13: Franny

1.1M 37.1K 14.6K
                                    

13. Franny

My dad comes home at five in the afternoon.

My body is curled up and my cheek is pressed against the arm of the chair. The TV is off and I stare at the dark screen as I hear the screech of tires in the driveway. I get up from the armchair as footsteps come bounding to the front door.

My dad walks into the house, his hand pressed to the back of his head. He slams the door shut behind him with accidental force and looks up, seeing me leaning against the doorframe. We stare for a moment before I break the silence.

"Did you drive?"

"I didn't drink," he says.

"That's not what I asked."

"I didn't drink," he repeats, eyes narrowing on me as he walks past. "Who's the adult here?"

The pungent smell of beer hits me as he brushes past me. I look down at the beer bottle that hangs from his fingertips, close to slipping from his sweaty palm. He grips it tighter.

"You did drink," I say.

He whirls around, his glare meeting my own. "I don't recall asking you to keep an eye on me, so why don't you just fuck off?"

A jolt grips my chest from his words. He's never said anything that harsh, even while hungover. I can't help the slithering fear that runs through me. It feels wrong. I shouldn't fear my own father.

"If I don't keep an eye on you, then no one will," I mutter. "What would Mom say, Dad? You're drunk driving. You're the husband of the woman who was the damn sheriff, for God's sake!"

"Dead woman!" my dad roars. "Dead! I'm not the husband of any living thing. I'm the husband of a dead thing. The stuff in the attic is a dead woman's stuff. You're the daughter of a dead woman. She's dead!"

"That's no excuse!" I exclaim. "You're drinking every night and driving around drunk like the law doesn't even fucking count for you! You're going to get killed!"

"I can do whatever I want!" Dad screams, taking a step forward.

I don't even see the beer bottle until it smashes into a million pieces against the wall right beside my head. A few chunks land in my hair and hit my arm on their way down to the floor. My eyes stay locked on the floor, my heart racing and my mouth open in shock.

Horrified shock.

I slowly look up at my dad and the movement makes pieces of glass slide out of my hair and land on the floor. He just looks at me and my eyes fill. I don't let any tears fall and I don't say anything. I just watch as he walks away while the horrendous realization of what he's just done settles over me.

Staring down at the glass on the floor, I feel sick.

That beer bottle was inches from my head. My own dad almost smashed a glass bottle over my head. My entire body shakes but no tears fall. My vision turns blurry and I can't see anything but a jumbled mess of colors around me.

I fall to the floor in one quick drop. Glass crunches beneath my feet and I clench my eyes shut, letting the tears seep out and the reality of what just happened close in around me.

The scary part isn't that he threw the bottle at me with no care or hesitation.

The scary part is that I can honestly say that I'm not too sure whether he intentionally missed or not.

***

The idea of spending the entire weekend alone with my dad in the house sets me on edge. It shouldn't. He's my dad and I shouldn't have to be afraid of him. But I can't even handle being in the same room as him right now, let alone trying to make some kind of conversation.

Bulletproof (Publishing 2023) ✔Where stories live. Discover now