Hours later. Oh, how slowly the hours crawled...
I was sitting at home, minding my own business...well, as much as I'd like to say I was minding my own business, it's not exactly true. I was on my knees, begging God to save my little brother. He was hurting so badly in ways that only he truly knew.
And then, my prayers moved to Dad. Oh, how I didn't want to pray for him. He'd hurt our family in so many ways.
But who was I to determine who was worthy of God's forgiveness and who wasn't?
"Lord," I whispered through my tears, "save my dad. I know, I still haven't gotten around to forgiving him...he's such a big part of the reason our family is the way it is. But I know that You have called me to forgive him, so I...I guess I'll pray for Your help in that.
"God, I don't want to forgive my dad. Honestly, that's the last thing I want to do. But I know that's what You're telling me to do right now."
I got up from my knees and walked into the bathroom, where I checked my reflection in the mirror. If I was going to forgive my dad, I had to retain at least some dignity. After blinking my eyes a bit, I decided that my eyelashes could use a bit more mascara.
The mascara came out clumpy.
Irritated, I wiped the stuff from my lashes and began again. When I was finished, I applied a layer of blush and foundation. If my dad was going to see my heart, then at least I'd look somewhat put-together. I had to look as collected as possible. No use letting my dad see how broken I was on the inside.
Biting my lips to put some color in them, I chided myself for buying time. The real reason I hadn't faced my dad yet wasn't that I wanted to look my best. The reason I was still in the bathroom was because I didn't want to face him. I didn't want to forgive him.
I didn't want to ever see him again!
Trying to calm my heart, I smoothed my hair and gave myself one last glance in the mirror. Then, as calmly as I possibly could, I left the bathroom and walked up the stairs to my dad's in-home office.
Immediately, the sound of my dad's keyboard clacking met my ears. I stood outside his door, trying to muster my courage. I had to forgive my dad. I just had to.
Just when I was going to walk into his office, however, Dad's phone rang. I listened with no small degree of both impatience and apprehension as my dad carried on a business call. Finally, after what seemed like millennia of waiting, my dad hung up the phone.
I knocked on the door. Well, this was it. This was the moment where all my walls would come a'tumblin' down, as my mom would have said. Curse her. No, Nadia, that's not a very good attitude to have.
"Dad?" I crooned, but my voice came out all squeaky. Drat it all.
"What is it?" Dad responded, weariness evident in his tone.
I took a deep breath. "Dad, I have to talk to you. There's something I've been needing to say, but...I've put it off til now."
Dad motioned for me to step into his office. I did so with balking steps. "Dad, do you love me?"
The question came out of nowhere, and I was just as shocked by it as my father was. After no moment's hesitation, my dad replied without so much as the bat of an eye, "Yes, Nadia. I love you."
Unable to process my thoughts, I launched into the most uneloquent question ever: "Will you forgive me for not forgiving you until now?"
My dad looked confused, but I didn't wait for his answer. I walked over to his desk and said in a teary voice, "Dad, I...I just..."
The silence droned on.
"Dad, I forgive you."
And with that, I turned and ran from the room.