A memory

It was a really sunny day when I was younger…either 10 or 11 years old. I remember not needing a jacket when I was outside, and both my mom and dad were home. I’d guess it was probably a  summer weekend.

At that point in his life, my dad was a runner. He was in really good shape and would run every weekend. On the rare occasion he wasn’t angry with me, he’d ask if I wanted to go for a bike ride along side him while he ran. I never said no.

When I was with him, we never diverged from our familiar route…except for once. We turned down a street I had never heard of–something with the name of a tree, like Oak or Poplar–and stopped in front of a house. It happened to be the house of a female friend he worked with. At the time I was polite and just hoped we’d leave soon. We weren’t there for longer than 15 minutes, but I still hate the thought that we went at all.

But on this particular day, my dad decided to go running alone. I kept myself otherwise occupied, and tried not to think anything of it. But my mom came to find me in my room a few hours later, and asked if I remembered the route that my dad took when he ran. Of course I did.

She and I got into the car, while my brother followed closely behind on his bicycle. I pointed out all the ways we went, and then we went back home. I learned then that she was worried something had happened to my dad because, after many hours of running, he still wasn’t back. We didn’t have any luck finding him when we went out, though.

I remember my grandma, my dad’s mom, saying she would drive around and try to find him…. and asked my mom if she’d call if my dad came back.

So we waited. My dad did eventually come running back home. I remember seeing the two of them sitting on the front stoop steps, talking with one another. My dad constantly trying to catch his breath, and my mom with a sour look on her face. My grandmother pulled into the driveway not long after, nearly irate.

“I didn’t get your phone call saying he was back!”

My mom turned to her and said, “It’s because I didn’t call. I needed to talk to him alone.”

At this point in my life, I sensed that my dad had done something wrong, but was innocent enough to think he had simply gone running for too long. It wasn’t until much later  in life that I had pieced together exactly where my dad was during this time. And realized that I had actually gone to the house once before. I couldn’t help but feel this was, in some part, my fault having thought of mentioning it…

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~ by shespeakstruth on November 4, 2012.