Savoy's Daughter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
savoy's daughter is a short story about a father named savoy who is struggling with the aftermath of an incident that has left his challenged daughter in an emotional conflict.

Submitted: June 30, 2016

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Submitted: June 30, 2016

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That bear really didn’t have to do this, I was thinking. The pieces of the birdbath were spread throughout the lawn; some were small clippings of debris while others were big chunks that appeared as if they could be pieced back together. It was a warm spring evening and I was trying to fix the birdbath that a bear had come and destroyed. The sun was setting on a rich yellow horizon. Crisp clouds lay brushed across the scene. The sun lit my face and body with a soothing texture of yellow warmth. I was sweating a little, and I could feel that the top of head was wet underneath the blue cap I wore backwards. Some areas of the black skin of my arms glistened with sweat, in addition to the back of my shirt that was drenched. Yet, while my back and arms remained wet, the rest of my body was dry. Internally I felt great, as I had just published my book, Single Father of a Mildly Autistic & Hyperactive Daughter, on Amazon’s eBook Kindle platform. I was hoping that would be the one to make me a lot of profit; enough profit for me to find a better place to live, and finally get Mariah the proper therapy she needed. To be honest, what happened to her in February really put extra stress on me. I knew I needed to get better therapy for her than what she currently had. It’s sad that that kind of thing could happen to a girl like her who already deals with ADHD and autism. The following weeks after she was raped, I had blamed myself for allowing her to even attend that cheerleader’s party. It was all my fault. She was nervous to go in the first place, but I encouraged her to go thinking she’d grow out of her shell since she had already loved to dance around the house.

As I thought through what was hovering over my mind, a blue Mini Cooper pulled up right in front of my house. I was surprised to see someone drive up to the house on a Friday evening. I stared at the driver attempting to make out who’s face it was that the sun was gleaming its light upon. Anthony Lucas. He looked at me and smiled, and I smiled back and waved. The sun had made his white skin and brown hair appear gold.

I smiled back at Anthony, but deep down inside, I was not happy to see him. Great, he had made my daughter’s last two weeks at school phenomenal, inviting her to sit with the football team at lunch, making her feel less reserved. That’s all great, but he was also the one who made me pull her out of school in the first place. I forgave him for raping Mariah. I was surprised when he came to my house last month to apologize not just to Mariah but also to me. He had broken down crying, eventually revealing to me his personal struggles and why he was driven to hurt her at the party in February. I had accepted his apology, but that didn’t mean he’s still not accountable for what he did. And it doesn’t mean he can just start being friends with her either. Even though he told me he was truly attracted to Mariah’s personality upon meeting her at the party, and that he only raped her out of fear which was amplified by his abusive parents, I still didn’t feel safe with Mariah being around him.

Suddenly, my daughter stepped out of the house. It was nice to see her so happy these past few days contrary to how she was during the months prior. She looked a lot healthier. She was wearing a vibrant yellow dress with flowers on it; she had flowers in her hair to match. She approached me.

“Daddy, Anthony wants to go out with me right now.” Mariah said to me.

I was confused, taken aback. Did she mean “go out” as in on a date? Before I thought any further I made sure to clarify with her what their idea of going out was.

“What do you mean?” I asked her gently.

Still smiling she clarified,

“He wants to take me to Dave & Buster's. He told me earlier today in school.”

I was slightly shocked at first. I asked her,

“You mean like on a date or something right?”

“Yes a date.” She said. I looked into my daughter’s eyes with an expression of concern. I then looked down at the birdbath, juggled my hammer, and bent down to work on scraping up the pieces of the birdbath. I can’t believe how fast she’s been able to get over this, I thought. I mean I know it’s only been a few months, but still. I had taken her to the amusement park, the movies, jogging, her grandparents came over a week, we had emotional discussions...I tried a lot to help her with the post traumatic stress, but I still didn’t think it’d be enough to get her over the incident. So the fact that she had grown attached to the rapist...I just couldn’t accept.

She stood in the lawn waiting for a reply from me. I looked at her. The sun had glistened across her light brown skin. She had the Puerto Rican body of her mother. Mariah’s skin was a mix of her mother’s tan skin and my dark black skin. She was 14 years old, very young to experience this shit.

“Daddy…” She said, still waiting for me to reply. She had such a sweet spirit. She just stood their gently, smiling at me.

“Mariah...can you come over here with me for a minute.” I said, while taking her hand and walking her over to a nearby tree and tire swing. I quickly glanced at Anthony to see if he was looking at us, and he was.

I settled Mariah down near the tree.

“Mariah, just two months ago you were having a hard time accepting his apology.” I exclaimed. “Now you want to start dating him?”

“Yes. I trust him.” She replied gracefully. “He has been so nice to me since I went back.”

She paused for a while and turned to the sun. After a moment she looked back at me, and explained,

“He told me his parents abused him, and he was afraid he’d never be able to be with me after the party...that’s why.”

