Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment VI

Chapter VII

Forgiveness & Love

I thought in space I would be safe from him, but at the moment space seems like the least safe place in the universe.

Sure a war is going on on earth, but at least he isn’t there. At least the man that made my and my mom’s life miserable isn’t there.

I’m tempted to go back to the Asteroid Inn to make sure he’s still there or at least call and check. But even if I called I’d have to apologize for screaming at him and my mom and I don’t feel like even being around anyone right now. I’m in a place were nobody would ever find me. I’m hiding in the panic room of the Stevenson’s starfighter. I don’t even know why starfighters come built with panic rooms. You flee to the panic room when you’re about to die. Why not just die in the cockpit instead of this pitch black empty room is beyond me.

The only light in here is the small glow of my computer. My wheelchair takes up most of the room in the panic room. It’s starting to feel hot in here and the oxygen is starting to feel stale. But I don’t care. Its quiet in here except for the soft hum of the computer working. Anywhere else in the floating space house the sounds of machine running and people just living life would keep me from my thoughts. My thoughts aren’t good ones right now, but sometimes a girl just wants to be alone with her thoughts.

I might as well write down my thoughts so whoever finds me in here passed out from oxygen depletion can see what was on my mind and what drove me to hide out in the panic room.

My thoughts are these: Why did Mom ask him to come? Why did he come and what are his intentions? Would he try to smooth talk Mom to get back with him? He’s gotten so good at smooth talking and lying that even I can’t tell whether what comes out of his mouth is a truth or a lie. Would Mom leave Laz for him? I mean Laz’s not my favorite person ever but he’s a million times better than he. 

I haven’t see him for almost six years. He called every chance he got while he was in jail. I like to believe it was pure boredom that drove him to call us. Our conversations were always the same. He’d ask me about school, about my friends, and if there were any boys he needed to talk to. I don’t know what he said to Mom or even the words of the short cooing he would say to Bec, but every time Mom talked to him she went some place dark and Bec always shined.

After he got out of jail the calls came less often until two years ago they just stopped. I personally didn’t mind. The talks were always creepy and uncomfortable. Every time I got off the phone with him I would secretly pray that he would stop calling–even before I came to believe that God was real. 

I guess I always knew God was there. I’ve just always had a hard time believing that He was there for me. But the verse about him being the Father to the fatherless is what hooked me. No matter how hard Laz may try, he will never be my father. Even if Lou finds a way to lie into my heart, he will never be my father. But I am not fatherless and I’m not even alone at this moment. God is here with me and He’ll never leave. 

Then why does it feel like I’ve left Him on earth?

**

I woke up gasping for air. My laptop was the only light in this strange room I was in. The words stared back at me. I remembered writing them, but I didn’t remember when. All was quiet. I didn’t even hear a wail of a baby. Where was I?

I used the light of my laptop to find my way to the door. The door only lead to a much smaller room. My face rubbed up against another door. I fumbled for the doorknob and when I did light assaulted my eyes. All the sounds of the Matthews house were thrown into my ears at once. A yelp escaped my lips.

I rolled around to find that I had really been in a panic room. Drury Hall’s panic room which was hidden inside an unused coat closet. How I had found such a private room in my state of distress I don’t know, but I was glad I had found it. I felt refreshed and renewed.

But all my problems were still there. Lou was probably still in Florida and the burden of having to apologize for calling him a ‘boldfaced liar’ and ‘the only person I’ve ever wished dead’ was still there. I tried not to replay the scene in my mind. I also let it rip at my mother before rolling off as fast as I could.

“Look who decided to show her face.”

I stared at Matt wondering what in the world he was doing sitting in a chair in the middle of the Matthews’ hallway reading a book.

“Matt, what are you doing here?” I asked.

“Waiting for you,” Matt said like I should have known that. “Noel told me I’d find you in here, but when I opened the door you were asleep.”

“And what do you want with me?” I asked folding my arms.

“You really hurt Lou’s feelings,” Matt said. “He cried.”

“He WHAT!” I shouted. Lou never cries. Never ever. He rarely ever even shows his true emotions. I couldn’t have possibly made HIM cry.

