Excerpt from novel #2. Elizabeth reflects on her father’s love.
“My father has never hugged me. I’m almost twenty-three and my father has never hugged me. He’s touched me. Draped a wooden arm across my back a time or two, no more affectionate than the scoop of a dining chair. But there is no memory of embrace. That uncomfortable pressure of someone trying to love you but not knowing how; I’ve never felt that luxury. It’s no mistake that I’ve subconsciously wedged myself between two men. In some alternate universe of Freudian understanding, Mattie and Nolan represent my father’s arms. One on each side of me. Framing me. Giving me what I never knew I longed for, and I wonder if they know this. I wonder if they know that when they choose to touch my hand or kiss my cheek, or squeeze me in a drunken bear hug, they are touching a part of me that is bare. Naked and confused, yet hungry as hell. When they pull away, my insides strain like a magnet begging to clap back together. I’m a tear-soaked baby, ripped from a mother’s heartbeat and I don’t know anything. I am once again without. I am cliché. Another girl with daddy issues. It’s so pathetic I might cry next time I see a dining chair.”
photo by r. nial bradshaw