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Dining Room Table

by Jon Farrow

I’m sitting across from my Dad at his dining room table. It’s a cheap knock off table. The kind made to look like wood. My Dad sipping on his fifth or sixth beer. At this point, I’ve lost count. I had just explained to him all the things I’ve done to survive to reach this moment. I sit there staring into his glassy bloodshot eyes. A small look of disgust resting on his face. He says to me, “Why did you do all of that?” The only reply I had to give was, “I didn’t have a choice”. 

My Dad goes to speak but then pauses. Unnervingly, I sit waiting for whatever was about to happen next. He goes to speak and says the words I’ve waited to hear my whole life: “I’m sorry.” After all of the abuse both physical and verbal, the time between where there was no contact between us, the feeling of worthlessness and abandonment almost seemed worth it just to hear those words.  

Two days later, I woke to a phone call from his wife that my Dad had taken his life.

It felt like an explosion had been detonated inside of my heart. I felt that cold empty feeling throughout my body. Everything I had ever hoped for with him was gone. Questions I’ll never have answered. Memories that I will never be able to make. 

It has now been six years since I woke up to that phone call. Despite the obvious what if’s that haunt me, I feel that the question that haunts me the most is did he mean it? When he told me he was sorry that night was it genuine? Or was it simply an attempt to clear his conscience before he left? It’s easy to say that his apology was genuine without knowing our relationship. Even though I should let it go, that one simple unanswered question will always haunt me. Did he mean it?

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