I walked into my tiny house expecting a quiet evening at home. Instead, I found my past in the living room.

She was young, only nine, but had the sharp, honest tongue of smart kids a whole lot older. And she still had the bravery of girls her age. So I got an earful about her own past and my dissolute part in it.

I asked about her mother.

“She’s dead.” The girl spoke in a tone that blamed me for that, too.

She went on talking. Whenever she stopped to take a breath, I murmured whatever I thought best at the moment. I fixed her supper. She talked around the food in her mouth.

“I’m gonna live with you,” she declared. “An’ nobody from the govmint is gonna stop me.”

I stared at her with my mouth open. My life had no room for a kid.

She glared at me. “An’ I don’t care what you think either.”

She talked and talked until she fell asleep on my lumpy couch, and in her dreams she wailed, “Why didn’t you stay?”

4 comments on “Fatherhood

  1. Oh Well. I still think it was good.

  2. Good start. Hooked me, What happens next?

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