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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.
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...

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?

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.
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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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Honey Sunshine Chai Tea Warm Milk

Last night I was watching my son sleep peacefully. The purple and orange Christmas lights hanging on the ceiling, shining down on his perfect, small, comfortable body; his small breaths; his little but strong chest moving up and then down. And I lie there with him, staring in wonder. A feeling of uneasiness settled in too. Worried. This little boy will continue to grow bigger and bigger, older and older, venturing out into the unknown. Staring down at his little neck that was openly tempting me to kiss it all over, not wanting to wake him. And I thought of his future girlfriend, or his wife, and thought: "How lucky she will be. THE luckiest girl in the world. To be able to kiss THAT neck. So passionately. Hold him dearly. Kiss him sweetly. Run her fingers through his hair. Caress his incredibly soft skin." And each time I thought these things, my tummy got warmer. My heart fluttered. Thinking of how he smells of honey and sunshine. Chai tea and warm milk. I realized th