Sins of the Father (Bright Version)

25/05/2011 Comments Off on Sins of the Father (Bright Version)

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. – Ezekiel  18:20

My first memory of him was when he came home from the bar, drunk as always.  His breath smelled nasty, reeking of alcohol I would later discover, which I discovered firsthand as he leaned into to me to berate me for not having the dishes done.  Mom came over to shield me from him, standing between me and the mad man who wanted blood.  This only enraged him causing him to bull-snort and charge at her.  She tried to protect me, but she was no match for his devil anger and brutality.

Life didn’t improve for me, and I wish I could forget all those memories burned into my brain.  The time he locked me in his closet for a whole weekend.  The times he punched mom bloody.  She always was his favorite punching bag.  The times he told me how I was his biggest disappointment, how I was a waste of skin, how I was an oxygen thief, how I didn’t deserve the things he provided for me:  a bed, food, clothes.

I wish I could forget the tongue lashings he gave my sister, Meg.  She was an angel in my eyes; to him she was just another thing to be used, enjoyed, like mom.  I always felt more pain for Meg than I ever felt for myself.  She was intimately familiar with his demonic side, having faced every day it since she was ten.  That was why she killed herself the day before her sixteenth birthday.

Of course, her death was my fault.  Or mom’s.  It depended on how dad felt and how much he’d been drinking.

I felt the guilt of Meg’s death, though.  I knew, in my bones, that I should have done more to protect her, to shield her from dad.

***

As much as I despised my dad, there were days when I hated my mom even more.  Why did she ever agree to marry this beast?  What could she have possibly seen in him?  And why did she never leave him?  She never tried to run away.  Not really.  And when he eventually tracked her down, there was always hell to pay.  There were so many times when I cursed her for bringing me into this world, for being with this monster.

***

As I walk toward the diner, I begin to feel nervous.  Is he sincere?  Has he really changed?  I hate him for what he did to me, for what he did to Meg.  Is it possible that he feels the same way now?

I walk through the doors and glance around nervously.  Where is he?  I hear a low voice to my right.  “Hello, son,” it says.

He looks the same as I remember.  Well, almost.  His eyes are different, as if the fire behind them has died down.  I see regret etched line every line of his face.  He seems sincere.

“Let me get a good look at you, son.”

I turn towards him and look him square in the eyes, which are now welling with tears.

“I’m so sorry.  I never meant to hurt you or your sister.  Or your mom.  That was never the man I intended to be.”

And with that, the tears flow freely, both in his eyes and mine.

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