I don’t know how my father’s eyes looked, if they were light brown or speckled with bits of black. I do know when they filled with wanting my innocence. I know when they were crystal balls that held my future. I know he smelled of old spice and beer and that he played catch in the street with me after a long day at work, still in his crisp white collar and cuffs and I know that his laugh was genuine when I caught the grounders he sent right to me feet. I know he wanted to find some part of himself every time he lost himself in me. And so I believed that I carried the answers to his unasked questions. I was the Treasure Island that held the missing pieces of his soul.
I’ve spent my entire life looking for those pieces so I could rid myself of what would make him whole, so he wouldn’t come looking to me anymore. If only I could give him what he wanted, what he needed then he would stop hurting, we would stop hurting. I know he spent everyday at morning mass because he hoped that the penance and the prayers could obliterate the sins. I know I stopped going to mass because I knew they couldn’t.