Subject line: you're the only thing I have left.


columbus, ohio.

It’s 8:45pm and we’re finally sitting down to eat one of your infamous stir-fry concoctions. I just made it home after muddling through the final exams that kept me from time with you and as soon as you get settled and ask, “So, what’s the best thing that happened to you during your freshman year of college?” you get a phone call from your wife and without a word you’re upstairs with your phone and a door shutting me out.

I’m 19 wishing my dad loved me more than he loved his wife that he married just over a year ago. I’m 19 and eating my stir-fry alone. I wish you meant what you said and wanted to know that I’m in love with a boy who has girlfriend because he reminds me so much of you but I’m afraid you’re not listening as I silently shout “I just want you to mean it when you say you love me” through my clenched teeth as I force a smile at your attempts. I wish you knew how it feels to have a dead mom and a dad infatuated with another woman when all I want is for someone—anyone—to take care of me. And if anything hurts the most in the world it’s feeling like a road-block —a something-you-need-to-get-around-before-you-get-to-what-you-actually-want— to someone who’s everything you want and need. I’m home from being away since September and I feel more empty than I did saying goodbye eight months ago. I know you care. I just wish it wasn’t like this. I wish you realized what it feels like to sit alone at a table that used to have four other people around it and now it reminds me of how much I’ve lost and how much I’m holding onto that I secretly know I’ll never get back. How do you care about someone so much yet still sit lonely and mad and hurt by them all at the same time? How do I tell you how much I love you when I know you’re trying to be present but you’re already so far gone and I’m already as hard as stone?

Please come back down. I don’t know if you care about who I am but please sit with me. Your stir-fry is cold.