I was 7
It was Father’s day
I made daddy a card
My sister and I spent the morning drawing
I’ve always thought I was pretty good at that
Good at drawing famous cartoon characters
Recreating them pretty accurately
I was proud of the card when I was done
It was colourful
Daddy will like this.
We went for brunch
At our usual cafe in our quaint little town
Everything was going well
We had food
Daddy and mummy was happy.
Then on the ride home
Daddy and mummy started screaming at each other
I don’t remember what it was about
But they started screaming
Daddy drove really fast
I was scared
I held my sister’s hands
And closed my eyes
I wish this would stop
Please let this be over now.
We got home
Daddy slammed the car door
Mummy said to stay in the car
We’re going somewhere far away today
Where are we going mummy?
She moved into the driver’s seat
Daddy said to get out of the car
We didn’t know what to do
So we just stayed
Then daddy opened the car door
Screamed my name
I did not react
He pulled at my hair
Dragging me out of the car
My sister ran out after me
Daddy was screaming at us now
Mummy came out and started screaming at daddy
Don’t you dare hurt my children
They are mine
You have no right
Daddy screamed back
He gave me a kick
My sister and I ran into the house
Mummy and daddy ran after us
We ran into the room
Locked the door
We could hear daddy run up the stairs behind us
He banged on the door
Open the door now
Open it now or else
He was banging at the door real hard
What did we do wrong?
What did we do this time?
Did I misplace a pen he wanted to use but couldn’t find?
Is the study room messy and he’s mad about that again?
It felt like he was going to break the door down
I opened the door
He came in
I don’t remember what he said
But he was screaming
He saw the cards on the side table
He ripped them up into pieces
Bits of paper fell onto the floor
I did not dare pick them up
I don’t remember clearly what he was screaming about
But I remember the rage
The rage that drove him to make a big hole in the wall with his fist
Daddy’s hands were bleeding
It looked painful
My sister and I just huddled in the corner
What did we do wrong this time?
Daddy left us.
Went back into his room
We hear daddy and mummy screaming through the door.
I looked at the hole in the wall
Picked up the pieces of torn paper
Of the card
Placed them on the side table.
And I sat there
Waiting for the rage to subside.
Then daddy came in
He looks calmer now
The rage left his body
He saw the torn pieces of paper
Did you make this?
Did it hurt?
I won’t do this again I promise
Let’s go get some ice cream later
This is a beautiful card
Happy Father’s Day.