The Secret of Ella and Micha, Page 18Jessica Sorensen
I called my dad from the road and got his address. He tried to talk to me a little bit, but I hung up on him. Confronting him for bailing is not something I'm going to do over the phone.
He lives about two hours away, which pisses me off. Two hours away and he hasn't stopped by once. When I pull up to his house, my hands nearly choke the life out of the steering wheel. He lives in a two-story white-brick mansion. The neighborhood is nice with gigantic houses and people walking their dogs along the sidewalk. There's no drug dealings going on, no fights, no junky cars parked in the front yard.
I sit in my car staring at the red door with a big "Welcome" sign hanging on it. There are flowers around the front of the yard and the grass is green and cut. Is this why he left us? Because he wanted a fancier life. Why the fuck couldn't he do that with us?
My phone beeps in my pocket and I turn it off. It's Ella and I can't talk to her right now.
The front door opens and a man in his forties steps out onto the porch. His hair is the same color of blonde as mine, but thinner. He's wearing a black suit and looks like an arrogant prick.
He scoops up the newspaper from the ground and squints at my car as he trots off the porch. I count to five in my head, force my hands away from the steering wheel, and get out of the car. He recognizes me immediately and his face drains of color.
"Micha?" He tucks the newspaper under his arm. "Is that you?"
I take another deep breath and walk across the front lawn. "I don't even know why I'm here. "
"Why don't you come inside so we can talk?" he suggests. I follow him into the house that's even nicer on the inside; hardwood floors, a massive chandelier, and freshly painted walls with family pictures on them. "You have a family?"
He tosses the newspaper onto a table and motions for me to have a seat in the living room. "Yeah, a daughter that's twelve and a son that's eight. "
Feeling awkward, I sit down in a chair that's decorated with frilly pillows. He seats himself across from me, seeming like he has no idea what to do or say next. "So how have you been?"
"Super. " There's a large portrait on the wall taken in a church of him and his wife on their wedding day and I stare at it, doing the math. "How long have you been remarried?"
He fidgets uncomfortably as he leans back in the chair and stations his foot onto his knee. "Micha, look I'd rather not get into this. "
"What did you do? Like run out on us and marry the first person you came across?" Anger burns in my voice. He looks away toward the window and I get it. "You were seeing her while you were still with mom, weren't you?"
He makes eye contact with me again, with eyes exactly like mine. "Look Micha, there were things going on between your mother and I that you don't understand. . . I wasn't happy. "
"There were things going on between you and me, too," I snap. "So what's your excuse for that one?"
He rubs a hand across his face and lets out an exhausted sigh. "I'm sorry. "
I clench my hands into fists, fighting the urge to jump off the couch and strangle him. "You're sorry? Great answer, asshole. "
He snatches a manila folder out of the drawer of the end table and slams it down on the coffee table between us. "Your grandfather left you some money in his will. "
My eyes flash from the folder to my father. "Is that why you brought me here?"
He opens the folder and takes a small stack of papers out. "I thought maybe you could use it to go to college or something. That would be nice, wouldn't it?"
Shaking my head, I get to my feet. "I'm not going to college and you'd understand that if you knew me past the age of six. "
He slides the papers across the table and sets a pen next to them. "Please just take the money, Micha. I want to know that you're taken care of otherwise it'll haunt me. "
I pause. "Are you planning on ever seeing me again?" His silence gives me the only answer I need. "I don't want your God damn money. " I throw the papers at him and storm for the front door. "Give it to one of your real kids. "
He doesn't call after me when I stomp out the door and he doesn't chase me down. I march straight for my car, getting more furious with each step, and I slam my fist into the driver's side window. It doesn't break, but a couple of my knuckles pop.
"Fuck!" I shout, clutching my hand and the old lady across the street, who's working in her garden, scurries inside her mansion.
I jump in my car and speed off down the road with no idea where the hell I'm going.