The Man Who Is My Father But Isn't

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

How will a young girl deal with he fact that the one she has been calling "dad" all her life isn't her actual father? Furthermore, how will she deal with herself when she almost watches her real father leave her?

There he stands, all alone and in the rain, waiting for someone he knows will never come. He doesn't dare to glance at me, but he knows that I'm here even though all I'm doing is looking at him through my bedroom window. I know because he is an artist, a skeptic, a painter, and has trained his eyes to do things no one else even wonders about.

However now, instead of being an artist, a skeptic, a painter, he is the man who stands on the sidewalk in nothing but a t-shirt and jeans even though it can't be over forty degrees Fahrenheit. I can see him shivering and I feel the urge to run up to him and wrap my arms around him. Just to hold him, to unzip my huge winter jacket and offer it to him.

Deep inside, I know there is some sort of unwritten rule that prohibits me from doing so. Whether it's because he doesn't want it or doesn't need it or believes he's better off without me... It. I mean. The coat. Whatever the reason is, I know I can't make any kind of contact with him, no matter how badly I crave it. Don't we all wish for things we can't have? Don't we all have wishes that will forever go completely unsatisfied? Don't we all?

Or am I completely alone in this world where I can't wrap my arms around the one person I may need and more importantly, the one person who may need me?

He is grimacing at the street, and his eyes seem to focus on something only he can see. What is it? A coin he likes, or maybe a feather from a bird? These questions are pointless for I will never know the answer. I will never understand this man who is my father but isn't, because the one who I call “dad” is in the next room over, in bed with my mother.

I come to the realization that I will forever have two fathers and forever be fatherless.

I close my eyes, only for a few seconds, and see everything my mind has suppressed; everything I forgot because I had to. When I open my eyes, I am no longer happy I have finally met this man but quite the contrary. I am sad this man has been given to me for a few short hours only to be snatched away in no time at all.

“He's not gone yet,” I whisper to myself, but my feet lay unmoving on the bottom of my floor because I know if I run up to him and embrace him, it will only be harder for me to watch him leave.

Additively, what if in the time it takes me to put on shoes and run out the door, he leaves?

Despite my sudden change of heart, instead of giving into my body's new desire, opposing my ever wish, thought and craving, I sit and do nothing at all.

I sit, and become numb, and sit. I stare out the window as I let myself slip into a black hole. I listen to the sound of my heartbeat as I feel each emotion inside me simply shut down one by one, until all that's left is an empty shell. All I am now is muscle, bone, skin. I am merely cells that have decided to divide and grow.

I press my nose against the cold glass window and watch intently the man who is my father but isn't. The man who is waiting for a ride we both know will never come. The man who is waiting for his daughter to come running out of her house and embrace him. Just one, first, and last, time.

The man whose wishes will never be satisfied.

Submitted: April 25, 2012

© Copyright 2022 emilyleffler. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



wow. You are such a great writer! I loved it! Your descriptions of how your character felt were so good, you used metaphors and and I'm not sure, but similes. I especially loved how you ended it. Very final and like..cliff hanging. the reader (me) feels a connection towards the yearnings of your character and feel bad at the end when the girl can't go out and embrace the other father. Great job!! :D

Wed, April 25th, 2012 11:57pm


Awe girl, wow, you are the queen of expressions, you are!this writing is full with meaning and replete with fervent depictions..

Thu, April 26th, 2012 4:37pm


This is really creative and wonderful I loved the way you worded it, I really enjoyed reading it also. Good Job.


Thu, April 26th, 2012 10:56pm


"i come to realization i will always have two fathers, and be fatherless."

Single best line of the script. It was immensely poetic and probably the most powerful element in the piece.
The part where you explain how this is 'rocking you to your core' was pretty original and fun to read.
My final thought is, i love how you create an entire back story without ever having written it. even thought you dont say it explicitly, you can feel the fight the girl had to get to meet her father, and you can feel the negativity she feels for the 'dad.' Even though you dont say it, there is a negative connotation in the way you write "in bed with my mother" rather then just leaving it as 'he's in the next room over.' Very dramatic, quick read. Keep writing with the dark, hard thoughts. your style is fun to read.

Fri, April 27th, 2012 12:11am

Ian Dawn

I agree your work has a vivid imagery about it I like if I can see a man standing in the rain and feel a chill then teh text has worked you build drama well and the expression is entertaining. Please keep me updated as I would love to follow this, I dont do many as I am so busy but hey you have me captivated. I want to read more.

Fri, April 27th, 2012 7:06am


That was amazing! I could imagine all this in my head! Unlike other stories, your writing just grabbed me into it, making me what to read more!

Fri, April 27th, 2012 11:59pm


This is just wonderful and it touches me a bit because I guess I'm in the same situation
well done (:

Sat, April 28th, 2012 9:25pm


He doesn't dare TO glance at...
In professional writing, one is supposed to reduce tags as much as possible. For instance in the 3rd sentence, insteas of using 'he' twice, you may restate the sentence (though using twice is not too much, I just quoted it as an example): ...a painter, and has trained eyes...
Forty degrees? Was it angle or temperature? Specify it. father but isn't, because... (comma is mandatory)
...cells that HAVE decided to divide...

Well the story has some hidden plot that you revealed in 2 lines. The mother marries/loves another guy which the girl is not liking. The girl likes her biological father who doesn't quite like her. Quite a conroversial tale. The plot revolves around her indecisiveness and her craving.
There was a fair amount of characterization. Well, I'd suggest you add more. The closing act was classic. Very realistic.
A short story, professional one, is about 2000 to 20000 words long. Your story was very small. Try to write longer ones.
Keep writing.
Take care :)

Wed, May 2nd, 2012 6:20am


That. Was. Amazing! I loved it. For those people who are hating on it, they're just jealous. I can relate to this because this is how it is with my dad.

Thu, May 10th, 2012 9:04pm

Jean Lagace

Very good. Nice writing. Here is sadness, longing and melancholy well described. Like Arun, one would wish for longer works because this author surely has the tools to built them.

Mon, May 14th, 2012 2:30pm


My step-daughter's dad abandon her when she was 3 years old. Physically present, but no relationship whatsoever. I didn't really know how to love her or deal with the dynamics. Paige has been in my life since age 5, she's now 19. I have a lot of regrets. I don't want to be fake...I hate being fake. I just texted her and told her that I was proud that she's becoming a missionary to Africa.

Thu, May 17th, 2012 1:08pm

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