because I find it sort of dull. Also, maybe change this from a boring narration to something else-like a letter from the woman's daughter. Or maybe even the main character's daughter telling her daughter. Something along those lines would give it more spice. Keep writing!
 
WhenItRains21 replied...
Jul. 22, 2012 at 9:39 am :
That's a great idea, thanks! The only reason it's written like this is because it was for a scholarship, but I could definitely turn in into a letter.
 
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KenyaLove41This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm:
Okay wow that was a really great story! I love they way you explain the little girl in the beginning and the way she progresses through life without her father and the hope that she'll see him again. I loved it! keep on writing(:
 
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