Daddy Who Never Smiles

He doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t need to. His painfully cheerless eyes remind me of wrapped chocolates. Sometimes they remind me of a single chocolate, in the jar all by itself. The jar, so colorful and exhilarating, is the world around my father. The crinkled silver foil reflects the rainbow weakly, but the reflection isn’t genuine. It doesn’t come from inside. Fake happiness that comes and goes with the passing sun spilling in through the window.

Occasionally the sun is too much heat and pressure on the isolated chocolate, and it might liquefy, develop into molten gloom. But the wrapper will keep it all inside. A passing stranger would have no clue what that wrinkled, faded, worn-out shell contains. My daddy seems stuck sometimes, like a chocolate in a bright glass jar. The jar is without a lid, has no opening, not even a crack. I can’t ever seem to get in.

Sometimes, I get close. Fingers reach. Glass breaks. But that determined wrapper won’t come undone. I pull and I tug, but it stays tightly shut. My finger gets cut on the glass, and though it hurts, I try my greatest to endure. I strive to make my father happy, proud, try to lure a smile out. I do everything a good daughter should do, but he stays sealed tightly inside that wrapper, and it’s the only side of him I see; a dull existence in a shimmering world that can’t seem to grasp the concept of joy. But if there is more to him, I want to know. I yearn for some snippets of thoughts that mingle inside that white-haired head. I give him a hug, and he cuts it short.

“I have to go to work,” he tells me.

“But you’re always at work Daddy.”

“I do it for you, so you can have a good life.”

“Daddy?”

“What?”

I whisper, “I love you”.

A pause. His thin lips curl up at the corners, and for the slightest fragment of a moment, his eyes smile too. A rare twinkle in his crinkled brown eyes that gets eaten up in an instant by dimness, like clouds that swallow the sun. “I love you too.”

And he vanishes. Gone to work his three jobs. Disappearing in that colorful chaos I call life and he calls work. I want to tell him to open his eyes! To see the world around him, to enjoy and live and thrive. I want to yell, “Come back and be my daddy for once!” But I don’t, and he doesn’t. And I sit at the window and watch him drive away.

My father, with his heartbreaking chocolate eyes, whom I never understand, who barely sleeps and is making a good life for me, today is alone.

And I think if I was alone what I would do. I sit in his lap when he gets back, like I used to when I was little and hadn’t a care in the world. I tell him again I love him and give him a hug. I love and love and love him, and he loves me back. Love can do amazing things. It can even open a stubborn silver wrapper. Maybe all that little lonely chocolate needed was a friend.

Daddy Who Never Smiles

takemeawaycn

Columbus, United States

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Artist's Description

Prose about the relationship between my father and I, written 2 years ago in an honors English class.

Featured in Redbubble writing.

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