Note to reader: Molly Silvanic is a senior at the University at Albany, State University of New York who graduated yesterday. She will enter a master's program in Education in the fall. Part One of this Flip Your Script appeared on Thursday, May 17th. Stay tuned for a piece that explains how writing the Flip Your Script stories enabled Molly "to forgive [her father] for everything that he has done." For more on Flip Your Script, go to the Happiness class blog. For other Flip Your Script stories, go to the Search function on MyStoryLives, and type in Flip Your Script.
All you hear is the “CLICK PSTTTTTT,” and the “MMMMMM” as he awes at the taste of his beer. As he stands up with the Coors light can in his hand, the wooden chair rocks beneath him, as if the chair is unsure if it should fall over and surrender or stand up straight and be brave.
He wobbles away from the undecisive chair and grabs the door to try to keep his balance. He looks back at the wobbling chair and kicks it over with all of his might. All he can think about is himself. “I work. I take care of my bills. I AM A FUCKING FATHER.” He starts screaming at the door that is holding him up. As he looks down the barely lit, lonesome hallway, there is no one there.
He flops into the hallway and as he takes a step, he falls against the wall and the brown wooden picture frame falls to the floor. The glass shatters at his feet. “FUCK! What the hell man.” He bends over to pick up the picture and as he does, his head begins to spin. Everything around him is going in circles except for the picture. In it you can see his daughter hugging him. She has a smile on her face that makes her look like the luckiest and happiest girl in the world. He has his arm around her like he is the proudest father.
This was nine years ago, before the divorce, before the abuse, before she left.
He yells at the photo: “WELL YOU KNOW WHAT? I’m glad you left!” He screams and shakes the photo as if his daughter would feel the pain. “I’m glad that you and your mother left my life because I don’t need either one of you!” He keeps trying to convince the photo. Tears start to fall down his cheek and as one falls onto the broken picture, his anger takes over. “Fuck you, fuck you fuck YOU!” He glares at the photo and brings it close to his face. “It’s not my fucking fault that he tried to touch you! He was my friend; I didn’t know he would touch my child. That didn’t mean you had to leave me! I would have protected you! You are so ungrateful!”
He screams as he starts ripping the picture out of the frame. With every rip, more tears drop, and with every tear, it gets harder for him to stand.
He goes to take a step but misses the floor and falls flat on his face. The ripped pieces of the photo drop all around him as his tears floor from his eyes. All of a sudden a cellphone goes off, RING RING RING RING is all you hear throughout the house. He crawls over to the black table standing in the corner. His eyes are still filled with tears so he cannot read the tiny screen.
Opening the phone he screams “MOLLY?!” He patiently waits to hear his daughter’s voice, telling him that she wants to come home. But all he hears is a friend: “Hey Jerr, the game starts at 8:30, you want to go get a beer and watch it down at the bar? I’ll drive.” The sound of the man’s voice confuses him and he asks again, “MOLLY?! Where are you?”
“Jerry, you doing OK man? Molly is with her mom probably, you know she graduates this week. Have you been drinking man? You started without me!”
Jerry closes the phone and just stares at it. As he glances down the dark hallway, he realizes again that he is alone. No one is there, just his tears, his beer and him. He looks down and sees the ripped up photo and says, “NOW BITCH, now look what you made me do. How am I going to clean up this mess?” He begins to cry again, as if the mess is too much for him to clean up. As if this time, there are just too many ripped up pieces ever to put back together.