Like Your Father

October 17, 2010
By Emily Pilcher BRONZE, Bryant, Arkansas
Emily Pilcher BRONZE, Bryant, Arkansas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Dad!” I scream, running through the house to show the most important man in the universe my 107 on my first AP World History test. “Dad! Dad! Guess what!” I hurry to the back door and I stop. My hand, tightly frozen on the golden door handle, will not turn the knob. My breath fogs up the window as I watch the thick grey puff of smoke exit his now unhealthy 44 year-old lungs. I can’t look away. I can’t move. My mind stalls until the cigarette bud hit the sole of his shoe. I forget why I am looking for him. The 107 written boldly in red is now nothing more than a silly piece of flimsy paper.

* * *

I remember the cold, December day when I found out my father smokes. I was Christmas shopping with my family and my last stop was to buy my dad the perfect gift: The Charlie Brown season. As I jumped out of the car onto the Best Buy parking lot, I choked on the heavy cloud of cigars fumes inflaming my throat.

I lean my head near my moms and whispered “I can’t believe he is smoking in front of us. That is so rude.”

Her eyes turn towards me with a bitter glare and the three words I will never forget came out of her quivering chapped pink lips, “like your father.”

The confusion trembled my words as I look deep into her painful eyes. “What are you talking about, mom?”

“Your father started smoking in April. How did you not know that?”

I remember the frustration of being defeated. April? April? That was eight months ago. Eight! Eight! How did I let that slip under my nose? How did he hide that for eight months? The Christmas spirit was shot from my soul. Mind racing, I stared blankly at the carpeted floor of Best Buy. My dad was the last person I had to buy a gift for. I walked out empty handed.

I remember the first time I saw his cigarette. I marched through the house looking in every room for him. He was no where to be found. I got to the back door that lead outside and I saw it. I saw him puffing a rat poisoned stick. I saw the smoke entering and exiting his lungs. I saw him steadily holding it between his ‘v’ shaped fingers. My hands froze against the knob, unable to turn it. My mind went blank. I couldn’t move.
* * *

It’s been four years. Four years of my life hiding my hateful urge to take the lung destroying cancer packs of Camel’s and burn them in front of him. The urge to leave the room after he comes inside polluting my air with his. The urge to tell him I hate that he smokes and I need my dad to quit. But as he hides his quilt away in the backyard, so do I. Like my father, I keep it to myself.

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