It’s hard to tell whether the day you left was different to any others. In retrospect, the air felt different: there was some coldness and distance and a lack of communication, but I don’t know whether it is the romance of hindsight which distorts the sad reality that was a normal occurrence in our disjunctive household.
I never knew whether I should write about this. At first it was too painful, and to be honest, I didn’t know whether it was true that he was actually leaving. There was a grey area weeks where I didn’t know he was coming or going. But afterwards, I never knew whether it was right to right about it: I have never been one to search for sympathy, especially when tragedy like this arises.
But now I feel it is time to right about him. About you; about the day you left and without hyperbole, the day which changed my life.
I had a biology exam that day, and therefore most of my memory is distorted because I was trying to study in the morning. But I do remember the fact that you came into my room and gave me breakfast in bed: a thing which you never did. I also noticed a flash of red on your arm from where you dressing gown had gaped: a tattoo streaked across your skin.
I should have said something, but I was too transfixed with my exam. It would have been in vain anyway: you would have covered it up and tried to digress.
Things had been strange for the past weeks. When mum was working away, you’d sneak off in the night and make absurd excuses for their reason. I was too captivated by work, perhaps subconsciously I knew what you were doing and used it as an excuse. Sometimes I’d lie in bed and hear you come back: you’d call goodnight but I would never respond. I couldn’t bring myself to say it.
You drove me to school that morning and I got out of the car. Maybe you said good luck for my exam, I’m not sure. You might have even told me that you loved me, and I probably mumbled something that sounded like that. I never liked to say those words unless I believed that they were true.
And when I came back, you were gone.
This was not just like the week before where you took some clothes but came back: this time it was for good.
You sent me a text telling me that you would always loved me. You sent me texts every day saying that you were sorry. I never replied.
To this day, I still don’t know what to think.
Through the lies and the debauchery and anger, maybe I have always lacked a father figure. I never really felt the love of a father. I could never be proud to call you ‘daddy’ and would never enjoy letting you meet my friends.
I still don’t know whether what has happened has actually hit me. Perhaps the hurt has left me numb; perhaps the hurt you keep instilling in my mother and watching her heart break has made it surreal enough.
Maybe I’ll never understand; I’ll never know what it was which made your strings break and what caused your light to stop shining. I wonder what left you helpless and broken and a shell of the man you once were.
I’ll never understand how you thought that breaking things would somehow fix them together.
I’ll never understand why you do those dreadful things you do.
There was an irony about that coffee cup you gave me that morning: one of yours clearly labelled ‘beyond help.’
Little did I know how literal those words would be.