It was the 13th anniversary of my family’s freedom from my father’s tight grasp this summer.
My mother protectively guarded us from plain sight, pulling all the strength she could find out of her frail, heart she could find to tell him we were leaving.
We were lucky enough to already have owned a second home which we rented out from time to time. Not so lucky that it was a mere 60-second walk from Dad.
My father was the type that composed everyone to go silent the second he entered a room. He demanded authority and respect from the moment you heard the loud thud of each stride he took.
Everything had to be a specific way, and no one dared to speak until spoken to. His charm and charisma breathed into the faces of everyone but ourselves.
Who knew what happened behind closed doors soared to such heights that he’d have them all in awe of his treasured life and persona he arrogantly spoke so highly of.
He’d never faced a job interview he hadn’t been awarded or a person who wasn’t swayed by his captivation. — Unless you’d met the dark passenger that lived behind his mask.
He was the person who made me realise “first impressions are everything” is the type of ignorance I’d never teach my own children. He was such a natural actor, he even had family members bowing to his audacities, insisting that the truth we unveiled was a dramatic version of reality.
I had lived a lifetime, yet was still a child. We packed up all our belongings, moved schools, and escaped to the city with no word.
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