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I awoke to the sound of my sister yelling downstairs. I figured she'd gone crazy, because there was noone for her to be yealling at; my mom wasn't home this Saturday.
I glanced at the clock and saw 7:04 am. I swore silently and stumbled out of bed, heading down to the kitchen where her yells were coming from. Once there, I stopped at the door frame.
Wow, she has gone crazy, I thought. The scene was awkward; she had a huge bag of ice out and was using the end of a broom to break apart the huge clumps. Her yells were incoherent, her tears and sobs slurring together.
She didn't see me, but she knew I was there. Throwing down the broom, she began to punch the ice. I watched in silence, leaning against the door for a minute, and then stepped in. The yelling had stopped but she was still punching the ice half-heartedly. I helped her up carefully, and guided her to the table.
I got some milk and cereal and placed it infront of her. I sat down across from her, waiting for her to start. As she carefully picked up the spoon, I took in her image. Her green eyes were red and puffy, her cheeks streaked with tears. Her usually perfect blonde hair was in a messy ponytail atop her head. Her knuckles were red from punching the ice, and she rubbed them gently.
As I watched her, I caught my reflection in the window behind her. My brown eyes glistened in the early morning sun, my hair, long and unbrushed, fell down my back.
We were so different, it was hard to believe we were sisters. She was emotional and a drama queen. I, on the other hand, preferred sports over shopping.
She finished her cereal and put it in the sink. I got up but she stopped me. She hugged me and whispered, "Thanks."
She stepped away and went upstairs. I heard a door close and shortly after the shower turn on.
I stood where I was, taking in the silence of the house. It had never actually been quiet since the day my dad left, seven years ago. I was eight then, old enough to understand what was going on. I knew the constant arguing would break my parents apart one day, but I didn't think it'd be so soon.
Ever since the day my dad moved out, promising he'd see us every weekend, my mom had been trying something new every month. She started with yoga, trying to get in touch with her inner chakras. Then, she moved onto pilates, and from there to cooking. Finally, last year, she found her calling: a wedding planner.
Ironic how a divorcee would become a wedding planner. But her philosophy was if she couldn't keep her own marriage together, she might as well help other people start theirs.
So our house was always full with hundreds of bridal magazines, and the mantle had over a dozen different pictures of couples on their wedding days; little thank you notes written underneath them.
I found myself there, right now, staring at them. I tore my glance away and looked at the front door. The bottom part was glass, and something through it caught my eye. Opening the door, I saw a small brown package. I picked it up and saw it was addressed to me, but with no return address.
I opened it and immediatly recognized the hand writing. My father had written me a letter. After seven years and no weekends, he'd written me a letter.
I know you're probably mad at me. There's not much I can say to change that.
But I want to show you something if you give me the chance. Meet me at
Boulevard Park at 12:00 pm today. I'll wait by the fountain.
Despite all the scenarios I had imagined when I was younger, thi was definetly not one of them. I always pictured my dad waiting for me as I came home from school in the living room, or there on Christmas morning as I ran downstairs to the tree.
I also expected to be angry with him, for the lack of contact all of these years.
But I couldn't help feeling excited despite the hate I tried to arouse within myself
I was finally going to see my dad.
I looked at the clock; it was eight. An hour had passed since I had woken up. I had four hours. Four tedious hours. I went upstairs, deciding to get some homework done.
An hour and a half later, I had lost interest. I managed to finish half of my research paper, but my mind kept wandering onto different subjects, like my dad.
I wondered why he chose now. He's had seven years to try and reach me, but he didn't. No letters, no calls, no e-mails.
I slowly drifted off to sleep in my chair, replaying all those different scenarios I had as a little girl.
"Miya! I have to go to class! Be back at four!" I faintly heard my sister yell from downstairs. I heard the door slam shut a few seconds later.
I didn't fully register what she said at first, just moaned in response. I kept my eyes closed but tried to wake my brain up. It can't be past ten, I thought. I couldn't have dozed off longer than that.
That's when I remembered.
"Shoot!" I yelled and scrambled out of my chair, suddenly wide awake. I searched through my piles of clothes in my closet looking for something comfortable to wear. If I wasn't mistaken, my sister's class starts at twelve, which meant it was 11:45 right now.
After scrounging up jeans and a shirt I put some foundation and blush on, and flew out the door.
I ran most of the way there, only stopping at lights and once I got to the park itself. I could see the fountain, but there was no one there.
Maybe he's on the other side, I hoped, widening my steps.
As I rounded the big fountain, I saw him.
He stood tall, probably six foot, with his hands in his pockets. He rocked back and forth on his heels, his tummy bulging out ever so slightly. He had no facial hair, as he used to, and that upset me. It's what made him, well, him. His brown eyes, though I could not see them, sparkled in the sun just like mine. He was whistling, I could hear it faintly, and once he turned in my direction he stopped.
I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but definetly not the reaction he had.
He stood still, motionless. A full thirty seconds passed before he even blinked. And then he was himself again. He came toward me in three long strides and hugged me, smiling. He didn't say anything as he hugged me. Finally, when he pulled away still smiling, he said, "Hey, kiddo."
"Hi Dad." I answered stiffly.
He held me at arms length. "Wow, you've really grown up."
"Well seven years can do that to a person." I said in a mean tone.
There was an awkward silence and he looked away. For the first time I saw sadness in his eyes.
Finally, he cleared his throat and he was bak to normal, smile and all. "Look around you, what does this look like?" He spread his arms open, as if to show me everything.
It wasn't until he told me to look taht I actually realized we were surrounded by white flowers. They were in white vases on white tables with white tablecloths. Parallel to the fountain there was a tent. It was white too.
"A wedding," I murmured, baffled as to why he would bring me here out of all places.
"Not just any wedding, but one that your mother planned." He looked around.
I had never been to any of the weddings my mother planned. She didn't want us there, my sister and I. I didn't know where she was, but I figured she'd be around here somewhere.
"She won't want you here, Dad," I said.
"I know," he glanced away for a second, "but I just want to show you how happy she is now."
I simply stared at him. "What?"
"Look, the divorce was as hard on me as it was on you, honey. I didn't want to leave you and your sister, but it was for the best."
It was the hardest thing I'd had..." he kept talking but I couldn't hear him anymore. I was watching my mother, who had come out of hiding. She marched around, clipboard and cell phone in hand while talking through her earpiece. She looked frustarated, not happy.
"...but I love you two. You know that." I zoned back in. I nodded; the ceremony was about to start.
"Look, Dad, you should go. If Mom finds out you're here..." I trailed off.
"You're probably right," he agreed.
He came over and kissed me, then huged me tight for a moment that could never last long enough.
"Love you," he whispered letting go.
"Love you too," I smiled sadly.
"Maybe we can properly hang out one weekend?" He called already walking away.
I didn't answer. I knew we never would.
When I couldn't see him anymore, I walked towards the white tent with tears already spilling over my eyelashes.
It didn't take long to find my mother, as she was right next to the opening. When she saw me she looked at me questioningly. As I came closer, however, she saw my tears and help her arms wide open.
I ran into them and cried into her chest. Soon she started crying too.
We stood there, crying. We cried for my dad, for the bride and groom, but most of all, for ourselves.