Part 6 Reliving The Nightmare

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I ROCK BACK AND FORTH IN MY BED WITH A TISSUE BOX BESIDE ME and an empty wine bottle on the floor. The night's events play over in my head like a bad song. I foolishly check my phone for the millionth time hoping Freddy has texted. I kick the sheet down and throw my legs over the bed. "Fuck. Fuck."

Anger, fear, and disappointment rise up in my throat like acid. I try to force out the memory, but the worst day of my life comes crashing back and there is nothing I can do to stop it. It was the day I found out my father was alive when I thought he was dead.

It was a great day before Stacy came over out of the blue. I was riding a Freddy high from the night before and had just walked in the door from shopping. I could tell right away something was wrong when I answered the door.

Stacy stood pale as a ghost. She cleared her throat and didn't respond right away. Instead, she grabbed my arms and lowered her head. "I have to tell you something and you're going to hate me for it."

I knew immediately whatever it was would hurt. "What?"

"Bruce was alive."

The blood rushed from my face and I became cold and numb. She never says my father's name. "What?"

She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out at first.

"What?" I asked again.

"Listen to me," she said. "Your father was alive and nobody knew. He was found murdered two days ago in his house in the Valley."

"What do you mean? You don't know what you're talking about and this isn't funny. My father is dead."

Stacy said nothing.

I fell to the ground and curled up in a ball as images of my father and the last time I saw him flew into my head. I was eleven. We were at Lake Shrine sitting in one of our favorite spots by the Mississippi-style house­boat. My father had just taught me how to communicate with him using only my mind. Transcending he used to call it. Telepathy is what it was.

Just like I told you kiddo, all you got to do is breathe, focus and think what you want to say.

This is fun. All I'm doing is talking to myself in my head. It's easy. But how come not everyone can do it, Daddy?

Because not everyone has the gift.

What about Mommy?

We have Mommy, but she can't do what we can do.

How come, Daddy?

Because that's just the way it is pumpkin. But don't worry. You'll always have me to share your thoughts with. You and I are transcenders. We are special.

My father and I continued to speak to each other for the next few hours without ever opening our mouths. No one knew any different. It was the happiest time of my life to share this amazing gift with my father—my hero.

One day I came home from school and my mother told me he was dead. She said nothing more about it and shut me out completely. She didn't take questions or offer any explanation. She became cold and distant and I hated her for that.

The funeral was awful. I cried like a baby the entire time and couldn't stop.

I had to go to counselors and head shrinks to help me adjust to life without a father. Eventually, I moved on as best as an eleven-year-old girl could.

After that, it was just my mother and I until she died several years later. I was fourteen. Her death wasn't so painful. In fact, I don't miss her at all. I never forgave her. I never will.

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