The sun shined bright through the clear blue sky on the beautiful Sunday morning. First day of spring, man does time fly by fast. My wavy brown hair drifted through the wind, often blocking my vision. The airports parking lot seemed deserted, strange for a day like this in Arizona. People are usually lined up to get a taste of the Arizona sun, even I knew that and I haven’t been here since my parents divorced.
I dropped my heavy bags onto the sidewalk and sat down on the green wooden bench. The seat felt hot, burning through my jean shorts and I cried out, jumping out of the seat. Embarrassed, I looked around to make sure that nobody seen, and then clumsily sat back down, the hot wood feeling better now that I realized how hot it was. The heat was actually soothing, and I closed my eyes, absorbing the warmth.
The sound of a truck pulling into the lot forced my curious mind to open my eyes. I squinted at the old red truck pulling in, and the dust swarming from behind caused me to sneeze even if it was at least 10 metres away. I stood up and gazed at the truck, the sight forming a memory in my head. I’ve been inside that truck before, with my mother and… my father.
The truck came to a halt and after a few seconds, a body stepped out of the front seat. His smile was so wide, I could see his pearly white teeth sparkling in the sunshine. As the body came closer, I knew for sure it was my dad. I figured he would have given that truck away. After all, it had so many memories.
He came up beside me and gave me a huge hug, sweeping my breath away. “I’m so happy to see you again, Rosalyn. It’s been awhile.” My dad smiled as he put his hand gently on my back and guided me towards his old red truck. How am I supposed to respond to something like that? I don’t feel the same way he does about seeing me again, in fact, not even remotely close. I was dreading to see those frightening green eyes and that small, aging face again. Right now, his eyes looked warm, friendly and maybe even welcoming, but I couldn’t be sure of what he was really thinking. “Yeah,” I muttered and slid into the front seat of the car. He stood there for a moment, puzzled, then moved into the driver’s seat. He smiled.
“You’re going to love the house, Rose. It’s just the right size for a family of two. I even bought you a new desk,” He shoved the keys into the ignition and the car rumbled with delight. You’re in grade 12 now and I think it’s time you start getting more organized. It might help you for university.”
The truck pulled out of the yellow lines and smoothly rolled out of the parking lot, surprising for such an old truck. I sighed and propped my elbow up on the arm rest, not ready for the drive to his house and rested my head on my small fist. The awkward silence felt, nice. I wasn’t really in the mood for talking anyway, even if he tries to start conversation, I don’t have to answer if I don’t want to. He should get the hint sooner or later, considering my grandmother died and I was forced to live with a parent I barely even remembered. Sure, it’d be nice to get to know him, but he will be nothing like Mom was, or Verna for that matter. He won’t have the same soothing voice as they did or the same homemade cookies for when I got home from a long day of school.
I could feel his eyes glancing over at me as we drove. He didn’t say anything, but just looked at me curiously. I glared at him. “What?” I snapped.
He gulped, and sat there for a moment, gazing at the road. His hands shook nervously on the wheel. “I-I I know I won’t be like your mother, but Rosalyn, I need you to understand that I’m trying to make this work. I want you to be happy.”
I surveyed him with curious eyes. “Really, Dad, because last time I checked, you left our family and didn’t try to contact me. Not even once. I probably wouldn’t even be here right now if you weren’t forced to take me.” My eyes watered.
Silence. Of course he didn’t have anything to say, because he knew it was true. He didn’t want to believe it, but deep down, it was the truth. Why would he want to take care of his own daughter?
After a minute, he slowly shook his head. “Rosalyn, you know why I left your mother. I had to! I couldn’t stand the guilt of cheating on her, and it was hurting me deep down. You know that, Rose!” He barked.
I shrivelled in complete shock. “You-you cheated on her?” I whispered, the tears running down my face in streams.
My dad’s jaw dropped with disbelief and sorrow. “She didn’t… tell you?” He choked out. By now, I was surprised the car wasn’t in the ditch. If there was one thing I remembered about my dad, it was that he couldn’t handle situations like this.
I shook my head, and then to signify this conversation was over, I drew my attention to the trees flying by the window. I knew he made the gesture to put a hand on my shoulder, but slowly pulled back, knowing it wasn’t the time for comfort.
The tears were still pouring down my face, landing in puddles on my hand. I furiously wiped them off onto my light blue tank top and tried not to glance back over at him. I can’t let guilt take over me. He cheated on my mother. He deserved everything that was coming to him. Why hadn’t anyone told me? Too scared that I would get my feelings hurt? Well, surprise surprise, it hurts me even more that I had to find out this way. Way to ruin such a wonderful day.
The trees slowly stopped appearing in the window and houses started to take their place. Big and small, brown and blue, they were all a sight to see. “My house isn’t that far away from the airport, which I find is a good thing.” My dad muttered and I notice the truck wasn’t moving anymore. We were sitting on a gravel driveway which led to beige L shaped house. The roof was dark and in the backyard, a shimmering blue pool filled most of its space.
I heard a slam and I noticed my dad wasn’t in the truck anymore. I nervously slid out of the truck, my pink rubber flip flops landed on the gravel and rocks went in-between my toes. I followed the path to the glass door, stopping by to smell every pink and purple flower on the way, and when I finally got to the door, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to just walk in, or ring the doorbell. I decided to just walk in, considering it is my house now. I will be living here, until I can get the courage to move out on my own.
The house looked bigger on the inside than on the outside. The walls were blue and floor was wood, the colour matching perfectly and a single painting consumed the space, putting a splash of colour to the blue and brown. I slipped my flip flops off my feet, tossing them aside and gave myself the grand tour of the house, my dad nowhere in sight. The first room to walk in was the living room. It was full of white leather furniture and a 50’ TV lay in the center. The kitchen was combined with the living room, and had real wooden cupboards and a light brown island in the middle.
I casually walked down the hall, guessing which room was mine and swallowed up the light yellow walls and huge bed that took up most of the area. I gently placed a hand on the pretty yellow walls, and slid my hand across the surface, the texture smooth on my fingers. Yellow was my favourite colour. Someone cleared their throat and I spun around. My dad was leaning on the door, with a small grin on his face. “I remembered.”
Suddenly, I forgot all about what we had said in the van and I ran up to give him a hug. “It’s wonderful, Dad, I love it.”
He chuckled softly and handed me my bags. I had completely forgotten about them till now and I happily took them, tossing them aside. “Glad to hear it,” Then the sound of his footsteps thumping down the hall swallowed up the awkwardness.
The sun shined lively onto my new floor, and the voices of the kids walking by echoed throughout the room. Their cheerful laughs forced jealousy to ripple through my body and I immediately started missing home.
Almost as if on cue, my dad’s voice hollered down the hall, “Someone’s on the phone looking for you, Rose! Someone named Kylie?” My eyes snapped open and I bolted for the door, my heart racing with excitement.
My dad stood in the kitchen, not even paying attention to the phone as he tossed something in the frying pan. I snatched the phone out of his grip, and