by R. D. Lane
A child sees their father through their eyes.
Daddy and Me
I love my daddy. He gives me piggyback rides. We go for rides to the park, and he catches me when I slide down the slide. He's big and strong and can lift me high up and spin around in circles till we get dizzy.
I love my daddy, even when he drinks the bad drink and turns into a monster. He growls and roars, and when Mommy sees him, she tells me to go to my room and lock the door. I sometimes say "no" because I want to hug Daddy, but Mommy promises me good things like candy and ice cream if I do what she says.
Sometimes, if Daddy comes inside before I go to my room, he talks funny. Mommy doesn't like that and tells him to go. I watch, but when he shouts, I cover my ears. He grabs Mommy sometimes, but sometimes he grabs me. His big and strong hands hurt, and if I cry, he tells me to "shut up." If Mommy cries, he hurts her. I do what Mommy says and go to my room and lock the door and cover my head with a pillow and hide under my blankets.
Monster Daddy roars, and sometimes, I hear Mommy cry. Sometimes, I hear her roar, too, but Daddy roars louder. Sometimes, it sounds like something breaks, and I hope it's not one of my toys.
I love my daddy when I wake up in the morning. Monster Daddy is gone, and he makes me breakfast and tells me to "shh" and to not tell anybody about Monster Daddy. Mommy waits for Daddy to leave, and I think she looks like a monster. Sometimes, her eyes are purple, and sometimes, her arms are green. She's all spotty, but I don't laugh at her, because she cries when she sees me. I sometimes have spots, and they hurt when I poke them. I wonder if Mommy's hurt, too.
Today, Mommy has a purple eye, a big cheek, and green spots on her arm. I think it looks funny. She tells me we're going on a trip and to pack my things. She says it's a secret place, and I can't tell anybody. She has a bag and helps me pack my things. I bring all the toys I can fit in my backpack, and she puts my shirts and pants and underwear in her big clothes bag.
I ask Mommy how long we'll be gone, and when she says we're not coming back, I start to cry. I don't want to go away forever, but when I lie on the floor and hit the carpet with my fists, she acts like Monster Daddy. She picks me up and puts me in the car, even when I shout and cry. She gives me a toy to play with, but I throw it. She doesn't get it for me, and I cry louder.
We go for a ride, and I stop crying and fall asleep. We get McDonalds, and I get a new toy and chicken nuggets. Mommy's eyes are red and puffy. I ask where Daddy is, but she won't answer, no matter how many times I ask.
It's dark outside when we get out of the car. I look around, and I see my Nana's house. Nana comes outside and hugs Mommy. I ask Nana when Daddy's coming, but she gets angry and tells me to go inside. I almost cry, but Mommy tells me to take my bags inside and unpack in Nana's guest room. She rubs my hair, and I say "okay" and go inside.
I can hear Mommy and Nana outside, but I don't know what they're talking about. I play with my toys, and when Mommy comes back inside, her eyes are red again. Nana tells me to go to bed, and I go to sleep, even though I want to stay up.
When I wake up, I hear Nana yelling. I go to the kitchen, where she is, and see Mommy holding her face and Nana on the phone. Nana's face is red, and Mommy's crying again. I say I'm hungry, but Mommy doesn't hear me.
Nana says Daddy's name, and I tell her I want to talk to him on the phone. She sticks her finger in my face and says "no." I stomp my feet and shout, too, but Mommy takes my hand and pulls me to the table. She says I can't talk to Daddy anymore.
I tell her how much I love my daddy and how much I miss him, but Mommy says we won't see him again. I cry, and she holds me close and kisses my head and tells me it will be okay. I don't want it to be okay. I want Daddy.
I miss my daddy. I saw him one time in front of Nana's house, and he acted like Monster Daddy. My Nana said she would "call the police," and Daddy left. Mommy had to hold onto me so I couldn't say hello. I saw him outside of my school, but even though he was Nice Daddy, the teacher said I couldn't see him. I cried and yelled, but he left when the policeman came.
I love my daddy, but I don't think I'll see him again.