How to Grow Up

"Sometimes, dad, I feel like I'M the parent." I stared at my homework, tried to make sense of the numbers and letters. It made about as much sense as mom cheating.

"What do you mean by that, Olivia?" He sounded a bit ticked off. "Since when have I been the child?"

"Well, it's like I've been taking care of you since the divorce." I shrugged, hoping I didn't sound too harsh. "You got kinda depressed and I had to keep the spirits up."

There was a long silence, as if someone had pressed a pause button on time. I fiddled with my pant leg to distract me.

"For a person who keeps the spirit up, you don't smile a lot." He sat down next to me and stared into my eyes. I couldn't look away for the life of me. His pupils were like tractor beams.

"What?" I finally spoke.

"I make the food. I put my arm around you when you cry, I kept living my life." He said quietly, but not without intensity. "It's been four years, Olivia. It's time to forgive your mother."

I stood up, my face flushed with scarlet, and nearly knocked my chair over. "YOU need to forgive her! You are the one who's always moping around here!"

"You know that's not true." He remained seated. "I've arranged with your mother for you to visit her this weekend."

"No!" I cried. "I don't want to see her!"

He put his big, calloused hands on my shoulders. "I know you don't, but you need to."

Big tears started to roll down my cheeks. "She ruined it. She RUINED it."

"And you need to forgive her." There was a glint in his eyes that I had never bothered to look for. " I have."

The End

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