John had taken a half day off of work to attend his daughter's graduation party. He had barely seen her since the divorce. The years seemed to pass like seconds, and he had a hard time believing that his daughter was an adult now. He stood nervously in the midst of a crowd of people slowly filling the party hall, thinking of his sad, lonely life. All he had was work now. He worked late hours, and had never been able to get promoted. Even when he was still married to his wife, he hadn't had much time for his daughter. Instead of late night sleep overs, he stayed for a late work night. His wife finally got sick of it all, and filed for a divorce. John wasn't completely over her just yet, even though it had been over ten years now. He glanced at his cheap Rolex knockoff, and realized that he had been moping for over an hour, and he still hadn't seen Sarah. She was eighteen now, but he still saw her as a little girl in his eyes. The hall continued to fill with people of all different ages, and the temperature got hotter and hotter by the second. He wiped the sweat from his brow, and decided to step outside while he waited for Sarah to arrive. He walked slowly down the steps of the hall, and smelled an amazing smell. He looked around, and saw that the party was being catered by a variety of fast food restaurants. He contemplated for a moment and decided that it would be okay to stuff his face until he found Sarah. He quickly located a hot dog kiosk, and sprinted over. After obtaining his food, he sat down and drowned his hot dog in mustard. He eagerly lifted his hot dog to his mouth, when suddenly, someone screamed "Daddy!", very loudly. This startled him, and the mustard soaked hot dog slid down the front of his work suit. Sarah ran up, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He was still in shock from the hot dog ordeal. He attempted to wipe it off, but this only further stained the shirt. Although he was glad to see his daughter, he was extremely angry. He fished into his back pocket and pulled out a folded envelope, which his daughter grabbed out of his hands immediately. She ripped it open, and didn't even bother to read the letter that John had written on the inside of the card before reading the check. She made a look of disappointment and put the check in her purse. "Only $300? I'm going off to college, Daddy." John was holding back tears, not because his feelings were hurt, but because his only daughter was disappointed in him. He had been trying to hard since the divorce, but she didn't want much to do with him unless his credit card was out. Someone came up behind Sarah and grabbed her by the waist. Sarah giggled and said "Oh, yeah, Dad, this is Alex. My fiance." John had never even heard this boy's name before. He reached out to shake the boys hand and Alex just gave him a condescending look. "No man, I'm good." John was close enough to smell the alcohol on his breath, and instantly got enraged. He began yelling at Alex, "You aren't even twenty-one and you have been drinking. You are not allowed to touch my daughter, let alone marry her." This dejection was partly due to the fact that Alex was the embodiment of what he wanted to be. Tall, dark, confidant. He even had that watch he's wanted for so long. Sarah looked hurt. "Come on Sarah, we're going home now," he said authoritatively. "No Daddy, I'm leaving with Alex. He drove me." She ran off before he could object. John was infuriated that he had let her go. He saw little point in staying at the party, so he got in his beater of a car, and drove to the dry cleaners in an attempt to salvage his best shirt. He sped up to the dry cleaners, and slammed the car door shut. He strolled in, and took off his shirt. He stood there, in his undershirt, until someone greeted him. "Hi, um, Ma'am, I have spilled mustard all over my best shirt, and I need it for tomorrow." She took his shirt, and looked at it. The woman, barely speaking any English, said "Can't clean. Sorry. Get new shirt.""Why not?," John asked angrily, "It's just mustard!" The woman returned to her duties in the back of the shop. John then stormed out, and got into his car. He cranked the radio, and drifted into another world. He then began driving home. John decided to take a different, more scenic route to unwind a bit. He sped down the country road, unaware of the car speeding down the wrong side of the road. John quickly slammed on the brakes, but it was too late. He braced himself for the collision, and closed his eyes. The sound of metal crashing burned his ears, but he felt nothing. John quickly opened his eyes and saw the other car in a ditch on the side of the road. He jumped out of his car to help the driver. He ran over, and tried to free the person in the front seat. As he pulled the driver out, he heard a familiar voice. "Daddy? Is that you?" John couldn't believe his ears. It was Sarah in the passenger seat. Alex had been driving. "Are you okay Sarah?", John screamed as he pulled her out. She was hurt badly. John pulled out his cell phone and called an ambulance, but it was too late for her. John held her in the middle of the road while she was dying. He knew he shouldn't have let Alex drive drunk. John felt as though he had failed in his life. All he had left was his daughter, and now, she was gone.
Another Sad Story
March 24, 2009