Life of a Writer: Glimpses of a Father

He came in quietly and stood just inside the doorway. I continued perusing my bookshelf, waiting for him to announce his reason to enter my bedroom, a rare occurrence. After a couple of throat clearings, he walked over and sat on the edge of my bed, patting the space next to him. The hair on my arms prickled my skin, a vague unease settling in my stomach as I sat next to him. My father then asked me—You know your mother and I love you, right? I jumped up to face him, asking too loudly—Are you getting a divorce? He blinked and shook his head before smiling and assuring me—No, no, nothing like that…sit, sit—patting the bed again. I sat up straight and stared at the wall through a few more throat clearing harrumphs. When he finally spoke again, he told me softly—Should you ever need any surgeries…—and I again took to my feet to search his face for answers. Am I sick—I asked him—I don’t remember the doctor saying anything. Shaking his head frantically, he implored—Please sit down and stop looking at me. I complied, and he continued—If you have back pain, or shoulder pain, or need any kind of surgery…—I burst out laughing. Daddy, look—I said—I know I’m only 15, but I will never, ever want breast-reduction surgery, and you can take that to mother. He nodded, hugged me, and walked out as quietly as he came in, leaving me rolling around on my bed giggling.