11. On Being a Father

11. On Being a Father

A Chapter by Craig2591
"

Chrissy continues to deal with her depression. Ian tries to help and ends up depressed himself.

"

Chrissy climbed into bed and kissed Ian goodnight. She reached over to the night stand, turned off the light and lay back in bed.


“So, did the time off help?” asked Ian.


“Some,” she answered, “It felt good to be alone for a while.” She was quiet for a few moments, then added, “It's nice to get back to you guys again, though.”


He didn't want to pry too much. He knew it could make her angry. But he was concerned. “Feel any better?”


“A little. But a long weekend isn't going to miraculously make me all sunny and cheerful.” There was a touch of impatience to her voice. “I just want to get some sleep now, okay?”


He was quiet for awhile. Try as he might, he couldn't think of a tactful way to ask the next question. He knew he would be safer poking a Tasmanian devil with a sharp stick, but he had to ask. “Been thinking about meth?”


She sat up and turned on the light. She looked at him with angry suspicion and said, “How the f**k do you do that?! How do you always know what I'm thinking?! Can you read my mind?!”


He shrugged and smiled. “I don't know, but you do it, too, you know.”


“I do?”


“Sure. What have I been thinking since you got home?”


She looked at him thoughtfully for several seconds before she answered, “You've been hoping that my little trip would cheer me up enough to want to have sex with you for the first time in nearly two months.”


“Spot on,” he smiled.


She sighed and lay back down. “Alright,” she said with resignation, “It's true. My brain's pleasure receptors have been feeling starved lately and it remembers how I can give them a boost. A dose of meth! And yeah, I've thought about it. It's seductive, Ian. You have no idea how seductive! But, there's no way I'm going down that road again. There's no way I'll let myself become it's slave again.” She sat back up and looked at him again. “You've got nothing to worry about. I'm not risking you and Emily and everything else I have for that lie.”


“I honestly didn't think you would. But I wanted to get it out in the open.”


She turned out the light and lay back down again. “I told you before - I'll never let it control me ever again!”


After a long silence he spoke again. “If you really want to know how I knew you were thinking about it, it's because of my old man.”


“What?!”


“I told you before he was a drunk. I grew up watching that addiction destroy him. Oh, he fought it. I guess I have to give him credit for that. Sometimes he would go for almost a year without a drink. But something would always make him start again.”


“Is that what you think? Something will make me start again? It's been almost eight years, Ian!” She was getting angry again.


“No! That's not it at all. Look, I don't know how to explain it, but because of him I can spot a drunk a mile away. Whenever I meet someone, I can tell within ten minutes if he or she's an alcoholic. It's like a vibe I can feel. There are certain little subtle behaviors you learn to pick up on. It's not as easy with you because it's a different addiction, but I could still sense that you were having a crisis with it.”


“Yeah,” she nodded, calming down a little, “I guess I'm that way with other meth heads. I can usually spot them in a crowd.” She rolled onto her side to face him. “You've never talked about your father before,” she said, abruptly changing the subject.


He suddenly became taciturn. “It's not something I like to talk about.”


It seemed to be a sensitive subject with him so she decided not to push it. But after a long silence he began to speak. “I guess I can forgive him for his drinking. I know it's hard to quit if you're an alcoholic, and he did try. But, even when he was sober he was never much of a father to me. He never once tossed a ball to me, or took me fishing, or showed me how to hold a baseball bat.


“It's not right for a kid to come home from school and find his old man passed out at the kitchen table with a bunch of empty beer bottles strewn about. When you're that age, your father is supposed to be someone you look up to, someone you want to emulate. Instead, I spent my life trying NOT to be like my father!


“That's why I always made sure I was there for Carey. I took her trick-or-treating, showed her how to throw a Frisbee. Hell, I even danced the Hokey-Pokey with her at the Girl Scout Father/Daughter Banquet. And I'll dance it with Emily, too!"


"Well, Carey thinks the world of you," Chrissy broke in, "So, you must've done something right as her father."


"What really pisses me off about it is that it just doesn't take that much effort!" continued Ian.  "The worst part was his unfaithfulness to my mother. Several times! Even my friends knew about it. I was so ashamed of him!


“After I was grown he tried to reconnect with me. I don't know, maybe he felt guilty for being such a lousy father and wanted to make it up to me. But it was too late. He was like a stranger to me. Where the hell was he when I was growing up?!  We ended up having a big fight and I never saw him again. About a year after that my mom called and said that his liver was giving out and he wanted to see me one last time.”


