Pa lives eight kilometers from my house.Â It’s an easy drive distance-wise, but a hard one knowing what I’ll find at the end of the journey.
Pa doesn’t use his front door so I slip around the side to the sliding glass patio doorâ€”another tormentor to remind me of how I look.
I slide open the door.Â “Pa?Â It’s me,” I call.
“Right here,” he mumbles and stirs in his recliner chair.
“Did I wake you up?Â I’m sorry,” I say.
“I dozed off just now” he claims.Â There’s a crossword puzzle a pencil on his lap.Â “How’s my girl?” he asks as I lean down to give him a hug and a peck on the cheek.
Pa is the most constant thing in my life, a sweet man with a fiery Scottish temper when aroused, which wasn’t often.Â Though only 54, he looks a decade older from the trauma of fightingâ€”and beatingâ€”cancer.Â His body was still emaciated, though.
“What brings you by?” Pa asks with his warm smile.
“Can’t a girl visit her pa for no reason but that she loves him?” I tease.
Pa studies my face and I know I can’t hide this most recent hurt from him.Â “Come on, now.Â Tell me what’s wrong.Â There’s no use holding it in, you know.”
I ease down onto the old sofa, its springs groaning in protest under my weight.
“Well?Â Get on with it,” he orders kindly.
I burst into tears.Â “Oh Pa!”Â I sob.Â “Tiresa and Mika are getting married.Â I found out through Mama Rose, who wants me to go to the engagement party and the wedding just because they’re family.Â It’s not fair.Â Why doesn’t anyone take my side?Â Mika abandons me and Abe and Fi and Tiresa stabs me in the back, but I’m expected to be nice and act like nothing’s wrong!”Â I bury my face in my hands and let the tears flow.
Pa rises form his chair and comes over to wrap his arms around me.Â Emaciated as they are, they are the strongest arms in the world to me.
“What did I do to deserve this?Â I quit school to marry him.Â I stayed at home to take care of the house and the kids, but I still wasn’t good enough.Â Tiresa swoops in and steals my husband and now she’s trying to steal my kids and be their stepmum.Â Soon Abe and Fi won’t like me and won’t want to see anymore.Â They can give them toys and games and everything while I have to scrimp and save for months to buy things.Â She did it on purpose.Â She did it because she’s a mean, spiteful komo mai tainga!”Â I didn’t know much of the Samoan language, but I did know the curse words.Â “Oh, Pa, why does this happen to me?”
I continue to cry while Pa holds me, patting my back and murmuring something soothing yet unintelligible.Â Continue reading “Sneek Peak~~Chapter 2”