“Why are you trying to ruin my life?”
“Ruin your life? What is there to ruin Amber? You barely have it figured out.”
“I have a lot figured out,” she lied.
“Like what? You’re a 21-year-old dropout, who refuses to look for work. And before you even attempt to feed me that I’ve got a plan bullshit, stop and think about who’s been taking care of you while you’ve been up in that room for two years doing nothing but working my damn nerves.”
“This is why mom left us in the first place,” Amber yelled, “You don’t care about anyone but yourself.”
“I’ve been caring for you since the day you were born and now that your mom comes slithering her sorry ass back into the picture, I’m suddenly the bad guy. If you hate it here so much, get off your ass and do something about it,” he said turning away. But before exiting the living room, he couldn’t help but say one more thing.
“Matter of fact, go to your mother’s and see how long that relationship lasts.”
“I fucking hate you,” Amber blurted out like a child before running up the stairs and slamming the door behind her, causing the pictures on the wall to come crashing down.
Amber had no clue what to say after those harsh words came spewing out of her father’s mouth; everything he said was true but hearing them come from the man she admired, hurt. How long has he been feeling like that, and does he really want me to leave? And when did he start hating my mother so much? A million thoughts were running through Amber’s head, and she couldn’t figure out how to filter through them. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought up my mother leaving, she thought to herself. It wasn’t like she knew the reason for her departure, nor did she ever bother asking– there wasn’t a reason to. Her father and grandparents showered her in so much love, she barely noticed when her mother stopped coming around.
“Did you have to be so hard on her?”
“It’s time, time for her to finally grow up and make something of herself. I worked too hard for her to end up like that woman.”
“That woman has a name.”
“One you’ll never hear me say…”
Elliot had been holding his family together since Amber was nothing but a few months old. Instead of living the life he had planned out, he dedicated it to being a father. From the moment he felt her kick, he promised to always be there to guide and protect her. There were days he could barely afford a meal, but that didn’t last long. Amber was his motivation to push through and thanks to his mother, Elliot was able to go back to law school and provide a stable home for Amber.
Meanwhile, Amber’s mother would come and go as she pleased. The last person on her mind was their beautiful baby girl. Elliot didn’t understand why she was the way she was. How could a woman carry a child for almost a year of her life and have no bond with that child whatsoever? If Elliot didn’t announce who she was whenever she showed up to a birthday party, school play or Christmas dinner, no one would know she was the woman that gave birth to his daughter. Despite his ill feelings towards her, he did all he could to create memories between she and Amber, memories that never truly happened.
He worked hard to be as gentle with Amber as he could, but she wasn’t a child anymore. It was time to rip the Band-Aid off and he prayed she could handle it.