My more sympathetic side told Sam that I would catch up with him later tonight before I could totally lose control of everything I said.
My father watched Sam leave the apartment. When the door was shut, he mumbled a thanks and turned back to face me. My expression must have been the coldest thing he'd ever seen. There was no expression of any love or sympathy or curiosity or a docile willingness to listen to what he had to say in my eyes. I stared straight forward at him, waiting for him to begin explaining. His face was pale, like he'd seen a ghost. The ghost of his little girl, all grown up. Guess what; she learned the meaning of hate, I thought bitterly.
I knew that the Daddy's-little-girl that'd been inside me for the last ten years should have been nicer to him, but the part of me that screamed You-walked-out-on-me-and-I-haven't-heard-from-you-in-several-months sort of overwhelmed my senses and I wasn't in control of my emotions.
"Sweetie, I've made some bad mistakes recently, and I hurt your mother very much," He began. I nearly snorted. Since when did he talk to me like I was five again? Where did he get the right to call me sweetie? I kept these remarks to myself, taking deep breaths and trying to stabilize myself. It took all of my effort.
"Your mom and I decided that it's best if I move out and we separated for a while. But this doesn't mean a permanent end to things. There's still hope," he continued further.
"You mean mom got pissed off at you and kicked you out. A divorce typically means a permanent end," I proclaimed scathingly.
"Okay, Nicole! I get it! I screwed up and you're angry with me! But what do you want me to say? I've apologized; what more can I do? What can I say to make you understand that I'm more sorry than I've ever been before? I know I brought this on myself, but I didn't realize the consequences that would follow. I'm so heart-broken, I can't get out of bed in the mornings. I can't handle it if you hate me too. Please, Nikki; you're all I've got left!" The tears streamed from his eyes. I knew he was genuine, but I didn't want to forgive him just yet.
I stared at him, trying to decide what to feel inside. Sympathetic? Hostile? Grateful that he still claimed to love me? Confusion was the only thing I could muster.
"I don't know. I-- I have homework to do." I didn't want to see his broken eyes anymore. Their color was dead and lifeless now, their usual spark dimmed out of existence. No trace of happiness was left anywhere in him.
I went to my room and left him standing there in the living room, heart broken with nothing more to lose, and I cried. I cried for an immeasurable amount of time, and I was pretty sure my dad wasn't standing in the living room anymore.