Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Even though this story is about my father,
    you need to understand that really it's about my mother
    and her strength.

    There were two last times.

    The first happened when I was four years old.
    I sat cross legged, gawping at the Television,
    back when they only worked when you slipped a pound coin inside.

    Rosie and Jim was on.

    I still can't sing that song or see those two ragdolls without being immediately taken back to this moment.

    My father had a bag on his back,
    he was going to work I assumed.
    He rubbed my white blonde hair
    and said something along the lines of
    "I'll see you tomorrow Tom".

    I don't remember him saying I love you,
    and I don't remember seeing him ever again.

    The second time is confusing,
    and though the first will always feel like the last time,
    I think, deep down, the truth lies with the second.

    I wasn't at home.

    I was at my grandparents, my father's parents,
    a house that I still see everytime I'm home
    and riding on the tram.
    I've always wanted to stroll up, knock on that door, and get the answer,
    but I never have.

    I was a little older, maybe still four
    and somebody knocked on the door
    and for reasons beyond me,
    I opened the door.

    Maybe I didn't, but when I close my eyes
    I imagine a younger Tom opening the door
    and my mother grabbing me,
    passing me to my aunties, my other grandparents,
    and sitting me down in a car.

    I was crying.

    My younger sister, a year old, was still inside with my father,
    and I never found out what happened next.

    I asked my Mother a few weeks after I turned 18,
    and she only told me that he had tried to bargain,
    "Tom for Abbie", he had shouted,
    "You get Abbie. I get Tom."

    Abbie came home with us,
    and we never heard from him again.

    But we never had to. We were just fine.
    My sister, my mum... me.

    We didn't need him.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.