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Chapter 5

I was scared, I knew that. I was confused, I knew that as well. Everything seemed to be confusing about my dad. Constantly I had questioned myself why he had left me and my mom but now it seemed like all that was distant past. It no longer mattered. Now I constantly question myself about how he might be a threat to me. Maybe I was just getting worked up about the happenings but this just seemed a little too scary, no creepy. And although I had a lot on my mind I had graduation to worry about now. The time when I would go up on a stage in front of hundreds of people, shake hands with the principal I never met, and take a piece of paper saying I had accomplished something in my life. The piece of paper that would determine my future. The piece of paper that in truth really didn’t matter.

I couldn’t think about my dad or my mom. I had to focus on not throwing up before walking up to the principal and grabbing my diploma. Nerves had always gotten me and I needed to overcome them. I wasn’t a child anymore. No, I was now an adult that was going to be out on my own facing new and unsure things with Alex, my Alex. This time when I was going out to face the great unknown, fail or succeed I was an adult that couldn’t be told what to do. I would either fall on my face or walk tall but either way nothing else mattered. My dad had to be put in the back of mind.

“Alex, am I dreaming or are we graduating?” I asked tears streaming down my face. I was so happy I had made it this far. Nothing was going to stop me. I had a newfound optimistic future ahead of me and I wasn’t scared or nervous about it. I was happy.

Alex kissed my forehead and nodded his head. His smile was different, he looked like even he was holding back tears. We held hands for a moment before a gawky old hag called for us to get in our lines. He kissed me on the lips, getting a little tongue involved before going to the front of the line while I went to the back. The principal began to call names…one by one students that were now legal adults went to retrieve the diploma. I saw Alex get his diploma. He didn’t smile and looked fairly bored compared to the other students who had gleaming smiles upon their faces. I looked into the crowd of many faces. Their were so many people out there, supporting their loved ones. I scanned the audience looking for faces I knew. My eyes stopped upon a man sitting in the front row. He had a beard and gray, blue eyes. His nose was small like mine was. I felt like there was a blow to my stomach. This couldn’t be the kind, gentle man I remembered from my childhood. This just couldn’t be yet there he sat staring directly into my eyes. I felt the rush and as much as I wanted to run, run away from him, I was frozen in spot. I looked up at Alex, his smile, he was proud that he now held that piece of paper that he had long waited just for me.

There was no where to run. I had to act like he wasn’t there, just to block him out of my mind. Names where still being called and I was edging my way to the front, closer to him. This was silly. He wasn’t a threat to me…yet. The letters and the creepy phone calls could be his way of showing how sorry he was but who am I kidding just the thought of the letters and the phone calls shot worry and threats down my spine. Then my name was called. I put a fake smile upon my face and edged my way to the principal. I felt his eyes pierce my back like stabbing knifes. The fake smile was no match for the worry I knew I couldn’t hide in my eyes. I couldn’t look down, not at his face, not into his eyes. Those eyes that were passed down to me.

“Thank you.” I whispered, trying to keep my voice from shaking. What good that did I don’t know. I took the diploma from the principal’s gripe and went to take the spot next to my fellow classmates. All the names were almost called, I just needed to look straight ahead for a few more moments. It was killing me, I could feel his stare still. He never stopped staring at me.

“Rebecca!” He yelled at me. I couldn’t stare straight anymore. I made the mistake and stared down at his gaze, my dad. As the now adults threw up their hats in honor of the end of the beginning I stood staring at this man who smiled evilly.

“Babe? Are you okay?” Alex was next to me know. He was half smiling at me wondering what had got me distracted. I couldn’t speak for a second. Then I looked up at him almost in tears. “Rebecca?” His smile had faded and he looked down at me with desperate pleas in his eyes.

“He was here.” I told him and then glanced back at where my father was sitting. He wasn’t there anymore. I lost all my breath and fell into Alex’s arms. “He was there. Watching. His EYES!” He was gone. I was terrified. I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t want to know, at least a part of me didn’t.

“Who? Rebecca who was here?” Alex asked. He was shaking and fury roared through his eyes.

“MY DAD YA BIG DUMMY!” I roared. He didn’t deserve to be yelled at I was just so confused. We walked backstage to talk privately. “My dad, he was here. Sitting in the front row. He was staring at me. It didn’t feel right at all. Please just don’t leave me alone again.” I was sobbing into his arms again now. This seemed to be occurring quite frequently this past week.

“Okay…Shhh. You’re okay. I promise nothing is going to happen to you. I won’t let that happen. I promise. Shhh.” He whispered into my ear stroking my head, weaving my hair in between his hands. “I love you.” Those were the only words that could calm me down.

We returned to the hotel that suddenly seemed less like home than the first day we had arrived. We were both exhausted but I tossed and turned that entire night. Thoughts of my dad swam around in my mind. They were nightmares of the wide awake. They were threats that were yet to be made. I couldn’t stop the thinking. As much as I wanted to shut my brain off and sleep I couldn’t. The thoughts wouldn’t leave.

It couldn’t keep being like this. There was one person that had to know exactly why my dad had left years ago. The reason why he was back. The reason for everything. I had to know what was really going on and if I was in danger or not. My mother. The Queen of Bitches. She would have to know what was going on with the one person I thought was my hero, my father. She had to know, she was going to be my last hope.

“Alex…Alex…wake up!” I whispered in a loud way into his ear. He was still snoring soundly. He was such a heavy sleeper. I could just leave without him but even the thought of being anywhere to vulnerable with my dad somewhere close made me sick. I sighed and thought for a minute on how I could wake Alex up. I could drop a piano on his head like they did in cartoons but I wanted to wake him up not kill him. I could kiss him like they did in the movies. That could work. He is a guy, that should get his testosterones jumping up and down in no time. I silently to myself at the thought. I knelt down over him, observing his sleeping features for a moment and then embraced him playfully. At first he was still asleep but as I got into the kiss, biting his lip playfully like in the truck a couple of days ago, his eyes shot open. He rolled over, on top of me and began putting his hands on my hip. Although I loved this it was not the thing I had wanted out of the kiss. I had to find out the truth. I pulled away from him, both of us breathless and smiling.
”Well good morning to you too.” He laughed wiping away his mouth. His crooked smile always made me want more but I had to control myself. We had to visit one of the last people I ever wanted to visit.

“I did it to wake you up.” I laughed. “Look I have to find out what’s going on with my dad. And the only person other than him who would probably know these things would be my mom. I have to see her today. I need to know.” Our smiles had vanished and for a moment it was silent. Then he nodded not looking directly into my eyes.

We took our time getting ready, probably moving around the hotel in slow motion. Dreading this was an understatement. I would rather be jumping off a cliff than talking to my mother but it was necessary to have a good nights sleep. The drive wasn’t anymore talkative or comfortable. I rest my head on his shoulder, I was so tired from the lack of sleep I had. We pulled up to my old house. Where the drunken witch lived.

I didn’t bother knocking, it was early and she was probably drunk on the couch. She wasn’t asleep although I didn’t know if she was drunk or not.

“What do you want?” She said, bitter as ever. Her hair was in a knotted pony tail and she looked and smelled like she hadn’t had a bath in weeks. It made you want to puke just looking at her.

“I want to know about my father.” I said sharply making it known that I was serious. Alex stood strong by my side making it known that we were not going to leave until we knew the full truth.

Submitted: February 12, 2009

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