Bedtime

We don’t have time for bedtime stories tonight, so I’m just going to hold you for a while.

I love you so much.  You were everything I ever wanted.  I remember looking into your eyes and knowing my life would change forever, and I was happy with that.  But I look into your eyes now, and it’s changed again.

Has it changed?  How long does a man have to stand on the fence?  You dedicated your first word to me, Dada….  You were always hiding when I would come home from work so you could surprise me.  I loved coming home to a game with you.  Finding you, catching you into a tickle fight, and running with you through the house….  I can’t afford to play hide and seek with you anymore.  Things are too… different.  I just want to go back to when you were so young.  I want to go back to when you were only ever in my arms.  Your mother left my with such a beautiful parting gift, and I already feel overwhelming regret for even thinking of returning you to her.

Paying for your mother left me with only you, and that was more than enough.  Why do things change so quickly?  I just want my head to leave me alone.  At least give me more time to deal with it.  Tragedy happens when time is faster than your emotions.  But no matter how much everything else hardened my heart, you broke it every time.

I remember when you thought a scraped knee was the end of the world, and Dada was still able to fix it.  I can’t fix it now, but I tried so hard….  You’ve gotten so much bigger and stronger now.  Dada can’t fix you anymore.  I can’t.

Life has just gotten so hard, and I’ve been doing my best.  I’m so sorry… but I’m trying to do what’s best for both of us.  I’m not just thinking about me.  I promise you, you’ve always come first.  But now everything is telling me things are different, and I have to move on.  They tell me not to think about it, or instead to think how horrible you are, how mean you are, how ugly you are… but you still look so beautiful to me.

The world won’t play pretend with us anymore, we can only do that together one more time.  We’re both going to pretend now, OK?  I want us to pretend tonight is exactly the same as everyone other night for the past four years.  Can you do that, sweetie?  I’m pretending right now you’re in your pink jammies.  Shhh… it’s time to go to sleep, OK?  I don’t want to do this, baby.

                Shhh… go to sleep one more time….

      Father of a zombie

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