“Hey little birdy, come and make an old man happy. Remember that? I’ll bet you do.” I was glad that finally I could unleash that saying so that maybe, just maybe, it’ll finally stop playing back like a broken record inside of a broken person. It wasn’t going to go away on its own. I had realized that by now. I needed to stop hearing it. I would do anything to stop hearing it.
Father chuckled dryly. “I didn’t think that you would remember. It was just the one time, well, that you saw anyways. How the Hell…”
“I didn’t have to remember. I still hear it. At first it drove me nuts because I didn’t know what it was or what it meant. I tried to shut it out but it just wouldn’t leave me alone and now I know why. It took me a long time to piece it together amidst everything else that was happening around me but I finally came around and understood what it was and you know what that is?”
“What?” Father was studying his fingernails, feigning disinterest.
“The final straw. That’s when everything inside of me decided to shut down because of what I saw that one day. I didn’t know it then. Fuck, I didn’t know it until now but yeah, that’s what did it. It wasn’t enough to lose my mother and to have a father that beat me senselessly when he wasn’t playing with the shadows in the cellar. It wasn’t enough that everyone in the fucking world despised me. But that did it. I felt that you should know that.”
Father looked at me nervously then went back to tending his nails. “Hmph.”
“Funny thing,” I continued, stepping closer to him, “that now that I can remember her back then it didn’t seem like she had any pain, that she suffered in any way. She hid it well, she didn’t want me to know what was really going on but you should see her now. And what just fucking kills me is that she could have been an angel, you know…right? You may not think about it or even remember but she could have been, oh yeah, just like mother. But no…not now…not after you had trashed her fucking soul. She was a flower of a girl and you peeled all of her away, pedal by pedal. And now she sleeps with the fucking devil.”
“What the fuck do you want from me, huh?” Father asked, arms spread. “I gave you answers. I gave you everything. What’s done is done. It’s gone. Forget about it.”
I stepped even closer, enough to make him start to step back. “She still follows me, comes to me. You probably already knew that always hiding in the bushes watching me maybe watching her too. But she is not the same girl and I am not the same guy and I don’t need to think about it to know that it was all because of you and it was that part of me that knew this day would come that haunted me by replaying that one time again and again.”
Father sighed. “The day that….that…”
“AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!” I shouted as I moved forward, forcing my father back again down the walkway. He looked behind him to make sure that he still had space to move back. “Yes, that must have been the final straw. That’s when the wall came up, just like in the cellar, the black wall in my mind. And now there is only one thing that will make it go away.”
“You already know everything.”
“I need to hear it from you, from your voice, face to face, right now. You owe it to her. You owe it to me. For all the things that you have done, I don’t think that it’s asking for much at all. I need you to tell me that you’re fucking sorry.”