I slid my fingers over the ink. Seeing her name on the letter made my stomach twirl. I turned it around and opened the seal.
It’s been a month now, I really miss you. I heard about you accident, I hope you’re ok. I was thinking about making a trip back but I’m not sure. If you don’t want to see me I understand. Sorry I don’t have much to say right now. Please write me back.
I read the short letter at least seven times. Each time I read it I got angrier so I crumpled the note and threw it away.
“Why do I even try?” I said aloud to myself. I clenched my crucifix necklace. Even the necklace got me mad, so I ripped it off and threw it in the trash as well. Attempting to escape reality, I put my ear buds in and drowned in my music.
“Hey dad, you want to go play catch with me in the yard?” I asked excitedly with my baseball mitt on my hand.
“Not today son, I’m busy” he said, throwing the bills on the table.
“Oh, ok then” I said back disappointed “tomorrow maybe”. In anger my dad threw the table.
“Can’t you see I don’t have time for your silly games!” he yelled “not today, not tomorrow, not ever!” disappointed and sad I ran to my room and cried my eyes out. Before I knew it I had fell asleep. My dad shook me awake.
“Chriss, come on lets go” he said to me grabbing me up off my bed.
“Where are we going dad?” I asked.
“Out” he said. I followed him into the car redundantly. We must have been driving for hours. I sat in the back seat of the car impatiently.
“Where are we going?” I asked every two seconds.
“Somewhere you can be safe” my dad repeated, each time I asked. I was unsure and it worried me. I hadn’t had my anxiety medication yet so I started to shake.
“Your mother and I are going through a difficult time son” he told me “I’m very sorry for you being affected by this, but I’m taking you somewhere safe. Don’t worry son”. I grabbed my crucifix necklace and hoped to understand what he was muttering to me about. We arrived at this bricked building with a sign that read ‘Safe Home for Boys and Girls’.
“Safe Home?” I asked. My dad grabbed a tight hold on my hand and looked me in the eyes.
“Listen son” he said “I’m very sorry, I love you and I’m only trying to do what’s best for you, I’ll be back when it’s all better for you”. Still with a tight grip on my hand he took me inside the safe home and started filling out forms. He gave me one last hug and then he was gone.
I woke with a terrible headache. My cat was sleeping at the end of my bed. I went to clench my crucifix necklace but realized I had already tossed it out. In pain, I stumbled to the medicine cabinet. I found a bottle of ibuprofen and took two pills. I lay back down on my bed trying to piece together my memories but my growling stomach kept me from thinking clearly. I decided to eat some breakfast.
When I came downstairs my dad was in the kitchen making pancakes.
“You hungry, son?” my dad asked.