“Cried as in shed tears of sadness,” Matt said. “He didn’t have a weeping fest, but I saw some tears splash out his eyes as you rolled away like a mad woman.”

“I was a mad woman,” I said. My joke felt flat. Matt only got tighter.

“What you said was really mean, Charlly. All the man wants is a relationship with his daughter,” Matt said. “I know you don’t know this, but your mom and my dad helped get Lou into rehab. They sent him to a Christ-based addiction treatment rehab. Lou’s waited two long years to finally be able to be a real dad to you and Becca Lou and all you do is yell poison soaked words at him.”

“I don’t you need you to play sibling parent,” I snapped.

“Charlly, I would give anything to see my mom again,” Matt said in a low, sad voice. “I get two phone calls a year–on my birthday and on Christmas. Dad and I receive a Christmas card every year. She doesn’t even write a personal inscription. It always says in computer font “Mike, Patrica, and Nicole wish you a happy holiday.”

“What’s so wrong with that?” I asked. “I haven’t spoken to Lou in two years! I never received a birthday present or a Christmas card!”

“But there’s a big difference,” Matt said. “Anyone with ten percent of their brain can see that Lou cares and loves you an Becca Lou. I would do anything to know that my mom really loved me. She enjoys her life without me. She has the stable husband she’s always wanted and the perfect little daughter she wouldn’t even let herself dream about. And I have to admit that I enjoy my life without her. I don’t think you enjoy life without Lou. I know your just dying to go down to the B&B and roll right into Lou’s arms.”

I tried not to cry. I really did. But tears followed out my eyes like a river. For the first time ever, Matt willingly hugged me and wiped away the tears.

“Charlly, it’s never easy to apologize especially when you know you’re going to get punished, but coming from a guy who’s had plenty of experience in the forgiving depart, saying and actually meaning the words “I forgive you” is a lot easier than walking around with the boulder of forgiveness on your shoulders and saying the words “I hate you.”

I stared at Matt in pure amazement. That was something Laz would say at a time like this. Matt even sounded a little like Laz when he said it.

“I forgive you,” I said as I rolled towards the front door.

“For what?” Matt asked running after me.

I didn’t answer him.

**

When I rolled into the Sunshine B&B all eyes fell upon me. I looked over at Mom. I could see the reproof and harsh words forming on her lips, but Lou spoke before Mom had a chance to open her mouth.

“Lottie,” Lou said in a dry sounding voice, “before you speak I want to say something to you and I never want you to forget it. Never say sorry if you don’t mean it. Don’t say sorry to get out of trouble. Don’t say sorry because somebody’s forcing you. Saying sorry when you don’t mean it is lying. Its a flat out lie. And nobody likes to be lied to. Lottie, your mother and I have talked. You will not get in trouble for your little outburst this morning. With that being said, hate me all you want, Lottie. Just let me warn you that all hate is going to do is scorch your heart.”

I nearly had a panic attack at his words. The voice was the same, but the words weren’t. Lou never seemed to care a thing about what I did. I can remember all sorts of things I got away with that most parents wouldn’t their kids even think of doing.

It me a moment to realize that all eyes were still on me. Lou had sat back down in his seat. Some of the little kids were whispering to each other, but other than that a sound was not to be heard in the room.

How badly I wanted to be able to scream the words “I forgive you, Lou!” and hug the man to death, but they weren’t true. I still had a lot of anger and hate stacked up against Lou, but underneath all the hurt was love for the man that played a roll in giving me life.

I gulped. Could I really tell Lou that I loved him? I saw Lou sitting there waiting for some words from me. I could either say venomous words or words that would give him hope. Hope that one day we could one day forgive and forget.

I took my time rolling over to the table Lou sat at. Nobody’s eyes followed me, but their ears were listening.

I got as close as I could to Lou without rolling over his feet. His amber eyes sparkled at me. I had never seen Lou’s eyes sparkle before. The sparkling of his eyes sealed the deal for me to say the words I’ve been longing to say.

“I love you, Lou Pa,” I whispered.

Lou smiled. I hadn’t called him Lou Pa since he went off to jail and I rarely even said it before then.

“I love you too, Charlly Lottie,” Lou whispered.

And with those eleven words between us uttered, things would never be the same.