There but not there.

When you are alive but don't quite feel that way.

It was a Friday night, I sat in my window, a circular cut in the wall, across the bottom, a padded flat panel that I normally placed books on, but tonight I rested myself there. I leaned my head against the window, condensation from my breath powdered the glass. I just stared, almost robotically out into the yard, a flat open area covered with a white sheet of glistening snow, two smaller pines stood near the driveway exit. Our fence was red and dilapidated in many ways. I recall thinking, “why hasn't dad fixed that?” as I sat there, wishing, hoping for something better to come from out of my life.

The sky was bare, only a few clouds soared above, the moon generously lit them. I couldn't see the moon, it was behind our house, but it certainly was there. Everything that had colour in the day, looked washed out and bluish-white from the light of its immense existence. Some houses were speckled with greens, blues and reds, because they could afford Christmas lights. Sara’s house always looked beautiful at Christmas time. They had a long paved driveway with a newish white wooden fence that paralleled it up to the house. During the winter holidays, it looked like a runway, lined with tiny white lights, top to bottom.

On nights I was lucky, they would blink, reminding me that change was possible. I could sit in my window for hours, staring out into the world I so desired to be in. Everything outside seemed real, unlike everything inside. For weeks it has been like this, I'd get up feeling empty, forcing myself to smile for my little brother whenever he came in to say hello. Seeing him run around happy, free to do whatever he wanted, he didn't appear weighted like I did. His laughter, I can honestly say, kept me alive. If I didn't hear my brother laughing and see him smiling and see him playing with his toys, or watching television while eating a bowl of Fruit Loops, I probably would have been dead today.

Everyday was a chore, the type of chore that never ended, the type your parents asked you to do before you could go see your friends, who have already left for the movies. It felt like that on the days I was fortunate enough to get them, but every other day felt like that times a million. I didn't even look beautiful anymore, my hair was always knotted and unattended. I had to make my own breakfast, no more fried eggs and toast, all that I was able to do, was pour out some corned pops into an empty bowl and pour milk into it. I couldn't cook, I tried to many times, but always burned whatever I was cooking.

Dad didn't know how to cook either and he pretty much gave up eating altogether. I often wondered, if I felt like this, how did he feel? He would sit in the same spot, our beige lay-z-boy chair staring at a series of random shows on the television. When he did get up it was only to kiss us and tell us how much he loved us. It seemed like someone had borrowed his soul for a majority of the day and only brought it back to allow him to use the washroom, make a coffee or kiss me and my brother. I needed him at this time, more so now than ever. I would get mad and scream at him and tell him I hated him when he didn't hear me. I would call him every name in the book when he refused to do what I wanted.

He merely existed to be the parent in the house so the social worker wouldn't come and take us away. I grew increasing mad with my father over the short time our life changed. It wasn't until three weeks after the accident that I truly understood and realized; dad missed mom too.

The End

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