Because my father left me...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is about a woman named Amelia whose father left her at a very young age. It goes through her life being raised without a father.

Submitted: September 23, 2014

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Submitted: September 23, 2014

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When I was 5 my father left me. He always told me how I was going to be an amazing person and how he was proud of me. I believed him. I trusted him. I loved him. When I was 5, I woke up one morning. To be more specific, my birthday. I ran downstairs to find my mother crying at the dining room table. She held a piece of paper in her hands and her body wracked with sobs. Me being a 5 year old I did not know what had happened. I walked up to her. 
“Mommy, are you okay?” I asked sitting at the table with her. She wiped her eyes quickly and looked up at me, smiling. 
“Happy birthday, Amelia!” she said, running her hand up and down my arm. I smiled big. 
“Where's daddy?” I asked. That is when the floods broke loose. 
Because my father left me, when I was 6 years old I was the only girl in first grade that did not make a card on Father's Day. When asked why, I stayed silent and shrugged. I looked around the room and took in everything. I saw the teacher standing up at the board, writing 'Happy Father's Day.' I saw all my classmates smiling, and working on their cards. I sat at my desk and set my hands in my lap. I looked down at my desk.
“Amelia, aren't you going to make a card?” Ms. Ace, my teacher asked. I shook my head and continued looking down. 
“Do you want help to make one?” she asked, folding a piece of paper. I shook my head. She sighed and set the paper down, going to help another student. 
For the remainder of the day, I sat at my desk and twiddled my thumbs. When the bell rang, I left class and walked to my bus, found my seat and waited for it to move. 
Eventually, it dropped me off at home and I walked into my house, setting my bag down, and escaping to my room. I often wondered what happened that made my father leave us. I did not understand. After school when kids were getting picked up by their dads, I would watch in confusion. I would watch the dads spread their arms and their child would sprint into them, all the while laughing. I do not think I will ever understand, all because my father left me.
Because my father left me, when I was 12 I was the only girl that didn't go to the Daddy-Daughter Dance. I remember my friend, Alex, couldn’t stop talking about her dress for the dance. Wouldn't stop talking about how much her father had spent on it. I nodded and smiled, giving one word answers. “Nice. Cool. Sweet.” The bell rang, signaling that lunch was over. I stood up, threw out my trash, and shrugged on my jacket. I gathered my things and left to my next class. 
Every time I would pass the gymnasium, I would see more decorations being added, and my heart breaking more. In my final period of the day, I went to the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. I took in my appearance. Dirty blonde hair, boring brown eyes, skinny as a toothpick. No wonder my father left. I shook the thoughts and left the bathroom, returning to class. I waited for the bell to ring, and when it finally did, I was the first to dart out of the classroom. I ran to my bus, sat in my usual seat and pushed my ear buds into my ears. On the following Monday, I knew that they were going to have an assembly showing photos and highlights from the dance. I feigned sickness so I would not have to endure that. I mean really? Why would I want to see all the girls with their perfect dresses, and their perfect fathers, dancing perfectly together to the song “ Butterfly kisses.” I can not tell you how much I hate that song. I mean, who would want to see that? If there were photos of me in a perfect dress dancing with my father, I would. 
Because my father left me, when I was 14 I found out the reason why my mother was not eating. It wasn't something to be easily overlooked. She wouldn't be as sick as she was if my father was still here. Her medical expenses were going through the roof because she couldn't hold a job. I missed a lot of school my freshman year. Then came a point in time where my mother couldn't walk by herself. We were on the brink of eviction. I knew my mother couldn't work, so I would have to to take matters into my own hands. I applied to numerous jobs, and was turned down by almost all of them. I was, however, hired to be a bag girl at a grocery store. For the next 3 years, I worked there, trying to help pay off my mothers medical bills.
When I was 17, my mother passed away. Within my first year of working, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. The doctors said that there was nothing they could do for her. That she was too far along for it to make a difference, and the cancer had already spread to other parts of her body. My first thought was to run to my father for comfort, but I did not have that option. This was the time that I felt the most alone in my life.
Because my father left me, when I was 20 and began dating Brendan, I had a difficult time letting him into my life. It did not matter how many times he said he loved me or would never leave me, I always doubted his words.  Every time I was happy and began to let my walls fall down, the fear of abandonment would rebuild. I often asked him why he still stuck around,or if I was just a charity case that he felt bad for. His response was always, “Because I love you. Because I care about you.”
Because my father left me, when I was 25 I had to walk down the aisle alone. However, standing at the front of the church was the man that had shown me that people do not always leave, and that this thing called “love” is for real,.  As I looked out upon the guests that had honored us with witnessing our joining of hearts, I saw Brendan's mother and father in the first pew. As they looked at me, they were holding each other, smiling, crying and mouthing to me, “We love you.” I smiled back and whispered, “I love you too”, but I still could not displace that debilitating ache in my heart that made me wish my father and mother were there.
When I was 27, my father passed away. Even though he had not been a part of my life since my early childhood, I broke down and cried. Not little tears, but these were “help me, I can't breathe” tears. The reality hit me hard in the face. There would never be a teary eyed reunion filled with “ I love you's” and “I'm sorry” that you see in the movies. He was really gone. He would never be a part of my life. Even though he was the one who left, the guilt of me never reaching out to him choked me. When Brendan came home he tried to help me come to terms with this cataclysmic event. It did not matter though. My mother was dead. My father was dead. I only had Brendan. The fear of abandonment suddenly began to wrap its powerful claws around my narrow neck.
When I was 29, I had my first child. A beautiful little boy. We named him Alexander. He had his fathers eyes and hair, and my lips. Brendan cried when he was born and whispered to him as he held him for the first time, “I will never leave you and your mother. You both own my heart.” The next few years we enjoyed raising Alexander. Potty training was an adventure, and thank God Brendan was there to teach him that, because I do not have those parts. 
On Alexander's 5th birthday, I heard him squeal when he woke up and bolt out of his room. I could envision his little mouth drooling, partly from the aroma of chocolate chip pancakes coming from the dining room and the other from the anticipation of his birthday presents. I met him outside the door at the kitchen. After giving him an abundance of hugs and kisses, I followed him through the door.  There, at the table, covered with his favorite breakfast foods and wrapped presents, was a folded piece of paper with my name on it and no sign of my husband. I fell to the floor, fear and panic overcoming me.  The words, “No, No, No” were repeatedly coming out of my mouth.  Alexander was oblivious to my behavior as he was overwhelmed with his birthday feast.  As I was breaking down emotionally, I heard keys unlocking the front door. I looked towards the door, and standing on the threshold was my husband, arms laden with grocery bags and one hand holding a syrup bottle. He says, “Sorry honey, I hope you saw my note. We were out of syrup.” When his eyes met mine and he saw me lying on the floor, tears covering my face, he instantly recognized what was going on.  He threw down the bags, ran to me, picked me up off the ground and cradled me in his arms.  Through my sobs I heard him say, “Amelia, I am not your father. I am your husband. I love you and our son and will never leave you.”  
Because my father left me when I was 5, I never thought I would feel whole again, feel complete unconditional love again. I was wrong. The cycle would not continue.


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