Truth and lies
Can you abide lies? When I found out that my father was having an affair for two years before he told my mother, I was shocked to the core. I was just up to go to the bathroom before bed when my crying mother invited me into their bedroom and told him to tell me. I cursed in front of my parents for the first time calling my father a ‘conniving bastard’ and it felt good! It goes without saying that I did not sleep that night, or any subsequent night for a long time.
It was an age where mobile phones were relatively new and you could see on the TV screen when text messages were being exchanged. My life at that time was stuck in front of that TV at night, and every time those lines crossed the screen I ran up to the spare bedroom, the room my father was banished to, demanding to see his phone. I had never demanded anything off the man my whole life but I did demand to see that phone each and every time those lines crossed the screen.
I said goodbye to my father, tears flowing like Niagara Falls every Friday for a month. For some reason it was always a Friday, leaving me devastated and crushed as I had to pick up the pieces he cut my mother into over the weekend. When he would arrive back on a Monday, grovelling for her to take him back, she was like putty in his hands. After the second time I wanted to say something but my mother stopped me. She wasn’t ready.
Those lines across the TV screen had me onto him like a boot on a bug running up the stairs always demanding to see his phone. Most of the time he feigned sleep, but I knew deep down that this whole leaving on a Friday and arriving back on a Monday was in no way going to stop any time soon.
After the fourth time I sat my father down and basically asked him to choose; his family or the air hostess. It felt like a dagger was plunged into my heart when he picked the air hostess. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was being waterboarded. He left for the final time that night.
The lies and deceit continued even with him out of the house. He let me personally down on several occasions. He would tell me he would pick me up at noon to go to the airport to watch planes. I swatted up on the airlines and types of planes that entered and exited Dublin airport to impress him, but then I’d see the lines on the TV screen and receive a text that he was cancelling. I began to take him off the pedestal I had him on before the news of him choosing the air hostess and became wary about making plans with him at all.
Each and every time those lines crossed the TV screen, I knew it was him and that I was going to get a text saying he was cancelling as I sat there, my coat in one hand, the transistor radio in the other.
I recoiled into myself and took to the bed. I decided to ignore the lines and didn’t even open the texts. I froze him out for years.
Just as technology evolved, the lines on the TV screen no more, he had also moved on to ‘the widow’ as he called her and her eleven-year-old autistic boy, Sean. The phone calls between me and my father became few and far between. Whenever we did talk, he said how he had just dropped Sean to school and later college. I was, and still am, very jealous of the young man.
My father, mine and only mine, will not divulge his address. He says he lives in his mothers, yet whenever I talk to him, he’s always watching sky sports, a channel I know his mother not to have. So there he sits, watching his sports in a house with his new family in a location somewhere in Ireland seemingly happy. Is he hiding something from me? Why else would he keep the truth of his place of residence a secret?