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Honey Sunshine Chai Tea Warm Milk

Daddy's Only Sleeping




The pancakes tasted too sweet in my mouth.
The tips of my long dark hair were crusted with the syrup.
I could hear the clock ticking above my head.
My siblings knocking over Legos in the back room while my baby sister slept peacefully.
Tick
     Tick
          Tick
               Tick
I stopped to look at my dad again, frivolously cooking too many pancakes,
yelling on the phone at my first step-mother, burning each one.

Maybe he put too much syrup on the pancakes to cover up the bitter, burnt taste, I dunno.

My stomach started to hurt after awhile.
I started thinking of all the bad nights here, in this very spot at this table. In this house.
HER house...

I knew she didn't love me. It was obvious.
Especially when my dad wasn't around during the day time.

I wasn't hers.
I was, "that bitch's little girl!"
My dad couldn't even have me in his lap for more that two minutes without her complaining.

"What about OUR kids? What, do you love HER more than them?"

Any slight attention towards me meant a screaming match between them, and than me and daddy would have a little camping trip out in the woods.

I swear I never slept in that house.

He would come into my room and tell me we were leaving. He'd pick me up and carry me out to the truck and we were off, out further into the middle of nowhere with nothing but a tent and a sleeping bag.

I would fall fast asleep in his arms.

I never remembered the drives back to that house.

But I remember every time that woman laid her hands on me.

And how much I missed my mom...
................................................................................................................................................

Tick
     Tick
          Tick
               Tick
My dad started screaming at her again.
This was getting overwhelming...

Why is my dad so angry? What are they yelling about?
I bet it's me. It's always me.
What did I do this time?

STOP. STOP. STOP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHHHHH. PLEASE STOP! I HATE IT!
I had my hands pressed up so hard against my ears, I could have crushed my skull.
My ears were getting hot and going numb. My body starting to shake.
My nose starting to sting, but the tears don't fall. The lump in my throat gets harder to swallow.
Tick
     Tick
          Tick
               Tick
I was starting to get lightheaded. I couldn't speak.
I could barely hear anything anymore. Muffled.
My body starting to go numb. Turning to statue, I was petrified.
Still on the phone, he walks over to the cupboard and grabs something out of it.

"I'M GUNNA DO IT!! I'M GUNNA DO IT!!!!" his eyes red and watery.
His hands shaky with whatever container he held onto tightly.

Daddy, what are you going to do?
What is that?
Doesn't he know I'm sitting right here?

He pops off the cap.

Daddy look at me!

He grabs a big glass of water and stares at it.

Stop! Daddy, you're scaring me! Why can't I move?

He peers down into the bottle.

Daddy...

He tilts his head back and closes his eyes, allowing each blue pill to fall down the hole of his throat.

He takes his last gulp of water and sets the glass on the counter.

Daddy...

He turns and faces me, his face forming into something unrecognizable. Guilt. Regret.
And the phone falls to the ground.

Daddy...
........................................................................................................................................

Tick
     Tick
          Tick
               Tick
Regret.
He falls to the floor.
A that very moment, I was no longer in a paralytic state, and I screamed...
At the top of my lungs, I screamed. Bursting out with tears, snot, and rage. Fire.

DADDY!!!

I ran over to him, screaming in his face, yelling in his ears.

My little brothers running into the kitchen from their rooms, wondering what's going on.

"Sage, why are you crying? It's okay, Sage. Daddy's only sleeping..." They smiled and rubbed his forehead and went back into their rooms to play.

I only kept screaming.

(june2012)

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