His Broken Heart

By , Gravois Millls, MO

The story of his daughter
   I don’t know what to say to her, I just wish she could understand. I want to apologize but I don’t think I would be okay knowing that she had to go through life thinking that I hate her. I want to pick up the phone and call her to explain. I want to tell her that she will always be my little girl and that I love her more than anything in the world, but I fear that I have waited too long and that she won’t recognize my number or that I will hear her voice and just hang up. I know what I have to do even if it is not what I want to do. I have to let her go and live her life, but I am afraid that I won’t be able to live mine…..
   I called her on Christmas and ruined her life, I told her all the things I promised myself I would never say no matter what anyone else told me. I started with the usual, “Merry Christmas, Hope you are doing well. Missed you today, hope that I see you soon.” She sat in silence unable to say a word, then I heard the smile form, and she finally said, “Merry Christmas Dad, I missed you today, too.” It took everything in me not to break down and cry, but those tears turned to anger. I took a deep breath and made sure I could live with myself after the words were out. I lashed out at her, “How could you do that? It is all your fault that you were unable to be here today, you walked out on your own family. Was life really that bad that you had to leave? You just threw your life away, you traded the best things in life in for some boy, you picked up bad habits and it is all because you are 18 now, and you think you are grown.” She sat there and I heard her sobbing, but that didn’t stop me. I continued to yell and she cried even harder. “You will grow up and be just like your mother, you will never amount to anything. You are the reason that boy went crazy. He tried to end it all because you left and he thought you were worth it. You aren’t, you never will be worth it. Him realizing that is the best thing he could have done. It will always be your fault and you can never change that. You have to deal with that for the rest of your life.” She hung up the phone without even a word. I lost her.. I lost my little girl.
   I texted her, “Why did you hang up? Can you not handle the truth? Does it bother you that you threw it all away when you became 18?” I was reluctant to send it, but I did. Tears running down my face, I stared at my phone looking for a reply that never came. My phone finally went off and she said those words, words that burned into me and that I will never forget. Her response was, “Leave me alone, I will be okay without you. Put down the bottle and then we can talk. You have hurt me enough, respect my wishes and just leave me alone.” I wanted to get in the car and drive those three hours to see her. To apologize in person, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So instead, I picked up the bottle and drank a little more till the room went black and I no longer had to feel. Til her message no longer existed and her response no longer mattered.
     It is now February and I still haven’t called, not even a message. Her mom is the brave one, she sent me the proof of her graduation invitation and I just replied, “Leave me alone. If she wanted me there she would call, it is not your place to tell me these things, it is hers. She doesn’t want me there because she hasn’t reached out. Leave me alone.” I see the typing dots next to her name, but no response comes from her. The mother of my child has nothing to say to me either. I don’t know what to say to myself. The little girl I raised is gone. I have a fiancee and a little girl that needs me, and all I want to do is call up my own little girl and apologize, but I can’t, she has to hate me. She has to go on with her life. She must at least know deep down inside that I love her and that I want to be there for her more than anything in the world. Do I still know that I love her? Do I deserve to be in her life? Do I deserve to be called her father after what I did?
   As I sit here staring at the blank white walls, I find myself thinking of how many times she wanted to spend time with me and I just blew her off. I would have rather went with my friends than spend time with my little girl. I would have rather been anywhere else than with her; now that she is gone I have to think of all the times she needed me and I was never there. She has to go on without me and I’m not sure I can do it. So I drink another bottle to numb the pain. Little by little it goes away but, the scars still remain. The words play over and over in my mind, her begging me to just go as simple as that. I never got her side of the story just, what I was told. I never got the truth from her, I always assumed. I hope that one day she will come back, I hope that one day she finds the guy who will never put her through what I did.
   It is now March 1st and still nothing; I sit and stare and think about the burning sensation of the words from the little girl that is no longer mine. She no longer thinks about me. She no longer needs me. I feel hopeless. I know with one call it will all go away. I look at my screen and it says one new message: Her mother. I look at the message and it says, “She misses you, she won’t admit it but she is still trying to make you happy. She still seeks  your approval in everything that she does. She looks for you in a crowded place. She over checks her phone just to see if you will ever come around. She won’t message first. She did no wrong. You need to reach out to her.” I replay the message over and over, so badly do I want to reply, “That is my little girl, please tell her I love her and that I will always support her.” But i delete it and keep her on read. I turn my phone over and pick up the little girl sitting next to me and hug her tightly. She isn’t my daughter, I think to myself. I never saw her smile, never helped her when she was sick, never peeled her broken heart off the ground after another promise gets broken, and she will never replace my little girl. I sit the little girl down and join her on the floor. She picks up a  doll and hands it to me. I look at it and fight back the tears, with sad eyes she looks at me. I say to her, “I’m okay, the little moments like these make me happy,  I never got to do these things with my little girl. I hope you will forgive me when I make a mistake and that you won’t hold it against me. I am learning, I want to be a good dad to you.” She looks up at me with an innocent smile and crawls over to me and lays on the floor next to me and falls asleep. Her mom peeks around the corner with a blanket and covers her up and motions me into the dining room. She says, “I know you miss her, just call her already, she hasn’t called you because it isn’t her wrong. You are her dad, you are the loving parent, you are supposed to pick her up when she needs you and right now she needs you.” I reply, “It isn’t that simple you just don’t understand, I hurt her this time. She will never forgive me and I don’t expect her to. I am okay knowing that she is living her life on her own. She doesn’t want me to be at her graduation, that is her choice. But, I will always be mad at myself.” I picked up the bottle and walked out of the house. I sat in the car of hers that I bought from my sister. I made a mistake. I broke her heart. I abandoned her when she needed me, I made her do things on her own when she needed my help and I could have helped her and I didn’t. I should have helped her.
     I woke up, in a strange place. I didn’t recognize it. White walls, beeping machines, random voices. “Sir, Sir, can you hear me? Do you know where you are? Do you know your name? Can you tell me what happened?” I looked over and I saw my sister shaking her head. I said, “My name is Charles, I am in a hospital, but I don’t know which one. I know that I was drinking, but I am not sure what happened. Is she here? Did you call her? Did she come?” My sister replied, “I didn’t know I was supposed to call her, I will call her. I don’t think that is a good idea for her to see you like this, I don’t want to see you like this. I didn’t even tell mom because of what she would say. How could you do this? You yelled at your child, but look at you, was it worth it? How do you plan on telling her this? Are YOU going to be the one to tell her this?” I just looked at her. For once I was the one speechless. For once, someone other than me knew what to say to someone in a bad situation and the blame was really on me. Was I going to tell her? Could I tell her? Was I willing to admit to her that I was an alcoholic and that I needed help? Can I be brave enough and call her? Does she deserve this?
     I picked up the phone and dialed the number… “We're sorry. You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again.” I really lost her… I picked up the phone to call her and it was too late. I should have tried sooner, I should have gotten in the car and went to see her but instead my ego got in the way and now it is too late. Here I lay in a hospital bed hoping that she will come and she isn’t here. The one person who has always believed the best in me until I showed her the worst in me is really gone. She changed her number and I missed my chance. Will I ever hear from her again? Will I ever be able to fix things? I waited too long, I should have picked up the phone sooner. I miss my little girl and now I have to go on without her.






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