4 years ago
December 20, 2014
I stared into my tall bedroom mirror as I saw myself standing still, taking in the amazing sight before me. A girl with a soft brown complexion. Her black, short but coily hair flowing downward. She was wearing a stunning blue dress with the most detailed white patterns placed across the bottom of the dress. The length of the skirt reached all the way to her feet. She felt like pure royalty.
“This is a dress made for a true princess”, I thought to myself. I wanted to cry but I held in my tears. I’m only twelve, yet a part of me felt like like an adult ready to take on the world.
“Emi”, a voice called from outside of my bedroom door. It was Dad, “Are you done? Can I come in?”. I closed my eyes and I took a deep breath as I held onto the skirt of my dress. I could feel its soft fabric. I turned toward my bedroom door.
“Yes. I’m ready”, I answered.
The door knob turned and the door began to open. Dad walked in and his expression went from neutral to awe in a matter of seconds as he looked at me. I really wish he wouldn’t though. Right now my face is really brimming red and I’m avoiding eye contact with him as much as possible so he wouldn’t notice. I stared toward the ground instead. I went from feeling like an adult, to feeling like a small mouse.
“Wow”, Dad said as he walked toward me, “you look absolutely gorgeous”.
“T-t-t-t”, I could barely speak. I wanted to tell him thanks, but at that point, I wasn’t sure how to say it anymore.
“Hey”, Dad knelt down on the floor and gave me one of his signature ‘It’s okay to cry’ hugs. My head was over his shoulder. It was only then I remembered Dad was wearing his usual work attire for the laboratory. I could feel his lab coat resting against my dress. Suddenly, my mind went back to the day Mom left…and never came back.
“I’m sorry about mom”, tears started to run down my face. I could even taste their salty flavour as they hit my mouth.
“Emi, I told you that wasn’t your fault”, Dad was about to let go, but I didn’t want to let go of him just yet. “That was a grown-up decision your mother and I believed was for the best. None of that is your fault”. Dad has been trying to convince me that Mom’s leaving wasn’t my fault for the past month. Sometimes I wonder if he could hear me when I cry myself to sleep in my room. I really hope he didn’t. I know right now he could feel the wet tears drop seeping through his coat and the sound of my nose sniffling.
There was a silence as my dad tried his best to comfort me in this emotional moment. Then he ceased the hug.
“Hey”, he grabbed both my hands and I could feel him looking directly at me. I couldn’t really make out his expression as I was still avoiding eye contact with him and staring directly at the floor, “I know how much your mother meant to you. She was my world too. But I promise you, I will never leave you. I will always be here whenever you need me”. I’m pretty sure Dad could see my cheeks bursting into red once more. “Now who is my warrior princess?”. At times like this, Dad would always encourage me that I’m a warrior, that no matter what obstacle was in front of me, I could always take it on.
“M-me”, I murmured a bit, “I’m a warrior princess”. It was at that moment I was able to raise my head and look directly at Dad. My dad used to tell me I look just like Mom, but I honestly don’t know. Ever since Mom left, I keep looking at my dad’s face hoping to find any of my facial features on him. Not that I want to look like him, but hoping that I was more like him rather than my mother.
I could see my dad starting to smile as if my words were the answer to making him happy. He even started to chuckle a bit to himself in his typically dad laugh.
“You definitely are”. It almost seemed like if Dad wanted to cry himself. “Emi, I couldn’t be any more proud to have such a beautiful daughter as you. I couldn’t be happier”. It was almost as if dad was trying his best to make me as embarrassed as possible, but I still couldn’t help but make the dumbest smile despite the tears running down my face.
“Ah!”, Dad exclaimed. He started to grab something from his pants pocket. It looked like an envelope. He took out a folded sheet of paper that was inside. “Guess what?”. At this point, Dad was proudly smiling for some reason as if he found a twenty dollar bill again like he did last week.
“Huh?”, was all I managed to say.
“I got your name officially changed”, he said as he began to unfold the paper and point the front of it with fancy writing toward me, “You are now Emilia Aniyah Blake”.
At that moment, I knew I had the dumbest smile on my face that I ever had. I jumped onto dad to give him a tight hug. “Thank you so much!”, I accidentally shouted with joy.
“You’re most welcome”.
Before I could enjoy the moment any long, our father daughter moment was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a cellphone ringing. It was coming from Dad’s coat pocket. I could even feel the vibrations through my dress. Dad stopped the hug and dug into his pants pocket.
“Hold on, Emi”, he stared at the screen of his smart phone and answered the phone by tapping it. It didn’t take much for me to figure out it was most likely someone from work calling him. “Hello…yes…really?!”. Dad sounded really enthusiastic as a bright smile appeared on his face. He began to stood up. I’m surprised he didn’t do so sooner since his knees were probably hurting him. “I’ll be right there!”, Dad told the person on the phone. The call ended. Dad couldn’t seem to contain his excitement. “Emi, I have to go to the lab.”
My face started to sadden. Dad usually isn’t at home often, even when it’s so close to Christmas. He’s always busy working on his “super secret research”.
“Don’t worry”, he reassured me and rest his hands on my shoulder, “I’ll be back home as soon as I’m done. And I promise we’ll play that video game you like so much as soon as I get back. Okay?”. I nodded and he kissed me on my forehead. Dad started walk out of my room in a hurry.
“Oh!”, Dad called out to me, “Emi, don’t forget to-”.
“Don’t open the door for anyone except for Ms. Cox”, I finished his sentence, “I know.”
“That’s my girl”, he complimented. Soon after I could hear the front door close.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and clasp my hands, “Please come back soon”.
Author: Bethania Arts