Every-morning, for as long as I can remember, my step father wakes up at 6 to get ready for work.
Around 6:30, he leaves. Before he leaves, he always goes into my little brothers room, to kiss his forehead before he goes to work.
He never did that with me.
I remember, when I was very very little, I’d stay up all night just to see if either of my parents came to check on me, and if I couldn’t stay up all night, I’d turn on the hallway light, cause I knew every night they turned it off at some late hour.
Never, not once, for as long as I can remember, did either of them check on me. I’d hear heavy footsteps in the hall that woke me up,
“Is that Dad? I better pretend I’m asleep!”
I’d shut my eyes tight, and cover half my face.
I hear a door opening, but it’s not mine.
It’s the door to Matts room.
I hear a kiss.
I hear the footsteps leave the hallway, and the light in the hallway fled, leaving me in the dark alone, with no kiss.
“I could sneak out.” I’d think, “I could go find the wild things.” I though, “They would never notice.”
It’s 6:31 AM, and my step father just left for work.
He walked into Matts room.
He never walks into mine.
My real father comes home from work at 6 in the morning.
When I’m over there, I’m curled in a ball on the couch.
I pretend to be asleep, to see if maybe he’d kiss my forehead, or even acknowledge my being.
Still no kiss.
This spill doesn’t matter anymore, I’m no longer a child in need of that care.
But I’ll always be the child that wanted it.