Quality Time

I slid the key into the lock, and opened the door to my real house.

"Dallas?" my dad called from the living room.

"Who else would it be?" I asked rhetorically.

I took off my flip flops and looked around the dingy room. Unlike Quincy, I did not live in a fancy home and have enough money to spend on nice furniture. But it didn't bother me too much.

As I entered the living room, flipping on a few lamps as I went, I recalled the last time my dad had wanted to spend some "quality time" with me.

I ended up leaving at ten o' clock at night and wandering down town, cheeks red and tear-streaked.

That's a pretty long story, and I do not want to dwell on it.

"Hey, do you think you could grab me a glass of milk real quick?" he asked.

I wanted to say, "Why don't you get off your lazy ass and get it yourself?" I almost did, too, until I realized he asked for milk instead of the usual beer.

"Um, sure. Why not?" I mumbled, more confused by his behavior than ever.

I went back out into the kitchen and fulfilled his request.

"So how's school been going?" he asked.

I was taken aback.

"Uh, I don't know... It's school."

"Yeah, but how are your grades? Do you do anything fun?" he asked.

"My grades are passing; and unless you consider homework to be fun, no there's nothing fun. And since when do you care?" I asked, feeling awkward and irritated at him for just now starting to give a damn.

"I've always cared," he said, looking at me.

"Really? Because you've never once shown that you did. You've never given me a 'Good job, sweetie,' when I brought home a perfect test. You've never been sober enough to come to any of the talent shows I performed in. You've never read to me, or tucked me in late at night, or comforted me when I had a nightmare. You never really seem to notice that I'm only here maybe once or twice a week. And in the last nine years, you've only told me you loved once. So do you honestly expect me to believe you when you say that you've always cared?" I said, losing my temper.

"Dallas, I'm--"

"You're a drunk! That's what you are. And don't try saying that you're sorry, because that means that something's gonna change! I know you, dad! You hate change, and you are certainly too lazy to change now!" I yelled, cutting him off.

"I'm trying, Dallas," He said after a few moments of silence. I stared at him accusingly, wondering how he had the nerve to lie to me. Of course, being drunk certainly could help.

"Whatever," I said, going down the hall to my room.

The End

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