Later that day when I heard the front door open, my anxiety shot through the roof. I'd had most of the day to think about what I was going to say, I'd even written down and rehearsed it to make sure it was perfect. I still didn't feel ready, even though I didn't have the time to not be anymore.
He walked around downstairs, I could hear him as he placed his keys on the table by the steps like he always did. I kept my body attached to my bedroom door, attempting to force myself out. My body decided to stay plastered to the wood, my heart making the rest of my body feel as if I was a second away from combustion.
The noise from downstairs had slowed down a bit, my mind conjuring up the image of my father sitting on the living room couch, flipping through the tv channels. If that truly was the case, then now would be the best time to talk to him. I knew it was now or never, so I pried myself off the door and made my way downstairs.
Or at least that's what my brain saw me doing while I stayed stuck to my door.
I groaned, banging my head against the wood. There were about four knocks of my skull against the door before I pulled away, this time physically opening it.
When I was greeted by the empty hallway, I stared at the banister in front of me. I willed my feet to move, but I was stuck in the same spot as my body stayed frozen. Why was it so hard to just walk downstairs and say I'm sorry? Why couldn't this be as easy as everyone makes it seem? Truth is, trying to apologize to someone was one of the hardest things to do, especially when you had to admit to yourself that you were wrong.
I could hear some more movement spur from the lower part of the house, booting me into action as I pushed myself even farther back into the room. My shoulders slumped as I realized I was behind my door, basically back where I started.
C'mon. Man up.
I gave myself a pep talk as I forced my body to move, this time out of my bedroom.
You got this.
I listened to my mind, slowly walking towards the steps, my eyes trained on the bottom. I took one step down, breathing slowly as I took another. Good, this was progress.
Just a few more, Infiniti.
I walked down the last ten steps as calmly as I could, my head racing with encouraging words that I would need to get through this. I briefly paused as I heard a couple of hums, the tune of a song laced within them.
He was humming?
If anything, I thought he would still be upset about what happened, or it would at least still be on his mind. I followed the sound of his voice to the living room, where I had correctly assumed that he would be. The buzz of his voice rang through the room as he surfed the channels on tv. I walked silently behind him, pausing on the other side of the couch as I watched the back of his head.
He seemed happy today, which only added to my anxiety. I walked around to his side of the couch, stiffly sitting down next to him. I stared straight ahead as I felt him look at me, eyes curious as he turned back to the tv.
I had decided to sit pretty close to him, so it wasn't all that shocking when he stretched out his arm, giving me a sideways hug like he usually did. The only thing that wasn't normal was how my shoulders tensed the moment we made contact.
I sat next to him, frozen as I didn't notice his mouth starting to open, a slur of words on the verge of falling out. "Infiniti–"
"I'm sorry!" I blurted out, afraid of whatever he was going to say. My dad jumped, looking at me with furrowed brows. "It was wrong of me to raise my voice like that. I broke your rules and deserved a punishment and I have to respect your decision. You're the owner of this house and I have no say in what happens here so I'm sorry for talking back when I shouldn't have."