I awoke with a gnawing feeling in my gut, and I knew, as sure as the grass is green, that something wasn't right. I dragged myself slowly out of bed in the gloomy early morning light, and stared at the cracked and yellowed wall. As I tried to recount the events of the evening before I remembered, it had been a fight, one with screaming, and crying, and gasped, broken syllables. It then occurred to me why this day gave of such a desperate aura, my father had left. My dad was gone. I pondered over this for a moment and realized that I didn't feel anything, didn't know what to feel. I felt no anger, no sadness, just a watered down sort of shock and a curious emptiness. I thought to myself "I should be glad right?" My father had been nothing but a drunken tyrant "I should be relieved right?" Yet this did nothing but fill empty space, still I felt nothing.
For a moment I pushed away my thoughts and prepared for school. I went to the kitchen, but didn't even glance at my mother, who was preparing breakfast for me. In a dreamlike sequence I acquired my bag and left the apartment without so much as a peep. Still I felt empty.
On my way to school I thought about how strange it is that everyone can go about, business as usual as I sat on what could be described as the precipice of crisis. I started to wonder why my dad had left, what the fight had been over. I wondered how I would be affected. I wondered how we would support ourselves, if I would have to get a job. Most of all I wondered why I didn't honestly care.
When I reached home that afternoon I found my mother talking on the phone. I didn't catch most of it, but it was something about paying a bill. She, like the day itself, seemed sad, desperate, and gauzy, as though she was wrapped in a dream, the feeling settled around her like a scarf. I stood patiently and waited for her conversation to end.
"Mom…" I began, trailing off.
"Yes," she said with a worried look "what is it?"
Something about her demeanor told me I shouldn't bring up my father right now.
" I just wanted to say I love you." I said quickly.
"You don't know how much that means to me."
With a tearful smile she hugged me and in that moment I realized, I didn't need to worry, Even though there were inevitably going to be struggles, we had each other and that's all we truly needed. If my father didn't see that, didn't see the importance of family, then I simply hoped, for his sake that one day he would. I vowed that day that I would make up for my father's mistake; I vowed that one day I'd be a dependable dad.