Unconditional Love

By
Unconditional Love

Every other weekend I would make the two hour drive out to the middle of nowhere. Nowhere: that's where my family was. I hated weekend visitations with my dad. The silence in the can on the ride down set the mood. The drive and complete silence gave me plenty of time to memorize the 283 pine trees, one sharp S curve by Magic Springs, and the irritated breathing patterns my dad frequently displayed. Its was routine. We arrived at 6:30 pm. right on the dot, clock work. My dad's idea of a”Redneck Mansion” , two 16X 80 trailers crammed together sat on the hill awaiting my return.



My mom and dad divorced when i was ten and after a year of being separated they both allegedly found their new “soul mates”. My dad remarried Tandy who already had two sons from a previous marriage. Then about three years ago the twins unexpectedly came along, and unknowingly shoved me farther into my dad's ever apparent closed mind. I'm not complaining this couldn't have worked out better for me. Now the twins were center of attention and my dad's irritated breathing patterns eventually faded. Being the oldest I became the secondary caregiver to the twins, and I was grateful to finally have a purpose for being at my dad's.


He was waiting on the front porch when we pulled up. His arm slashed furiously in the air like some invisible man was shaking him. His tiny legs pounded the concrete in a rhythmic jump as he called in the window “Sissy home, Sissy home.” He was hoping that everyone inside would be just as excited as he was about my return. He smiled and there were two new white rectangles where blank spaces rested in his mouth last weekend. He was growing way to fast. That's what I loved about Landan; two years and he loved me. Unlike them he was glad our two worlds collided.



I opened the child proof lock on the porch and he ran straight into my arms. I held him tight as i spun him around, his giggles getting louder the faster we spun. His tiny grip amazed me as it kept tightening. He burrowed his face deeper into my neck. I held him so close that I could feel the two heartbeats that made up my one. The soft baby breaths tickled my neck as I inhaled the sweet scent of Johnson and Johnson shampoo. I put him down and turned to pick up my bags, Landans fingers pulled at my sweater knowing I would follow him. His tiny hands wrapped around my fingers, but I knew that it was I that was wrapped around him. I followed the blonde cow lick to the couch where he preceded to take off my shoes, finalizing my stay. Armed with a sippy sup of grape Kool-Aide and the choice book of the night he climbed into my lap. His 45 pound body cemented me to the couch. I wouldn't move even if I wanted to. We read the book over and over as he clapped and cheered at the end. We attempted to play hide and seek followed by several sad attempts at thumb war. Landan made this place a home for me, and I will forever be in debt to him.



My step mom came in to pick him up for bedtime. He looked at her once, turned his back on her, and squeezed my arm pleading, “No sleepy Sissy no sleepy.”I couldn't refuse the most precious thing on Earth, and I couldn't defy his mother. I removed my arm from around him and waited. His ice blue eyes melted as tears beaded up in them, I panicked. I reached out to scoop him up and tell him that everything would be ok, but she snatched him from me. She stood there cradling her baby turning his back on me. I heard him crying into her shoulder as she walked away “No Sissy no.” My heart was broken. The next morning I left before Landan could wake up. I couldn't bring myself to face him after I let him down. The only person brave enough to give me a chance I had let down. Later that afternoon my dad sent me a video message of Landan. He was sitting in my bed crying for me. I had to watch it ten or more times to figure out the inaudible words he kept repeating to himself. “Sissy gone.” No matter what size your heart is it still breaks all the same.

I had no choice, and after my recent fall out with my dad I haven't returned to that home in six months to face the catastrophe I left in my wake. My dad's latest attempt to remove me from his memory blew up in his face when Landan found my prom pictures. Hopefully, six months isn't enough time for him to forget, but will his childhood memory discard me along with Barney and Dora the Explorer? Would he still be able to love me after I left him? Would he want to remember me? I will honor his decision to hat me if that is really his decision. I will not honor that decision if he is made to believe that I don't love him. I refuse to be made into a monster for something I have no control over. In some studies it has been proven that if you hear and see things 28 times you will remember it for life. I wonder if it works the same for people, and if it does then one day Landan will be able to decide for himself what he wants from me.

"This will certify that the above work is completly original."-- Marina Pittman





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