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My Dad Went To The Moon
I remember everything that happened that night. It was vague, But the sounds of talking furries on the TV is still definite. We were together, United as one merry family. But everything changed that night. I still remember everything. The naive kindergartener could never possibly forget what happened that night, Even ten years later. I was loved by a family, Two affectionate parents, But internalized hostility was the trespasser of their relationship. The fights, The squabbles, They meddled with the blessed aura of our family. But how would someone know how badly an event can damage someone? Someone so young, All they’ll ever do is hate, Without realizing the broken pieces. They’re invisible to them. They can forgive over and over, But none will ever forget, Actions. I was in the middle of 2 human being-like creatures, Lost in a battle field of fury. How could you not see me? How could you not stop what you were doing when you saw me? How could you continue to push her? To punch her until her teeth bled. But why? Just why? Why would you do what you did to me too? I was the middle. You tugged my arm, She tugged my other. Both reaching for me, To have me for their own. But didn’t you know, I was only 5 years old, I didn’t need just one of you, I needed both of you, To grow. I didn’t want to choose who to fight, I loved both of you, But love ends when your forced to choose. I screamed. I am the middle, You choose to keep me for yourself. How could you do what you did that night? To me, To her, To yourself, But most importantly, Why? She’s had enough. A woman seeing her child in pain is not weak when she searches for help, She’s not vulnerable, She’s a warrior, Willing to risk her life for her child. That is a woman. She dials the forsaken number. The time ticks, You think it’s a joke. A knock on the door and it feels like a movie. A blue suit, A gun? Who are these people? They walk across the kitchen floor like they own authority over our itty-bitty town house. They sit on our sofas, they look so odd. I was so confused. A lady greets me and amongst chitter chatter, I take her to my play room. We talk about Dora The Explorer and all my favourite cartoons, Like she’s my friend, But I know she’s not. She’s only here to take something from me, I wonder what. Time passes and the blue suit aliens walk across our linoleum in big black boots. No shoes in the house, Seems like they don’t know the rules. My mind clouds for a split second, This still picture becomes a movie once again. They open the door, I see hand cuffs. They take ahold of his hands and seal them together. They’re leading him outside. My mind is fogging again, They’re supposed to take something from me. They leave our door, but not empty handed. They didn’t take my toys, Or my DVDs, They took something so much more. With locked wrists, His face forces a smile. He’s smiling at me, Is this a dream? Why is he smiling? Where is he going? The blue suit aliens walk out the door, Dragging a prisoner they’re taking to space. He continues to smile, Walking out our door. He’s leaving his own house, With locked wrists, Swollen eyes, Dragged by blue aliens, And a big smile on his face. I hear her sob, Why is she crying? Certainly no one is dying. The aliens dump him in their space ship, It’s like a car, only with flashy lights. He waves at us from his seat in the space ship. At that point I guessed, He’s been abducted by aliens! I can’t wait to tell everyone at school! Even as the space ship flies away, He’s still waving. I wonder when he’ll come back from the moon. The door is shut, She collapses to the floor. I’m confused once again. I peak through the curtains. He’s gone. He’s gone. He’s gone. 1 day passes, He hasn’t returned. Maybe the trip to the moon is farther than I thought. 2 days pass, She’s crying more and more. Maybe he’s buying us souvenir’s from space! 3 days pass, Something’s not right. Suddenly a family reunion, There’s shouting, crying, begging. I’m suddenly being dragged around again. To the space station, oh boy! There are blue aliens everywhere! There’s begging, pleading, crying all over again. 3 weeks of visits to the space station, And begging, pleading, and crying every visit. I begin to think of the moon again, Seriously, when is he coming back? I lose interest in playing with my Barbie dolls, Something isn’t right, But I don’t know what. That day was another blur, A knock on the door, And scampering to the window. I peak through the curtains, It’s him. He’s back, From the moon. He’s smiling, Again. That smile. The aliens were no where in sight, Not even the space ship, How did he get here? She smiles in delight at the sight of him, But her eyes show unclouded sorrow. His eyes are bliss, But his smile is forged and weak. Again, I was in the middle. We didn’t talk about that night ever again, But I had a hundred unanswered questions. There were no souvenirs, And no tall tales from the moon. I was told to forget that night, But I never forgot. For years the memory still replays in a corner of my subconscious, Being the middle, And your fragile smile. Why did you do what you did that night? Why was I forced to choose sides? Why did you smile when you left us? The blue aliens, They took you, From us. You can’t expect us to forget, Because I remember everything that night, Everything you did still haunts me today. You didn’t go to space that night, Nor were there any blue aliens, Or a flying space ship. Dad, what if I told you I know, The abuse, The 911 phone call, They were police officers for God’s sake! A police car, You were arrested that night, The handcuffs, And that smile. Why were you smiling? I know we bailed you out of jail! But how can I forget? How can I forget what you did Dad? Is it really that easy? To forget? It’s tormented me for years, And it continues to haunt me. I’m permanently damaged! You are my ghost, That never fails to scare me when I’m around you. I’ll always carry that memory, And you’ll always carry that smile. Dad, Why?
Copyright © 2020 Farzeen Rashid. All Rights Reserved