Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Rebecca’s Story Chapter 1


Rebecca’s Story, Chapter 1
by Mindy Robin Adelman
aka Me’ira Esaeinahy

Rebecca shivered under her covers as she realized that it was almost seven o’clock.  Any moment now her alarm was going to go off and she would have to get up and get ready for school.  She’d have to crawl out of bed, find her robe, and listen at the bedroom door to make sure there were no sounds nearby. She would stand there for a minute, maybe two, but eventually she would have to leave the temporary haven of her room.  She would make her way the few short steps down the hall to the next door, praying all the way that he was already in his room getting dressed for work.  It was only a matter of seconds between the two doors, but seconds could often prove fatal.  If she made it to the bathroom and locked the door, she was usually okay.  Lately, the lock hadn’t even been enough. He had found a key.

There had been a time when getting ready for school wasn’t such an ordeal.  Now she dreaded having to get up and face her father.  Seeing him was getting harder every day.  It wasn’t that she didn’t love him. Rebecca and her father had always been very close.  Their relationship had always been special.  Sometimes she even felt as if their relationship was closer than her father’s and mother’s.

Rebecca loved both of her parents very much, her father especially.  She just didn’t feel very comfortable around him anymore. Especially with her mother right downstairs in the kitchen, or perhaps lying awake in their “marriage bed.”  Over the past few months, her parents had been drifting apart.  They weren’t fighting a lot, though there were more raised voices around the house than before.  Her father seemed very agitated lately, and almost anything would set him off.  She and her mother were playing it very low key.  They tried their best not to disturb him.  They let him make all of the decisions about where they were going together and what they were going to do.  Her mother had asked her to be extra careful not to aggravate her father. He was having a hard time at work, her mother kept saying.  It would be over soon.

Rebecca didn’t think “soon” was going to arrive quite as quickly as her mother imagined and hoped for.  Her father’s new patterns were getting worse lately, not better.  Her mother couldn’t let herself see that though. And she didn’t have the information that Rebecca was getting.  Though her father had closed himself off from almost everybody else, including her mother, for some reason Rebecca still received the privilege of her father’s attentions. 

Sometimes, when her mother wasn’t around, they would just sit and talk together.  And late at night, when her mother was sleeping, he’d been entering her room quietly, and they’d just hold each other.  It was kind of nice being able to get so much time with her dad, but she felt bad about having to keep their closeness between just the two of them.  She didn’t understand why he only came and sat with her when her mother wasn’t there.  But she didn’t want to question the time he was giving her, for fear of losing him altogether.  She couldn’t risk losing talk-time and cuddle-time with her father.  It was too precious to both Rebecca and her dad.

Rebecca had considered telling her mom about the close relationship she and her father were hiding, behind her back.  She wanted so badly to ask her if she felt left out, to ask her if she wanted to join them.  In the end, she decided against it.  Her parents were getting loud more often, and she somehow knew that telling her mom would start a heated argument, followed by yelling and slamming doors.  Rebecca hated secrets.  But letting go of this secret could mean losing her father’s trust forever.

Still in bed, still waiting for that alarm clock to ring, Rebecca pulled herself into a fetal position, a cocoon, wrapped up tightly in her blankets.  That alarm would go off any moment, signaling the start of her incredible journey across the hallway.

But her precious few minutes were being taken away.  He had come into the room looking for her, looking for any comfort he could find before he had to head off to the stresses of his day.

“Becca?” Her dad’s gentle voice as he slowly entered the room, trying not to make any sounds that would alert Rebecca’s mother as to where he had gone.  She had wished so many times that her bedroom door had had a lock on it. But what would be the point? He’d found his way into the locked bathroom.  The bedroom shouldn’t be so hard.
“Becca, are you awake?”  She nodded her head, remaining snuggled in her cocoon.  She didn’t want to risk saying or doing anything that would offend him or put him on edge.  He always seemed so peaceful when he came in to her room in the mornings, so glad to see her. As much as she really wanted that lock for her bedroom, hearing him tell her that she was the one thing he’d done right in the world, that she was beautiful, smart… She wanted his whispers so very dearly.

“How’s my baby girl doing?” He asked Becca.
“I’m fine Daddy. Did you sleep okay last night?” Her mother had been complaining that he was constantly getting up and down in the middle of the night.  Both Rebecca and her mother were worried that he wasn’t getting enough sleep.  But Becca knew where he was going when he left his bed.
“You really care about me, my Becca, my angel. You are my blessing.”  Becca felt her father slip under the conforter and wrap his arms around her, his head resting close against hers.  Back when their snuggling had first started, they had talked about everything- school, clothes, baseball, almost anything.  Slowly, the outside world drifted farther and farther out of their conversations, until he kept the conversations about Becca, and about the time they had together.

“You’re really getting pretty, my Rebecca.  I know. I was fourteen once.  I remember what it feels like to be in love with a beautiful thirteen-year-old girl- almost fourteen yourself.  Soon boys are going to start asking you out on dates. They’ll pay for your dinner, take you to the movies, and then take you someplace where they’ll want to-“
“I would never, Daddy!” Rebecca pushed herself away from him quickly. She saw the distress in his eyes, and this time wrapped herself around him.  Tears started flowing down her eyes. She wasn’t sure why.  But he felt them. He saw them.  And he was, as always, determined to be there for her in the only way he knew how.

“Lay back honey. I’m so sorry. I never meant to make you cry.” She followed his directions, reluctantly.  All he really wanted was to make her happy, and she didn’t want him to feel like he couldn’t even do that.  He didn’t have anyone else.  Or at least that was what he kept saying.  Rebecca wasn’t sure where her mom had gotten lost in the picture.

“I’ve got you, baby. Daddy’s got you.”  His soothing voice flowed over her. He wiped away her tears.  His hand now moving up and down her arm, ever so gently, his fingertips barely touching her skin. She curled herself back up in a ball, then remember she was supposed to be relaxing.  She closed her eyes and stretched back into the position on her back, trying to think of the ocean, of the woods, of anything.

Posted by Me'ira on 12/04 at 09:56 AM | Permalink
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