This is a story loosely based on the time when my father left our family. It has been extremely hard to write."Bye! Thanks for driving me home Mr. Elsa. My mom really appreciates it. And thanks for inviting me over Kelly, I had a great time." I said as I exited the massive SUV that Kelly, one of my closest friends, and her father had driven me home in.
"Oh, don't let your mother or yourself worry about it. You are welcome over any time." Mr. Elsa assured in his deep, sincere voice. I smiled w
"Bye! Thanks for driving me home Mr. Elsa. My mom really appreciates it. And thanks for inviting me over Kelly, I had a great time." I said as I exited the massive SUV that Kelly, one of my closest friends, and her father had driven me home in.
"Oh, don't let your mother or yourself worry about it. You are welcome over any time." Mr. Elsa assured in his deep, sincere voice. I smiled warmly and waved as I walked up the driveway to my house. As I knocked on the door, I frowned. My dad's car, a shiny silver Lexus, was missing from its usual spot. I flipped open my hand-me-down cell phone and checked the time; 7:13 pm, my father was always home by then. Maybe he's on a business trip, I wondered as my mother's footsteps became gradually louder from behind the closed front door. I was fiddling with a string on my bag when there was the sound of the jiggling doorknob, the door creaking open.
Without looking up I began, "Hey, Mom, is Dad on a business trip or someth-" I stopped mid-sentence at the sight of my mother. She was there, smiling at me, seemingly normal as ever, but I knew instantly something was wrong. Her eyes. That's where it was. It was as a barrier that had not been needed for some time had been hurriedly erected. She was trying to block me from seeing what she was feeling. She was holding back from some intense emotion she was not prepared for. My mother didn't prance around displaying to everyone how she felt, but she had never needed to keep people from what she was feeling. It takes a great deal to upset or surprise my mother. And the fact that she seemed both upset and surprised now, well, it scared me.
I stared. "Mom?" my voice was shrill and panicky. "What's wrong?" She squinted her eyes at me, tilting her head to the side, just like our beagle when she hears a noise too high for her ears. She seemed confused at my question, but I wasn't buying it. "Mom." My voice was clear and firm. "What. Is. Wrong?" I spoke each syllable clearly and stared at her, trying to pry past the gate she had set up in her head, trying to see what was wrong. The gates wavered. She sighed and glanced quickly around the porch.
"Come in, then, Fiona. Hurry." Her voice just made the hollow feeling in my chest that had started to form intensify. Her voice, just like her eyes, was guarded and careful. I stepped into the entry hall, onto the smooth hardwood floor. The air conditioning caressed my sweaty face. My mom walked into our large family room and sank into the couch. I hurriedly followed and sat down next to her. She was staring at the ground, a dead look in her eyes.
"Mom?" I said tentatively. That seemed to spark something within her and she looked up. I could easily tell she was fighting back tears.
"Y-your father," she stuttered weakly. I was very worried now. My mom was not the type to break down. "He, he... I don't think he'll be coming home."