Always. Ask. For. Forgiveness. That’s what I believe. I had liked to have thought of myself as a person who always said “sorry.” I guess I had never noticed that I didn’t until August 6, 2017. My dad was mad-- really mad. He had been howling at me louder than a husky. It all started when we disagreed on what had happened.
“That’s enough Marykate! I’ve heard enough about it. The conversation is over.” At that point, I knew I had crossed the line. I had never witnessed my dad so aggravated. “Sorry,” I tried to explain. The rest of the car ride was silent. It was as silent as when the priest holds up the host in Church. There was not a sound. All I could hear was the sound of the air conditioning blowing against my face. It was cool and brisk, like the tension in the car.
As the car approached my cousin’s house in Narragansett, I could smell the salty, warm, moist air. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. The silence had forced me to think about the cruel back talk. I took a breath deeper and longer than ever before. My father had heard me take that long gasp. He turned around, made direct eye contact, and he gave me an expression I will never forget. It was that don’t-even-say-a-word-look. I remained quiet for the last mile. The air seemed to get colder and thicker. I was drowning in guilt. I couldn’t even form words.
Once the car came to a stop, he pulled out the key, still in silence. All I could hear was metal on metal clinking to the keys. We opened the doors and got out. I dragged my feet to the door. While on the way, he grabbed my shoulder and my nerves went numb. He gripped my shoulder and pulled me around in a strong, swift, powerful motion. I spun and looked him face to face, directly in his glistening blue eyes. He didn’t flinch, he just said “It’s over.”
After that small confrontation had happened, we strolled over to the small, quaint, rusty brown door and waited for an answer. My aunt then came to the door and my dad smiled, greeted her, and strutted in.
The rest of the night, I wasn't myself. Had he forgiven me? He had left me with something to think about.
The rest of the night, I wasn’t myself. I couldn’t focus when people were talking to me. We avoided each other’s presence the whole time. My dad had placed this thought in my head: I had gone too far this time, farther than ever before.
At the end of the night, my dad waved goodbye with a fake smile on his face, and I had a heavy hearted, long face. I couldn’t contain my feelings any longer. My body took over and my mind didn’t have control. Before opening the dark blue door with matte silver handles, I stopped. I remember the exact words I said. “I crossed the line. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have never corrected you about your own daughter.” He smiled, got in the car, and was in complete silence for another half hour.
Once we reached Smithfield, he finally, calmly said, “That took a lot of guts. None of your siblings would have done that. Thank you.” The tension that had been there all night left the car faster than when the angels dropped down to hell.
I reached the point of realization where his words had made the hair on my arms rise, and he had given me chills. He thanked me for what I had done wrong.
It’s easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission. That’s what many people say, but here’s what I truly believe: do not reach that point in the first place. This story is why I believe what I believe. My stuck up personality had to tuck my pride in a corner and admit that I was wrong.