Fifteen years ago, something terrible happened to my family. Its taken a lot of therapy and drugs to help me cope with it. I still think about those days a lot. I can’t seem to get some of the images out of my mind. They scare me, they keep me up at night. I want to forget, but I can’t seem to.
My therapist told me I should write it all out. She said that it would help purge some of these memories. I’m not sure if I believe her, but I’m going to try. I have to. I need peace of mind. I can’t keep living like this.
A couple things you need to know before I begin: 1) My family didn’t believe in technology. We didn’t have a tv, a computer, a phone, anything. My dad believed those things would rot your brain out and he was always happy to tell people just that. 2) My family didn’t like to be bothered. Our house was out in the hills down a dirt road. We didn’t have neighbors. We didn’t have company. It was just us. My mom, my dad, and my brother Jay. My mom home schooled us and my dad would take his truck into town to work at the bank.
I wouldn’t say we were an unhappy family. My mom, Ann, was caring, kind, and had a passive way of dealing with things. She was a soft spoken submissive woman. My brother, Jay, was two years younger than me. I loved my brother. He was a trouble maker and I constantly had to cover for him, hiding some of his more mischievous actions from our parents.
And then there was my father, Henry. He was an old fashion kind of man. Strict, but honest. He believed in a moral code, believed in being an upstanding example, and was a hard working provider for our small family.
That was before everything went bad.
That was before my father changed.
I was sitting at the breakfast table happily munching my toast. My six year old brother sat across from me, slurping down his milk. My father walked into the kitchen and asked Jay to stop being so rude before going to my mother and pecking her on the cheek, bidding her good morning.
My mother smiled and helped him with his tie, telling him his lunch was packed for the day and to come home safe. My dad threw on his sports jacket and grabbed his briefcase from the kitchen counter. He ruffled my hair and leaned down next to me.
“Are you going to be good for your mom today, champ?” He asked. This close, I could smell his cologne, his face freshly shaved. He was a good looking man, tall and dark with broad shoulders. I had always looked up to him and admired his physicality.
“Yeah dad, I’ll be good,” I answered.
Smiling, my dad went to my brother and asked him the same. My brother shrugged his shoulders, a goofy grin on his face. One of his front teeth was loose and it stuck out at an angle, the object of much fruitless wiggling.
“Maybe today that’ll come out,” my dad said, examining it.
He kissed Jay on the forehead and said a goodbye to my mother, blowing her a kiss, and was out the door. As I finished my toast, I heard him fire up the truck and back it down the gravel driveway.