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Children of broken homes tend to have trust issues, especially those whose dear old dads walk out without a word of goodbye. At least that's what you told me when we first met. So I try not to make promises I might be unable to keep. I don't say things like “I'll love you forever” or I'll never leave you.” I resist whispering in your ear how special you are to me or how I think you might be the one. Each word I think of saying is analyzed over and over in fear I'll say the wrong thing. In fear of stirring up disturbing memories of unfulfilled promises made by your father before he left.

At night when you think I'm asleep, I feel you curl your body around mine. Your muscles relax and you let out the smallest sigh. You then wrap your arms around me, as if I were your life preserver, and press your body deeper into mine. In the morning, when I awake, you are on your side of the bed hovering dangerously close to the edge. You seem to be teetering as if a light breeze could blow you off onto the floor. This morning I am tempted to give you a push.

Story by:

Arlene Antoinette

9 April 2017