Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walking Away

I was standing in the produce section of the grocery store. My eyes looking over nectarines, trying to remember how I was supposed to know which ones were ripe and which ones weren’t. Giving up, I plucked four or five from the stand and dropped them carelessly into the plastic bag. I turned to put them in the cart when I glanced to my left. He turned about the same time I did. I sucked in my breath, holding it, staring now.

He was a stranger, but familiar at the same time. Time has not been kind to him. All his years of heavy smoking have caught up with him making him appear a lot older than his 48 years. His hair is thick, full, and shockingly gray. He is a lot heavier than I remembered him. His face is slightly lined. His eyes, the same dark brown as mine. His eyes caught mine and held for what seemed like minutes but were merely a few seconds.

As I saw him standing there the remnants of our last conversation over fifteen years ago flooded my mind.

“I hate you and I don’t care if I ever see you again.”

“You’ll see me again, because someday you’ll need me for something.”

“I’ll never need you, not now, not ever. If you died tomorrow I wouldn’t go to your funeral.”

The words spoken by a very angry thirteen year old daughter and a father who thought more of himself than he should have, who refused to take responsibility for his actions.

What he was thinking at that moment, standing there in the grocery store--I’ll never know. I broke our gaze, turned around and easily walked away out of his life, like he had done so many years before.

13 comments:

Bayjb said...

Wow that is intense. It's amazing how seeing someone again after the last time was so bad can make you feel. Good for you for walking away.

chickbug said...

wow. i can't imagine how many emotions that must bring up. you are much stronger then i.

Andy said...

I'm with chickbug. You must be a hell more strong than we are. I couldn't have been so cold about it.

Angel said...

Wow... that must have been so hard. I'm sorry you have been through that. Angel

Kim said...

You mean you haven't seen him since you were 13.....and you happened to run into him at the grocery store. Wow - I'm sure it wasn't what you expected!!!

Auburn Kat said...

Wow, I don't know what I would have done in that situation. It's too bad that he is missing out on how wonderful of a woman you turned out to be!

Beya said...

Wow, it was shocking just to read about the encounter, I can only imagine how shocked you were. I am glad you had the power in you to walk away. Be proud of how strong and wonderful you are!!! Wow.

Ray said...

Thanks for the comment, cute blog!

And good for you for walking away, and knowing what you needed to do at the time. :)

Sissy said...

Mandy, I'm sorry you had to encounter that. You are such a beautiful, kind, funny woman, and he will never know that. He is missing out. Take comfort in the fact that you are best friends with your mama and maybe you wouldn't have that great relationship if your father would have been involved in your life. You are blessed.

I'm feel sad that you had to endure that moment and the thoughts that you thinking of now.

Love ya girlie!

RebeccaC said...

That was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Not to sound callous, but if you've ever considered writing a semi-autgraphical novel, I think you've got your hook right there.

I admire your strength.

Stacy said...

For the sake of sounding redundant...Wow.

Coconut said...

I'm sorry, that must've brought up a lot of painful feelings. Good for you for being strong, remembering why that person is not in your life, and walking away.

Deutlich said...

oh wow... that was intense.

there are some long-standing issues between my father and I as well.. and when I read about others having gone through extreme situations with theirs, it always hits a chord.