I went to his house. I hadn’t been there in four years. He
wasn’t expecting me. My sister came with me, but Ted refused to come in. He
stayed outside, in the cold, biting air with chards of glass floating down the
stream that flowed behind his home. Ted waded in the shivering coldness.
“It will feel even more cold inside of his home.”, Ted said.
She wouldn’t leave the kitchen. He never came when I rang the
doorbell. Peering through the fogged front, Alison had to open the heavy cherry
stained door. He still didn’t come.
I waited……and waited for which seemed like days, but only
seconds. He never wore shoes when he was at home. In a soft, cottony button
down shirt and khaki pants with dark blue socks…just as I had always
remembered, he strolled into the living room.
He wasn’t excited to see me. He looked nervous, yet angry.
“What do you want now, Alex?”, he simply stated.
“Why….. do I have to always want something to
visit?”, defensively I remarked.
“You always have before…”…..And his words
seemed to trail off, but they weren’t his words. He would never say that to me.
He would have been so excited and melancholy if we had met in a parking lot,
but not at his home with her there. I could hear the dishes being thrown into
the dishwasher, but never enough to be broken. Everything was fine china, you
see. I could picture the dishes being broken in slow motion, like in the movie Titanic when the ship was sinking.
Only the best.
And I screamed over and over., “Why don’t you care if we
talk?”….”Why don’t you call your grandchildren? I have been lying
about you for years, saying you have been out of town, working, busy…anything
I could think of when Jakob asked. I have been trying to paint you and her in a
good light, but Jakob is not a little boy anymore. He’s smart and he knows.
What am I supposed to tell him?”
My screams turned to tears of anger and grief as I made my
way into the kitchen. He didn’t answer me and didn’t stop me from going.
“You callous, greedy bitch!”, I growled at her.
“You have no heart! Why am I protecting you? Why have I been lying for
you….YOU of all people? You were his grandmother for seven years and then….nothing! I told Jakob
the truth. I told him you were mad at me and I was sorry that he was caught in
My tears stopped dead.
“I told him you were a cold, hard bitch who only thinks
of herself.” He knows what you are now. I have stopped trying to protect
him from the inevitable truth.”, I spewed toward her. She continued to
load the dishwasher ever so slowly….”He knows now…he knows….”, I softly trailed off as if in a Xanax induced daze.
My sister was dragging me away….”Stop Alex. They will
never change. It’s not worth it….it’s just not worth it….it just won’t matter”
“WOULD YOU STILL LOVE HIM IF HE WERE BROKE?!?”, I
screamed at her, so loud my voice scratched the inside of my throat.
“WOULD YOU STAY IF HE SUDDENLY LOST
EVERYTHING?”……”WOULD YOU STILL LOVE HIM IF HE WERE BROKE?”…..”ANSWER
ME!”…”ANSWER ME, YOU MANIPULATIVE CUNT!”, I spat at her….the
words falling on deaf ears….she never looked at me and never became angry.
She did as she always had.
She started to cry….the crocidile tears she had always shown for my father…. for my father to see yet again that I was the crazy one.
“You need to leave now, Alex.”, he said to me in a
monotone voice. “This is not the time.”
“When will be a good time for you,
dad?”….”Is there ever going to be a good time?”….I said to
him as I was leaving the cherry stained door for what I knew would be the last
My sister lead me out by my hand, yet holding me up. I said
everything I wanted to say. I didn’t want to, but I had to. If he would have
just been happy to see me. If he would have just, for once in his pathetic
marriage, stood up to her….but that day will never come.
We found Ted behind the house, lying in the cold water with
crystal clear ice surrounding him, sleeping. I was yelling, “What are you
doing?!?”….”You are going to freeze to death.”
He stood up, dripping with icicles and asked, “How did everything go?” He was joyfully
“As expected.” I robotically said….”As