I stared through the window, anger filling my veins.
The more my father talked about her, the more annoyed I got.
“She wants to see you, Leah,” he said while staring ahead while driving. “She wanted…” I cut him off before he could finish his sentence. “She left me when I was eight,” I said, turning around to face him. “She never contacted me; she never wanted me. Why should I start talking to her now?”
Anger was fueling everything inside me.
She had no right; she left me.
My father sighed.
We were heading home from football practice. I won the game for the team. My father wanted to celebrate, but he said he wanted to talk about something. I only agreed as he looked like he wanted to throw up, but I never thought it would be about her, the woman who abandoned me, my mother.
My father didn’t say anything; I got him on that question I asked him.
The person we are talking about is my mum. All through my childhood till I was eight, she was, until one day, she left without a trace. My father and I stayed in our house while she did what with god knows who.
My father never brought her up, and neither did I. We were happy just it being the two of us. We were a team. We did everything together, even had father and daughter Sundays where we would do something crazy. Well, our crazy was eating chocolate for breakfast or doing a zip wire challenge, but I loved it.
I started to notice a few things that were going on. Things had been getting weird for the last few days; my Dad kept bringing my mum up over our dinners. I was shocked, as we had never talked about her in such a long time.
At the start, when she left, he was heartbroken. I would hear him cry himself to sleep most nights, but after a while, he got over her, but he never re-married. I won’t say he had no girlfriends, he did have some, and some were lovely, but he never felt the need to commit to someone else. I think my mother was to blame for that.
I always said he should date again, but he never told me if he did. I only noticed he was going on dates when the morning after, there would be two glasses in the sink, but I never let on that I knew. He told me I was the only woman he ever wanted. Sad, I know, but that was my Dad for you.
“Leah, she just wants to see you,” my father said, pulling me out of my thoughts.
I glared at him.
“I am not seeing the woman who abandoned me for nine years,” I yelled. “She never sent me a birthday or Christmas card, never got in touch. What kind of woman would do that?”
I stared at my father, who happened to turn toward me.
“That’s enough, Leah,” he said. “You will be meeting her next week, end of discussion.”
I stared at him. He was joking, right? I thought it was up to me. I was beyond pissed. “Like hell,” I roared. “I don’t want anything to do with the woman, and you can’t force me to see her.”
I glared at him; his eyes left the road again and stared back at me. “Please…” he said but was cut off by honking.
My father’s head snapped back, and he swerved out of the oncoming traffic. He straightened us up and stared at the road ahead again.
My heart was pumping hard in my chest; that was a close call, I thought.
After a few quiet moments, my father talked again. “Leah, your mum, will explain everything,” he said. “I don’t know what to tell you; you have to talk to her.”
I ignored him and stared ahead.
I wanted to go home.
I hated the woman.
I don’t know when I started to hate her, but I guess it was when all my friend’s mums would turn up to all the concerts they did or anything they did. I used to wish my mum would turn up, but she never came.
I guess I stopped believing that she would ever come back to me.
“Please, Leah,” he said. “Do it for me.”
I closed my eyes. I’m not too fond of those words. I used to hear that statement when she took a personal call. I remember her saying, ” I need to take this; go in there. Don’t tell Dad. Can you do that for me?”
My own mother made me lie to my father about a phone call. Who does that to a seven-year-old?
I opened my eyes and stared out of the window ahead.
“Leah?” he called out.
“I wish you had never said that,” I whispered, turning to look at him. “Do it for me? Really Dad? I would rather stick a hot poker in my eyes and eat crap than see her again.”
“LEAH,” he said through clenched teeth.
I looked at him, confused.
I couldn’t understand why he was doing this to me and why he would act like this. I didn’t want to see that woman; she wasn’t a mother back then; why reach out now after so long?
I was about to say something, but something hit the back of the car hard and jolted us forward.
After all that, everything went fast and hard.
The person behind us went into the back of us. The car seemed to have pulled back but drove back into us again.
“Dad,” I screamed as I gripped the door handle.
There was no response from my father.
I looked around through the windscreen as we went into the car in front, with a big thud.
I flew forward and hit my head on the dash; even though I had my seatbelt on, I had it loose as I was not too fond of it being too tight around me.
I closed my eyes and shook my head, trying to regain my vision. I looked over to see my Dad, who was unconscious.
“DAD,” I screamed, trying to move to get to him, but bright lights were coming toward us. I cried as whatever came straight into us, hitting my father’s side with a loud thud, my head went back, and I hit my head hard on the door, which knocked me out completely and sent me into darkness.