Sarah’s father walked out the front door on the morning of her seventh birthday party and did not walk back in until her seventeenth, just to say “I forgot my coat” and “This is Karen” pointing at the skeletal woman behind him and then “Do you have any eggs?” Sarah didn’t respond right away, but sat quite frozen for a bit. Her friends looked at each other in awkward silence.
“Well do you?” Her father asked again, stamping the snow off of his boots to hide his impatience.
Sarah realized that this was indeed what was happening, so she’d better do what she could to make it end as quickly as possible. The last she had heard from her father was a hurried phone call in the middle of the night asking if she had any money he could borrow.
“Yes. We have eggs.” Her voice felt far away.
“Great. Can I have a dozen?”
Sarah stood up, feeling her heart crack just a little as she looked at his face. Her father had aged. His skin was leathery from sun damage, loose fitting around the corners of his jaw and wrinkly. His face was stubbly in patches, as if he had forgotten what he was doing mid-shave. His eyes were still so pale, so blue, as he looked at her earnestly. “Sis, yes or no?”
She had forgotten about his nickname for her. Sarah swallowed, realizing her mouth had been open, and walked into the kitchen.