AN//

First of all let me thank everyone for the revviews I got for the last chapter. This isn't exactly a story, more like a collection of work about my father. This is the first non-poem piece that I've made about the situation that we're in, and I thought I'd share it because writing helps me think this through. Sadly, this is based on a true event that happened a few wees ago, and it's been on my brain ever since. So... This thing is mainly for me to tell you a little bit about myself and if you have a similar situation and you'd like to talk about it or want me to read something you wrote about it, then just tell me and I'll be happy to.

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"Mom! My legs are squished!"

"Well, turn them around then!" Mom snaps.

When you're nearly six feet tall, it is very dificult to sit in the backseat of a car. I shift my legs around, trying to find a comfortable position. My aunt complains about me kneeing her in the back, but I don't apologize. I don't even want to go to town, but I also don't want to be at home by myself. We continue to drive along the long, long stretch of road towards town, and I stare out the window without really seeing what's there. This is just something I do when I ride in cars. Sometimes I count the vehicles coming by, sometimes the clouds. Mostly, I just stare. An ambulance whizzes by us a few seconds later, and something painful clamps down on my stomach. Every time I see an ambulance, I get a sick feeling like something bad has happened to somebody I know. Mom looks anxiously at the review mirror, and I turn around so I can see what she's staring at.

"Please don't turn left. Please don't turn left."

"What's left?" I ask in response to her muttering.

The ambulance turns left.

"Shit," my mom curses, and turns the car around. My aunt grips the hande above the window and asks what's going on. "They just turned towards Jame's house," she said.

My body goes cold, but I'm not sure why. I haven't seen my Dad in almost two years when he came by for Thanksgiving. Before that... I couldn't remember anything but little snippets of the lullaby he used to sing me when he came over. Maybe the mention of his name just makes me angry, and that's why I feel this way. Mom turns onto the street and follows the ambulance. It's lights are flashing, sirens wailing as it zooms down the twisted streets where my Dad and grandparents live. My mom is praying, and that's when I know that this must be bad because she's not exactly he most religious person.

"Maybe you shouldn't do this with Sarah in the car," my aunt says. My eyes are glued to the window.

My mom doesn't answer.

"Sarah, lie down!" Aunt orders.

"No." I'm not sure if I say it or if I'm just thinking it. My dad's house comes into view, and for one seconds I'm swept back to when I used to come here for Chrismas and my grandma and I would bake cookies to sit out for Santa Clause and everyone would sit around the tree and drink hot cocoa and we'd laugh and talk. Then, I see the ambulance sitting there, and my grandma at the door, looking very pale and scared.

Please don't be dead. Please don't be dead. I start chanting it inside my head. The car slows to a crawl, and for just a second I consider opening the door and jumping out. But I'm scared of what I'll find. Something wet blurs my vision, and I realize that tears are dampening my cheeks.

"It's okay," my aunt says, touching Mom's shoulder. "There he is."

"Where?

"By the window."

My eyes fly to the square glass window, and there he is standing still and pale beside it. He's gained weight, and his hair is so long that I hardly reconize him. His baggy red hoody is wrinkled and so are his really needs a shave. But he's there and he's okay and something I hadn't realized was sitting on my chest lifted. Like when you're sad, but you don't even really realize it until somebody makes you happy again. I wipe my eyes off, but more tears come as my mom speads away from the scene. I don't really know why I'm crying. Ever since I was little and my dad stopped coming to see me, I always considered him dead. If he did die, he wouldn't be any more gone that he already was. But that was before I actually thought he had died.

"Wow, I can't breathe," my mom says, leaning her head back. "I need a smoke."

I lean my head up and put it on my mom's shoulder, because I realize how easily it could be to loose her. As hardheaded and ignorant as she can be sometimes, I still love her so much because she's all I have as far as parents go. She reaches back and pats my dirty blonde hair and kisses my forehead. "Sarah, you need to sit back," my aunt says.

I do as she says, but I can't stop the tears from flowing down my face.

.

On the way home from town, when it's just my mom and me in the car, I bring it up. "Don't worry about it," Mom says. "He'll be okay."

I burst into tears. "I was scared, Mom!" I sob. "I was so scared that he was dead because all I could think about was Uncle's funeral and how he killed himself and I was so scared that Dad had done that too because he seems depressed enough to do something like that."

"Sarah!" Mom says,staring at me. I can't remember the last time I've cried like this, much less in front of my mom. She knows that this is really bothering me.

"Mom, he couldn't even remember my name," I say. "When he came over, he looked at me and said, 'Who are you?' and you have KNOW IDEA how bad that hurt. He's my dad! He's not supposed to forget who I am. I hate this! I hate this family and I hate that my dad doesn't even love me."

She reaches over and takes my hand. "Don't think for a second that your daddy doesn't love you," she says. She's crying too, and I can't bare that. I turn towards the window and bite my lip so hard that I think I'm going to chomp through it. "You were his little girl, Sarah. You still are. Your dad has problems, but he loves you and your brother both. He always has." I cry harder because I want so badly for what she's saying to be true. "He could never, ever hurt you, Sarah. When you were little and you'd do something bad, he'd tell me to whoop you because he couldn't do it. And he'd sing to you and love you and rock you to sleep. He loves you, Baby."

"Then why doesn't he show it?" I cry. "He lives ten minutes away. Why can't he come by?"

"Like I said, he has his own problems to work out. But all you can do is pray for him."

"Mom, I've prayed for twelve years. I used to sit there and cry and pray and scream and pray and cry some more and it didn't do any good. Praying doesn't help."

"You've got to keep trying. Because the last thing he wants is for you and your brother to give up on him."

"I'll try," I say. "Mom... Can you maybe call him? Ask him to come over?"

"I'll try," she says.

"Thank you. I love you."

"I love you too, Baby."