Chapter 12 - Unanswered Questions

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Chapter 12
Unanswered Questions

Have you ever found yourself in total, earth shattering silence?

I’m not talking about the kind where you’re in your bedroom, just staring at the wall in contemplation. Not the type of silence in a testing room for finals with nail biting anxiety. I’m talking about the kind of silence that makes you feel numb and void of any feeling or emotion. This type of silence overcomes you, makes you believe that you’ve vanished from the world and fell to your depths. It’s the type of quiet that rings in your ears and makes you all too aware of what’s really going on.

Without thought, I somehow ended up against the tacky, wall-papered kitchen wall. My fingers dug carvings into the old, striped paper, leaving strips of it underneath the beds of my nails. I didn’t understand why I was reacting this way. Although I couldn’t feel a thing, my mind seemed to be in a race against time. So many questions that I wanted answered were just dangling in the forefront of my mind. If I could speak, I would ask them. If I could see straight, maybe I would signal for an officer or my mother to continue this story they seemed to be concocting.

How did this happen?

It didn’t seem real, the fact that “Jack” was gone forever. He was nothing but a whisper in the wind now, or maybe a storm cloud above, raging and ready to ruin someone else’s day. The bruises on my ribs and arms were still fresh, still prominent against the translucent skin beneath my clothes. I suddenly became all too aware of each spot he’d hit, each place he had laid a finger on. There was no way he could be gone now. Not when they were this fresh and painful. The tears of skin seemed just cut open, again trickling red and smearing.

There was no way he could be gone…right?

“Ms. Maverick? Ms. Maverick?” the officer sitting in the chair called my name a few times. As my eyes slowly lay upon his, I now noticed that he was grey-haired and had fading crow’s feet crinkling near his deep brown eyes. He looked tired and stressed, probably too old to be enduring this type of vigorous activity any longer.

“Willow, answer the man,” my mother sighed, still looking off to the distance.

I still couldn’t see how she was feeling. Her physical features all seemed to be a façade now, something that was holding back how she was truly feeling. That day that she came back for me, she seemed so happy and carefree. I envied how worry free she seemed and how much life was held beneath those aging features. But it was all just a cover up for what was really going on in her life. She was struggling with something…something that made her drink her sorrows away. “Jack’s” excuse was her walking out.

What was hers?

My eyes went back to the officer whose eyes were still on mine; waiting for me to address him so he could let me in on the secrets everyone in this kitchen seemed to be holding. I simply nodded at him, encouraging him to go on and tell me how the monster I had hidden from for years was now gone for good. Was it all an accident? Had his liver finally given up the fight to sustain a man who could care less where he ended up? Or did he do this to himself purposely?

The officer cleared his raspy throat, reading off of the notepad in hand. “It seems as though your father was highly intoxicated. His clothes were emitting very strong smells of liquor and lack of hygiene. The person who found him thought it was a hit and run, possibly. But when police arrived, he wasn’t bleeding or showing any broken limbs from what we could see. We won’t know exactly what happened to him until the autopsy is done.”

I felt like something was wrong with me. I was so emotionless about this whole thing. He was my father. The man who contributed into giving me life and placing me on this earth was now dead. He was found lying on the side of the road after who knows how long of being gone. He was alone and probably so distraught from the intoxication that he couldn’t figure his left from his right. Someone should have been there for him, my mother and I should have been there to pick him up and take him home. But, we weren’t a typical family, she wasn’t a typical wife, I wasn’t a typical daughter…and he wasn’t a typical father.

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