He grew silent.


Chrissy didn't know what to say. Finally she asked, “What did he say to you?”


“I didn't go,” he muttered under his breath.


She hadn't expected the answer. It was unlike Ian to be so unforgiving. Not knowing what else to do, she reached over and took his hand in hers and held it.


He sighed. “Hey, I'm supposed to be making you feel better, remember?”


“Shut-up and make love to me.”



© 2013 Craig2591


Author's Note

Craig2591
Maybe someday Ian can forgive his father, but it's easier said than done. Lately he's been thinking about at least going to visit his grave for the first time.

Thanks for reading.

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Featured Review

This was a very heart breaking and touching story. I can't relate to any of the parenting references but I can relate to the struggle of being an alcoholic. I tried and I tried to get sober, while watching my family and friends die inside at the sight of me. I wasn't able to beat the disease until I found recover. This story sends chills through me and makes me very grateful I didn't ruin a child's life. This was very well written and the emotions were jumping out of the page. Thank you for sharing and keep up the good work!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

9 Years Ago

Thank you very much. I understand that any addiction is a real struggle. I'm glad you finally conq.. read more
Briana O'Connor

9 Years Ago

You are very welcome. The struggle was worth the knowledge and strength I gained from this journey. .. read more



Reviews

Loved it very much

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a very heart breaking and touching story. I can't relate to any of the parenting references but I can relate to the struggle of being an alcoholic. I tried and I tried to get sober, while watching my family and friends die inside at the sight of me. I wasn't able to beat the disease until I found recover. This story sends chills through me and makes me very grateful I didn't ruin a child's life. This was very well written and the emotions were jumping out of the page. Thank you for sharing and keep up the good work!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

9 Years Ago

Thank you very much. I understand that any addiction is a real struggle. I'm glad you finally conq.. read more
Briana O'Connor

9 Years Ago

You are very welcome. The struggle was worth the knowledge and strength I gained from this journey. .. read more
Excellent chapter. Its good to see them talking and being open and honest. That can make all the difference.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Thank you.
Good for Chrissy for being so strong!

It's funny how one can be trying to comfort another and end up being comforted in turn. Parental neglect, in my opinion, is as bad as abuse. Even with no bruises...there are always scars, mentally and emotionally. To betray the trust of a child is terrible. But maybe this episode will be cathartic for Ian and will enable him to move forward.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Thank you very much. Ian has a lot of baggage about his father even after all these years. Talking.. read more
I'm glad to see an Ian-centric chapter again, it's been awhile for him. I like his lack of relationship with his father and what he does with it - especially that he didn't visit him. Brutal. Is his mother still around/going to make an appearance in the story?

I was kind of hoping after the last chapter that Chrissy was going to start using again during her vacation and bring some bad times home with her. I also think that would be really dark, considering Emily's presence in the house. I could see that leading to a lot of hiding, fighting and distance from Emily; and after this chapter, Ian blowing up on her. Worst case scenario, right there.

Meanwhile, back at the story; From ""What really angers me..." to "... he wanted to see me one last time.”" is split into a few different paragraphs. You use the same trick for dialogue that I do, starting a new paragraph for a different speaker and using actions to confirm - so that confused me a little. The context kept me grounded that it's Ian talking the whole time, but I'd compress that into one paragraph or add some Ian-actions to confirm it throughout.

I also noticed a few missing end-quotes from sections, but it's all good. The content almost made me miss them completely.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Yeah, Ian has some anger issues with his father. There was a brief mention in the chapter 'Mothers .. read more
Your dialogue is always so realistic. You make it seem so easy. Your story is real life, the good, the bad, the funny, the sad. That's why I love your writing so much. This is another great chapter in the story of Ian, Chrissy and Emily.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Craig2591

11 Years Ago

Thanks, Barb. There's a particular reason I was able to express Ian's emotions so well in this chap.. read more

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Added on May 15, 2013
Last Updated on May 25, 2013
Tags: romance, love, parenting, foster parent, adoption, depression, addiction, alcoholism


Author

Craig2591
Craig2591

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I am a visual artist with no formal training in creative writing. I get stories knocking around my head and sometimes I write them down. I decided to join this site to share them with other writers .. more..

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