It is of no use to discover our own faults and infirmities unless the discovery prompts up to amendment.
-John Quincy Adams-
The next morning, when I was deep in sleep; I was awoken by the consistent soft knocks on my door. I looked at my kitten clock and it was only 6:30 am. I inwardly groaned and covered my head with the pillow.
It was safe to say I wasn’t a morning person. I tried to sleep but couldn’t because not only did it become more consistent, but it got louder. It was a while before it stopped, and my dad spoke.
“Chyenne, I’m off to work. I left the pancakes out; you can have them for breakfast, and I bought chocolate milk too. Enjoy your day Kitten.”
I heard his footsteps leaving and I sighed in contentment. I was still upset and today was just phase one of my plans. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. They argued for me to go back to sleep. I ignored them and went to the lavatory and had a nice cold shower. I know it’s weird to have a cold shower in the mornings even though I’m not a morning person.
Yes. And who the hell has cold showers anymore? They were quite refreshing, and it helped me to think things through. It calmed me, especially after what had happened.
In the shower, I sorted through my thoughts. When I got out, I brushed my teeth and combed my hair. My hair was curly at the roots and kinky at the ends. I squeezed half a bottle of curling cream into my palms and rubbed it into my hair. It helped but it just wasn’t enough.
I got my hairband and caught my hair in one with puffy ends. It was a ponytail... Almost.
I took one look in the mirror and decided it was okay. I changed into navy-blue sweatpants and a blue T-shirt that said, “I’m BRITISH B*TCHES!” I liked it. It was me.
I went to the kitchen and took the chocolate milk from the freezer. It was next to an “I’m sorry” apology note. I rolled my eyes and after I finished the milk I left, not bothering to have any of the pancakes.
I went upstairs and walked down the hall. I passed my room. I went to the library and sat and read a book, but I was too distracted to stay put for too long. My curiosity led me to dad’s room. I opened the door and entered. There was a king-sized bed in the middle of the room. There were two closets; the one on the right was for him and the other for my mom. There was a large window right beside of mom’s mini bookshelf.
She loved to read her nursing books. Next to that was her dresser. I swear it had everything: makeup, hair products, perfumes she had never used. Lotions, shampoos and conditioners, brushes, and combs for all hair types, lip therapy, and face masks. You name it, she had it all.
She wasn’t a Barbie doll or obsessed with the way she looked but she was always prepared for any emergency. I went into her closet. All her clothes were still here.
I fell to my knees and I cried.
I missed her so much.
Her closet smelt like her. She had an amazing scent that I just could decipher. I took a deep breath and hugged her clothes. It was the first time since her death that I had been in here. She wasn’t here anymore and all I had left were her clothes and this silver necklace she gave me.
It was a beautiful silver necklace, with a tiny crystal on it. She begged me to never take it off and I never did. Not even once.
I tried to stand up to leave but my foot got tangled on something and I plummeted onto the floor as some boxes on the top shelf fell on me. I groaned for it had fallen onto my head. I tried my best to put them back quickly.
When I was done, I realized there was a small shoebox in the corner. It was one that I’ve never seen in my mom’s closet. I knelt and pulled it closer. In red marker, the word ‘classified’ was scribbled across it. I didn’t think much of it, but curiosity had the upper hand.
I opened it. There was a bunch of blank papers, so I took them out. Then there was a note taped to the bottom of the box.
I read it aloud. “Dear Richard If you are reading this, it means I’m dead. I love you for making me happy all these years. The purpose of this letter is to tell you that I’ve hidden the file. If I haven’t shown Chyenne, do it for me. It is in the safe behind the family painting in your office. Remove the file and tell her truth. She deserves the truth. Please, Richard. The password is 252002. Thank you for being a wonderful husband and a loving father. I love you, Richard.”
I put back everything and left the room. I stopped crying. It was time to figure out what was going on. I marched out of their room and went to my dad’s study. It was locked. So, I went to my room and climbed the tree outside my window. I held on and climbed over some more. I was being very careful not to look down, as I was scared of heights.
But I had to find out what my dad was hiding. I was halfway there and what I dreaded- happened.
I looked down.
And from the height I was at, I instantly regretted the idea of climbing this very old tree. It had been here long before we bought the house and with my weight, I was afraid the branch would break. I slipped and I held on tight for dear life.
I wasn’t planning on dying today. I regained my balance and continued to venture on. My breathing was steady. I was afraid that if I breathed too hard, I would slip and fall for sure this time.
I was now in front of the open window of the study. It was a good distance away from the branch I was on. One wrong move and I was dead. I braved up and jumped through the window.
I landed safely through the window. No major damage. He always forgot to close the window and it was the perfect time to search his study.
I looked for the painting. It was situated right above the mantelpiece. I took it down carefully. After all, my dad paid a lot to get it done. Behind the painting was a keypad. I typed in the password.
The safe opened and there was indeed a file. But there was also a bag of weed along with some money. For the time being, my focus was this document, so I ignored the other contents of the safe. I left it open. I honestly felt like Sherlock Holmes for finding a clue, locating the document, and jumping through the window like a ninja.
I sat around my father’s desk and opened the file. I read line for line. My throat was dry in anticipation. My eyes roamed over the paper. I learned one shocking thing.
I read for more juicy details. I could tell there was more. And that is when it happened. The door opened and standing there, looking very astonished was my father. He, who was inhaling some white dust on a mini-tray, it was cocaine.
My heart skipped a beat; both at the founded new knowledge and his current actions. My heart ached.
He was wearing his suit. I thought he was going to work. Sadly, I was mistaken. I closed the file and stood up. I took it up and walked towards him.
“So this is what you’ve been hiding?” I asked.
“How much did you read?” he probed, not answering my question.
“Not much.” I sassily replied.
“Why didn’t you want to tell me?” I bellowed, not hiding the bitterness I felt towards him.
“You didn’t need to know. You are better off not knowing and since you haven’t gone that far, let’s keep it that way.” He replied as he tried to take the file away (-away) from me with one swift swipe. He failed for I had already pushed it hard on his chest, chucking the file at him.
“You can have it.” He held onto the file and heaved a sigh.
“My mom wrote to you, practically begging you to tell me if she didn’t get a chance. But you just kept it to yourself.”
“Kaye is gone and I’m all you have left. So, you better start treating me with some damn respect. The respect I deserve.” He quarreled hysterically, while he trotted around the room.
I laughed for at this point I didn’t know whether it was him or the cocaine talking. It was the right time to bring it up.
“How can I treat you with ‘respect’ if you’re an alcoholic and a stoner?” I used air quotations to stress the word respect. He didn’t know that respect was supposed to be earned.
I yelled as I left the room. I slammed the door behind me.
I plopped down on my bed and reached for my phone that was on the nightstand. I dialed Ma’s number. I stared at the send button. My frustration was slowly slipping away.
“Walking away from me won’t change a thing. I never wanted you as my child. I only took care of you because of Kaye.” He declared downstairs.
The anger was back, and I smashed that big green button and held the phone up to my ear. I was furious and I wanted revenge. But most importantly I wanted to get away from that filthy man downstairs. The phone rang twice.
“Hello,” she said.
“Book my flight,” was all I managed to say until a determined smile crawled its way onto my face and carved itself there.
There was silence and I was beginning to wonder if she was in this with me or not.
But when I heard, “It’s already done. Start packing; I’m on my way.”
I proudly grinned and the line went dead. I was going back to England.
I was going somewhere where I never had to see that man again. I would make sure of that. He meant nothing to me anymore. He didn’t own me. I wasn’t his trophy. Not anymore.
I was no longer his daughter. I was no longer adopted by him.