I already knew this. I understood all of this, but it didn’t give Anthony an excuse. I sighed, and after a moment of silence, said to her,

“Mariah, when I was 18 years old, I left home, and I never contacted my parents again. They were like Anthony’s parents. Just not as physically abusive.” I cried. “I know why Anthony did what he did, but it’s just…it’s just no excuse…”

This was something I never told her. Mariah grew up just knowing about her grandparents from her mother’s side. Her mother had died seconds after she was born.

She looked at me surprised, and then stared into my eyes with concern.

“I didn’t know Dad.” Mariah cried.

There was silence for a while. She looked down at her feet while I continued to stare at her. I just needed to give her time to process that first, before I could further explain myself.

Mariah eventually broke the silence, saying,

“But Dad, you forgave Anthony before I did, and I didn’t even forgive him as easily as you did.” She knew why I had brought up my own abusive past. Anthony had no excuse.

“But that doesn’t mean I’ve excused what he did as if it didn’t happen.” I started. “I know he has a good soul; he has had a troubled life...but you have to, even more so.” I sighed, and then caressed her cheek with my left hand,

“Love, you have a soul, you have a heart, you are a human being, not an animal.” I continued.

She moved my hand away from her face, looking down. She sensed my disapproval of her date. Mariah then replied,

“But he doesn’t think I’m an animal; he apologized and has acted so differently. You aren’t the one who’s had all of it happen to you.” Mariah looked as if she had regretted the last few words. I didn’t regret her saying them, because they were true.

Regardless I explained, “But Mariah, you're not some piece of meat who gets used at times when it benefits others, and then later gets treated like you’re nothing when it benefits others! You aren’t an animal, you are a human being!” My voice raised with passion. “Matter of fact, you aren’t just a human being. You are unlike so many other people on this earth. You are such a beautiful soul. You are charismatic, you are loving, you are greatness, you are my daughter! And I mean that earnestly!! It wasn’t right for him to just rape you, apologize, treat you better over the span of two weeks, and then expect to get a second shot at sleeping with you!”

My voice stayed strong, but tears started filling my eyes. I looked into her face, and I could tell she felt a sense of internal warmth from my words.

She replied, “Daddy, he’s given me a pocket knife and pepper spray. If that doesn’t display trust, than what does?”

A pocket knife and pepper spray? What?! I was taken aback. I immediately looked down, to avoid her seeing surprise in my eyes. I didn’t want her to play off of it, but I had figured she could already tell I was surprised and even pleased. At the same time, I felt stupid for not thinking of giving her the same items ages ago.

Some tears had started to fall from my face. I quickly wiped them, and then looked back at her. I realized that maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. I said to her,

“I just want what is best for you...but maybe I’ve proven to be wrong since I was the one to let you go to that party.”

Mariah looked surprised, “What? It’s not your fault I got raped. You’ve been blaming yourself this whole time?” She began to cry. I hadn’t expected her to react negatively to that.

We stared into each other’s eyes, and I caressed her face with both of my hands. I started weeping a little bit.

“It’s okay Mariah. I didn’t mean it like that.” I paused for a while. She was holding back strong tears. I continued explaining, “Mariah follow your heart. If you want to be with Anthony, I’m not going to dismiss your desires. As much as I don’t want you to be with him, I know I can’t dismiss your heart’s path...I know how important that is. I left my parents at 18 just to follow my own.”

“Dad, don’t beat yourself up…” Mariah sobbed.

“Mariah,,,you don’t want me to blame myself. I get it. It’s okay. I didn’t mean it like that.” I looked over at Anthony who had his head down against the wheel. I assumed he knew I was having a talk about their date. He should’ve expected it.

I turned back to Mariah and sternly said, “Follow your heart.” I then looked back at Anthony in his car, “He’s been sitting for 15 minutes.”

Mariah had understood, and hugged me. I hugged her back.

As we let go, she pulled out the pepper spray and pocket knife from the pocket of her beautiful dress. I chuckled a little bit, and looked over at Anthony who was still holding his head against the wheel and gave him a look of hip admiration, even though I knew he couldn’t see me.

Mariah stepped away from me and slowly walked toward the car. I stood up, and felt the coolness in the air. The sun had definitely set. There was only a little bit of light across the sky at this time. I looked down at the birdbath, starting to decide on whether it was really worth fixing or not. After a few moments, I looked back up to see whether they had left or not.

Mariah was just standing by the car door. They appeared to be conversating. After about a minute, she turned around and walked towards me. The blue Mini Cooper’s engine began and Anthony drove off. I felt a sense of relief.

Mariah continued to walk across the field closer to me. I wasn’t surprised at her decision, but was not content either. She ran into me and hugged me. I hugged her back.

“Your desires are important too, Daddy.” Mariah cried.

 


© Copyright 2017 Dave Pitt. All rights reserved.

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