Envy, just as Dr Fenberg had alluded to. I envied my younger siblings. They got the dad I always wanted, and I got a monster.
“He’s still your father now…” She stopped stroking me, and I felt her dig in her back pocket. “He left this for you.”
I sat up, saw that she had an envelope addressed to me in her hand. I regarded it warily, before taking it from her cautiously.
I opened it, took out the handwritten letter and read it to myself. Both sides were filled with words of remorse, acknowledgement of all the trauma he’d caused me and Dove, how he’d been searching for us for years, and now that he’d found us he was going to spend the rest of his life trying to make it up to us, whatever it took.
I screwed it up, tossed it to the floor, then lay my head on Naomi’s lap again.
“What did it say?” she asked after a minute or so.
She leaned down and kissed me, her lips lingering on my cheek. “No one will think you’re crazy for wanting a relationship with him, baby,” she whispered.
I wiped at my eyes with the backs of my hands as the tears rolled out. She always knew what was in my heart. “I don’t know how to. How do I look at him and not remember all the horrible things he did?”
“It will get easier with time.”
I didn’t share her optimism.
The Adams house was set on a quiet cul de sac in Olympia, an hour’s drive south of Seattle. Manicured lawn, white picket fence, the whole nine yards. The perfect family home. Everything I didn’t have growing up.
It took twenty minutes of sitting in my car and giving myself a pep talk, before I was finally able to step out and walk up the drive to the front door.
What the heck are you doing here? my inner voice reprimanded. Have you forgotten who this guy is?
I hesitated at the door, my fist suspended in the air, ready to knock.
“What am I doing here?” I mumbled. This was silly. I put my fist down, turned around and started back towards the car.
The door opened. “Dakota?”
I spun around to find Sarah there, a startled look on her face.