Chapter Fifteen: The End

 

Deserve is the most useless word in our language, and should be removed from the common lexicon.

 

I’ve been reading and hearing it a lot lately;

  • You didn’t deserve to be treated like that.
  • You deserved better parents.
  • I don’t deserve to be spoken to like that.
  • I deserve to know.
  • I deserve to choose.

 

But here’s the thing: that word doesn’t matter.  Deserving something, believing you deserve it, having hoards of people say you deserve it, doesn’t change shit.

 

You get what you get.

 

As my father used to point out to me on a near-daily basis: life isn’t fair.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Fourteen: Redux

 

Jan stayed with a friend my last night in Colorado, so I had the house—and her cat—to myself.

 

I nursed my hurt with sweet tea and tater tots, waiting to get good and tired.

 

I fiddled with their remote, possibly breaking it, and finally got one channel in.[1]

 

I taught the cat new tricks.

 

I was waiting without knowing it.

 

The call came just before 1am.

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter 12: BOOM!

 

The day of The Meeting was also my last full day in Colorado.

 

I’d prepared my father for my departure, reminding him that with a flight leaving at noon I wouldn’t have time to run all the way up to him in the morning and still make it to Denver in time to check in.

 

I was half hoping he’d change his mind about The Meeting, decide to spend his daughter’s last day in town actually with her, but no.  As long as you make it to that meeting, I’ll be happy, he’d said.

 

So here I was, dragging my exhausted ass into the hospital for one last day on watch, and even that would be interrupted by the actual Worst Meeting Ever—and I’m including the times I had to sit and listen to a man with dreadlocks down to his ass lecture me on the poor feng shui of my desk while rearranging my shit before I’d finished my goddamned coffee.[1]

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Eleven: DD Form 214

 

I had done the right thing; I had told my father his idiot brother didn’t currently have the PoA he thought he did, even though in doing so I was almost certainly shooting myself in the ass.  Or foot.  Hell, probably both at the rate I was going.

 

I stopped for really excellent Mexican[1] and got something with waaay too much cheese.

 

I went back the next day braced for whatever might come of my confession…

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!

Chapter Ten: Tock…

 

My father, in case you hadn’t guessed from other clues, has always been oddly old-fashioned about certain things.

 

I wasn’t allowed to get my license when I turned 16 because, according to him, I didn’t need it; I’d have a boyfriend to drive me anywhere I wanted to go anyway.[1]

He objected to my choice to dye my hair, stating that God himself had chosen for my hair to grow a certain color and I couldn’t possibly know better than the almighty.[2]

While he readily admitted (truly, without prompting) that women were free to wear whatever they liked, and should be comfortable in their clothing, he also expressed a strong preference for women—particularly his daughter—in a dress.  Any dress.  He wasn’t fussy about length or neckline or anything, just… a dress.  Skirts were, in his opinion, a poor substitute; I never did figure out why.  I had some damned cute skirts.  But he gave them the same side-eye as my shorts, jeans, or anything else.  Only a dress (mid-thigh or ankle length—he truly had no preference!) would get a genuine compliment out of him.

 

Now we come to two facts about me that are immutable yet have somehow gone unsaid on this blog:

  1. I will never be good enough for my father.
  2. I will go to my grave trying.[3]

 

Don’t stop now – keep reading!