“How are you feeling today, papa?” Kim asked.
She was making breakfast for them. But it wasn’t going so well. She’d burned the eggs twice already and had to start from scratch. Not to mention the milk she spilled and forgetting to put sugar in her tea.
“I’m feeling much better, my angel.”
“I’m glad,” she said and smiled at him. “Really I am.”
She continued watching the eggs in the pan, when her dad suddenly said,
“Kimmy, what’s wrong?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, still focused on the eggs.
She’d rather not have this conversation right now, or ever. Maybe if she ignored him long enough he’d let it go.
“You’ve been different lately.”
She laughed forcefully.
“No, I haven’t. Everything is great.”
She lifted up the pan to move the eggs into the plate when her hands accidentally gave in and the eggs fell on the floor.
“Great! What a mess! Stupid, Kim!” she said, grabbed paper towels and went down on her knees trying to clean it.
“Kimmy, leave it.”
“I have to clean it up,” she said, wiping furiously.
Her shoulders started shaking and a sob escaped her throat. She clasped her hand over her mouth to stop more sobs from escaping.
“Kim, come sit down.”
She didn’t fight any longer and stood up and sat down softly.
“Tell me the truth,” he said gently.
And for the first time Kim confessed to her father. About her guilt over the years over what happened with Rebecca Hennessey and the town’s people and her fear to come home.
“I was her friend, papa. I should’ve protected her. I should’ve known what they planning. They were always mean to her.”
She looked up at her father, tears in her eyes.
“The day before it happened, I overheard them, talking about her, about what they were going to do. But I didn’t say anything,”
She struggled to speak through her sobs but eventually got out the words,
“I was afraid.”
“It’s alright, my angel,” her father soothed her. “It’s over now. Don’t blame yourself for that.”
“Levi will never forgive me. If he knew he’d never speak to me again.”
She wiped away her tears, her face flushed.
“That’s why I left. I didn’t want him to know. I didn’t want him to hate me.”
Her father gently rubbed her hand.
“Do you love him?”
She nodded her head.
“Would you forgive him if he hurt you?”
“Of course!” she said quickly.
“Do you think he loves you?”
She thought for a while.
“I think he did.”
“Then why do you think he wouldn’t do that for you?”
“Because of what I did... I’m a horrible person.”
“Kim,” her father said. “It’s not the people that need to forgive you. You need to forgive yourself.”
She looked down at the table.
“But it’s too late now.”
“It’s only as late as you make it, sweetheart.”
“But, dad, your health.”
“I’ll be alright. The fresh air will do me good.”
His expression grew serious.
“It’s time to go back home, Kimmy.”