His face was red. His jowls quivered in anger, meaty fist pounded the table. “You are throwing your goddamn life away!”
“It’s my life to throw away!” I spat back, standing across from him.
“We decided you’d finish Grad school before you got married!” he was waving his hands around. He always did that when he got really frustrated.
“I decided! Plans change!” I was pointing my finger at him, the wrong move to make.
“Don’t point your finger at me! Don’t talk to me like I’m your buddy, I’m your Father!” Sweat beaded on his bald forehead.
“I’ll do whatever the hell I want to! This is my life, my decision!” The fight wasn’t about Grad school, it was about control. “I’m twenty-three; I’m not a child anymore, stop treating me like one!”
“I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one!” His eyes were on fire. The icy blue orbs raged with anger.
My shoulders pulled up and forward, tense and knotted. My knees were locked, legs tight, every muscle in my body felt like it’d burst. We stood there, staring at each other for a long moment, eyes locked, breathing heavily, each waiting for the next to move, to speak, to look away.
He leaned forward, fists balled up, knuckles turning red. His mouth tightened and I could almost hear his teeth grind as he resigned. “Fine! Ruin your life, you are going to regret this and when you don’t have the life you want, you will always remember this day! You will regret this day for the rest of your life!”
He twisted, grabbed his car keys off a nearby hook and stomped out the door. The thin white door slammed behind him, shaking the walls. A picture of our family fell to the floor, the glass shattered and sprayed across the linoleum. I sat down, body trembling, a sudden tiredness washed over me. I had won, but it didn’t feel like it.
I can’t remember how much time had passed, but I’ll never forget the hollow knock on the front door. I could see the men in blue uniforms standing outside, hats off. My hand pulled the knob hesitantly.
“We're sorry…” and they meant it. Eyes heavy, words slowly measured and weighed before they spoke. Dad had been speeding, as he was passing another car someone pulled out into the road. It was a blind alley, it was just an accident. He was in the hospital, but it didn’t look good. It was like listening to a story about someone else, but it wasn’t, it was about my family, my Dad.
A tear wells up in the corner of my eye as the machine hums to life, I feel my body vibrate and lunge forward into what could be.