Most days he would be gone before we woke up and arrive home shortly before dinner.
Mom would rush to greet him, tearing off her oven mitts so she could take his briefcase. “Dad’s had a long day and he’s very tired.” If we were too loud or demanding, he’d be quick to let us know. “They know to respect me there.” I’ve read the books he wrote about my early childhood and wondered who this man was that claimed to have held me on his lap.
They sped after him until he stopped just as abruptly as he’d taken off.
The next year I began to suffer from excruciating stomach pain that left me unable to eat.
To accept the truth was to lose everything I’d ever known and I was afraid of what I would be left with. I hid the secret inside of me but it began to take a toll.
First there were blinding headaches so intense I’d be curled up on the bathroom floor, hugging the toilet.
I never noticed how dark his windows were tinted, but now it made sense. Was that something you did when you were meeting a teenager for sex in the alley behind a sporting goods store?
They drove closer, unsure of what would happen next.
In the Christian parenting books my dad wrote, we were always the most perfect devout family.