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To My Father

By , Ottawa Lake, MI

Dear Dad,

The wind blew the leaves through the dead grass. It was late autumn, all the leaves have fallen, and everything looks dead. Death has caught you for good. You lay in the casket motionless and speechless. A sense of peace fills me up. For once, I no longer have to worry. No longer do I live in the constant fear of disappointment. I’m the only one here. Everyone has left to go eat and tell funny stories of you. I think of all the things I could have told you. How all these years I hated you. I chuckle at the fact that Mom wanted me to give a speech about how much you meant to everyone and blah blah. I didn't do it for you, and I hope you know that. I did it because it was Mom who asked me to explain her feelings, just with my words. I guess it was your last and final “f*** you” to me. Well, no longer. I am just stuck living with the memories.
 

After all these years I still haven’t been by the house. That place reminds me of everything. I can not relive those horrors. I’ve hidden those feelings and memories for years. I can not enter that house, and pretend that I actually cared about you. After all these years I can still imagine the house. That dark blue-gray house made me feel so small. Even a woman of thirty-one was still afraid of something so long ago. I remember how those white walls made me insane. There was no color in that household. No room to escape but my own, even know I was trapped inside my mind. The floors always creaked, which always put me on edge. I hated how your voice carried throughout the walls and lived in the foundation, only coming out during my loneliest nights. You tried to hide the fact that we were a broken home. You kept trying to fix the outside, but never the inside. Our house was old and worn down just like me. Sunshine tried too hard to get in and when it did, you draped the windows. I hated how my room was so far away from everyone, it was like you were trying to isolate me. Trying to hide me. Trying to shut me up. I remember when Mom finally painted the house. She painted a dark blue-gray. Not only did I have to be reminded of my sadness when I first entered the house, I was reminded of it constantly. The outside matched the inside. Dark and blue. During those few years living there I matched the house so perfectly. The house and I were like a poem. The girl and house both so dark and blue.
 

I can not really focus now. The wind is blowing my hair in my face. Everything's so blurry. The wind makes my cheeks so rosy red. My stomach feels as if I had just spun around a million times. I can not breathe. I can not catch my breath. I keep choking. The memories are coming in too fast and I can not swallow them. All I can think about is the house and I keep telling myself “I can’t go back. I can’t. I can’t.” Even in your death you’re provoking such a disaster in me. I can not let you win. Not today. Especially not today. I leave the memories of the house and bring myself back to the present. Coldness rushes to me. My skin shrinks and a chill runs throughout my spine. I can not think straight. My mind is miles away while my body is just sitting, waiting until I can actually think. I did not notice they already have buried you. All the white wooden chairs are gone besides the one that supports me. All the flowers are blown away as if someone had whisk them away.
 

The service was very nice. It was simple. A lot of people crying and giving me warm embraces, waiting for me to break into them and just melt. Everyone you use to know gave me looks of disgust. Oh, if they only knew the things you are capable of doing, and things that just slip out of your mouth without hesitation. But no, today was not about destruction, it was about Mom. I’ve been a professional at knowing when to keep my feelings in order for the ones I love. Mom was strong, she did not really cry until someone mentioned to her that I resembled a statue and needed to leave because it was “disrespectful.” If only they knew you are the reason I do not cry. Years of being oppressed from showing emotions. I am a statue because of you. So emotionless and distant. If they only knew I was not there to respect you. I was there for Mom’s sake. She has been my cane for years helping me walk and it was my turn to be her’s. But I brushed it off because nothing anyone could say could make me feel sorry for you.
 

I thought it was so ironic how dead you looked today, even though you always looked that way. Today was different, you finally looked hollow. The years of being so angry and hateful had finally caught up to your body. I can perfectly remember your face twitch. The way your upper lip curled when you would attack me with your words. It was like your body was rejecting what poured out. It seemed like your lips were trying to close, but they never did. Your hair so black. Eyes black. Everything so dark and distant. The only color in you were your freckles. They cover your skin like a thin blanket. “God kisses” you would say. If there is a God I am damn sure that he would not go near you. Using your hands to make your point made them seem so scary. So big, thrashing around, knocking down anything in range, even if that meant me. I hated everything about you, even your physical attributes. But nothing could compare my hatred towards myself. I face the mirror with the reflection like yours. I listen to the echo like yours. I see the steps like yours. I resembled a monster. Unlike you, I am not one on the inside.
 

I sunk into the chair. I could not move. I was frozen to the chair and no matter how many times I told myself to move, I just sat there motionless. The sharp breeze did not affect me. My body was starting to feel numb. Not because I was cold, because I was just so emotionally drained I could not feel anything else but numbness. My mind did not wonder, it was stuck in nothingness. If one thing that could describe me it would be blank. After reliving the memories I so desperately tried to hide I could not even see color. My world was black and white the rest of the day. Everyone face looked so plain and ordinary. I walked the rest of the day like a zombie. Walking without a point or destination with only my burdens weighing down my frail shoulders. The only the that woke me was the realization that I will never make anyone feel the way you made me feel. You had made me weak but I am stronger than you. You have made me tired but I am more energized than you. You had made me feel disgusting but I am cleaner than you. The thing that woke me was that I am not you and I will never be like you. So with that, I enter the dark blue-gray house but only thing I did not have before was the key. I was finally free to open the door and leave. I was finally free of you.
           Your Daughter,
                      Meghan




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