A Visit from Dad – By Dalmatia Fleming
A Visit from Dad – By Dalmatia Fleming
Ellen settled into southern California. The large sum of money she saved while working as a hostess at a high end bar in Tokyo enabled her to cover her rent and tuition at a community college without having to work. Ellen did more than just survive, she thrived. She passed the GED exam and within a few years, graduated with an Associate’s degree. After a few entry level jobs, Ellen landed a position at a prominent software and hardware company. The hours were long, but Ellen was determined to assimilate into American society.
Ellen’s little brother Chuck was the next of her siblings to leave the cult. He kept in close contact with Ellen ever since her move to California. Ellen did all she could to encourage Chuck to leave.
Eventually Chuck was able to make it to the American east coast and stay with Grandma and Grandpa until the time came for him to join the military. Chuck was angry, and the military provided sanctioned violence which he needed at that time; boot camp, guns, fighting and an enemy. Chuck got kicked out after about a year and a half after he got in a brawl at a bar over a girl. The police found a gun on him and Chuck went to jail for three months. When he got out, he moved to California to live with Ellen.
Ellen put in a good word for Chuck with one of her previous employers and Chuck was able to land an entry level job.
Ellen and Chuck settled in to American life and their time in the cult seemed almost like a past life, very distant indeed. Until one day when Ellen received a phone call from their dad.
“Dad called yesterday. He’s coming to town and wants to see us.”
“Oh, the Asshole wants to see us, huh? Like, raising us in a “hippy Jesus commune” and almost ruining our lives wasn’t enough for him, he has to come back and see us? I could go the rest of my life without seeing that pervert again.”
“I know, but we could at least meet him. You know I’m not looking forward to it either.”
“I’m debating as to whether we should meet him in a public place, you know, like a restaurant, or if I should invite him over here.”
“We better meet him in public. If he comes over here I might beat the shit out of him. I’m older and bigger now, and in a lot better shape since I last saw him. He’s probably a shriveled up old man now.”
“He’s not an ‘old’ man.”
“Yeah, well, I could beat him to a pulp.”
“… OK, so it’s decided then, we’ll meet him in public.”
Ellen sent her dad a text message and suggested they meet at a neighborhood Japanese restaurant. He agreed and they set the date, two days from now.
Ellen and Chuck arrived at the restaurant thirty minutes early. They needed to get a head start on the sake. Chuck waved at the waitress. “Miss, may we have another bottle of sake please?”
“Chuck, no… That’s OK Miss; we’ll wait until the rest of our party arrives.”
Chuck glared at Ellen. “You don’t have to drink it now if you don’t want to.” Chuck was fidgeting in his seat, his foot nervously tapping the floor.”
“Chuck, you need to calm down… look at you, you’re a nervous wreck, and angry. I don’t want you drunk when dad gets here. I want to be able to steer the conversation, I can’t control it when you’re like that.”
“YOU can’t control it when I’M like THAT? Since when do you think it’s YOUR job to control things, especially ME! You should be THANKING me. Remember, I’m the one who told mom. He let those hippy Jesus perverts rape you. RAPE YOU Ellen, that’s what is was you know!”
“I know what it was and you need to keep your voice down.”
“Everything OK over here?”
“Yes, we’re fine, thank you.”
“…Yes, we’re fine, thank you” Chuck mumbled under his breath in a mocking voice while glaring at Ellen. “Where fine all right. Just move to another continent, bury our heads in our work, suppress everything and pretend it never happened. Sometimes I think I’m going to explode. I could kill that bastard.”
“…I know, I know…” Ellen paused. She could feel her heart racing. Perspiration began to appear on her forehead. She looked down and realized she had shredded her paper napkin all over her lap. She brushed it off.
There was a long silence. Ellen glanced up to find Chuck staring at her. She quickly looked away. “You’re right. I have SO blocked this out of my memory. Look at me, I’m shaking.” Ellen held her hands above the table and stared at them, and then self consciously put them back on her lap. “This is going to be hard. Hey … Chuck … will you pour me some sake please?”
Chuck looked hard at her face and poured the sake. Ellen stared at her cup in silence, took a sip, eyes still turned downward. Chuck slowly extended his hand across the table. Ellen stared at it, then reached out to hold it. Ellen looked up and their gaze locked.
The light surrounding them slowly dimmed as a shadow began to slowly envelop their space. They looked up.
“Hey kids … oh my God … great to see you!”