First publihed in MicorHorror (2008)
It’s been ten years since we communicated last. I’ll never forget that day you screamed you never wanted to speak to your father or me again, and then raced out the door. I know you didn’t mean it. You were so pretty that day. Do you still wear your hair in a pony tail? I tried writing you many times, but your father found my letters and ran them through the shredder. He said you’d disgraced the family by running away. Not that it mattered since I didn’t know your address. If it hadn’t been for the news item on the television, I wouldn’t have known where to write now.
My fingers stopped mid-Perl when I saw you standing next to that District Attorney and heard him tell everyone about the case you’d won. You’re skinny like your father, you know; and when did you dye your hair blonde? I agree with you. It’s too bad Florida suspended its death penalty law.
I know you think I’m weak for allowing your father to abuse me the way he did. I hope you realize I did it for you. The beatings were bearable as long as I was saving you from his horrible ways. My God, you were only seventeen.
He might not have been the best father, but he was a good man until he was passed over a third time for the promotion he wanted. After that he was always so angry. I’ve thought about leaving him many times, but he’s extra nice to me when he’s sober. My one prayer all these years was that you’d call and ask me to live with you once you got settled. Maybe you will when you hear my news.
The doctors give your father three months to live. It’s pancreatic cancer. I learned how to administer his medications so the nurse doesn’t have to come here all the time. It’s not that difficult.
I sleep in your room with Cuddly. You remember your teddy bear, don’t you? You father’s in quite a bit of pain, and the walls muffle his moans. I kept your clothes, too. I tried on one of your dresses last week. It was a little tight; but for that moment, I was seventeen again. I even put ribbons in my hair. Your father would feel better if I’d stop withholding his pain medicine, but it only seems right that he suffer a little after all I went through.
I guess that’s all I have to say for this letter. It would please me to hear back from you if you have the time.
With all my love, your mother,