Medical Supplies and Insubordination
I wish you never left us. Dad’s been doing some odd stuff. I don’t know quite what’s wrong with him. I’m scared. Please write back. Thanks.
Medical supplies not used for medicinal purpose known all too well to me are sprawled out all over the counter. Great. Dad’s home. Trying not to make a sound I hustle to the stairs leading to my bedroom. He catches me.
“Hey honey. I bought something for you today. It's on your bed.” He says hazily. Great... He's not mentally here.
“Thanks dad.” I say trying to end the conversation as soon as possible.
I grab a banana,head upstairs and open the door to my bedroom. As I'm walking over to my bed I can see what he bought for me. A dress. I want to reach for my phone and text someone, but I remember I have no friends. No one at the shit of a school I go to likes me anyway. I look over at my wall covered by all of my paintings, most of them from the pain of when mom left after dad was awful to her. She was a good person. I want her back and I want him to leave. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I can’t believe he did something like this again! I want to sit on my bed and cry for hours but I’m too angry.
He never could accept me could he?! He keeps trying to turn me into this person I was never meant to be. I am not the perfect little girl he wants me to be. My name is not Ashlyn. And I am not his daughter.
I am his son. And my name is Ash. I grab a pen and paper.
Dad’s gone out of control again. He’s still addicted. He can’t accept that I am not a girl. He doesn’t understand me. He bought me a dress today. Its flowery and girly. You would’ve like it. I have a girlfriend now. Her name’s Michelle. She’s a lot like you, from what I can remember. You would’ve liked her. She’s the only one who cares about me besides you. I miss you and I need you. Write back!
I put the letter in an envelope and address it to Libby Renigan Address: unknown, stamp it and put it in the mail box. I keep hoping the mailman knows where she is and gives it to her but that’s unlikely.
Why does this man keep trying to change who I am?! He hates that I have a girlfriend who takes me for who I am and loves me unconditionally. He hates that I don't feel like I was supposed to be a girl. He hates everything about me. And he blames me for mom leaving as well as hiding his grief with the thing I’m all too familiar with like it’s normal.
The only person I have who actually gives a shit about me is my girlfriend Michelle. No one understands me more than her. No one could ever understand my situation better. She had a brother who was a trans-female and had to go through the same thing with him, sorry, her.
I invite her over to spend the night. I don't care what my dad thinks anymore. I just want him to and hope he eventually will accept me for me. I need her. I. Need. Her.
She walks into the door where she is met by my father. “Ashlyn! Your friend’s here” he calls up the stairs.
“Jesus dad! For the last time my name is not Ashlyn and she's my girlfriend! God!” I say angrily but the sight of my beautiful girl's face perks me up instantaneously. I greet her at the end of the stairs planting a firm kiss on her cheek.
“Nice to see you again Mr. Renigan,” Michelle says sweetly while heading upstairs. My dad rolls his eyes. I will never be able to understand his actions against her. All she does is love me for who I am.
She does what he doesn’t. I guess he hates her because she makes me happy, a feeling I’m not allowed to have. Not since mom left for his inability to be a decent human being!
“It’s not your fault Ash,” she whispers, cradling me in her arms. “He ‘s just angry your mom is gone. You know he drove her to leave, Not you.”
“I just don’t know how much longer I can live here Michelle. You’re my only system of support. Well, you and your sister.” I mock. We both have to work tomorrow so we drift away dreamlessly cuddled and huddled together like two kittens, smiles on our faces.
I walk into work trying to avoid Bernie at all costs. Bernie is my boss, and, dad’s best friend. He left a list for me.
Clean the girls bathroom
Do the dishes
Manage the sandwich station
Help Michelle on the register
I decide not to clean the bathroom. Bernie can do it himself. He’s an asshole anyways. I leave a note for him.
Clean your own bathroom asshole. Love-Ash.
He claimed insubordination and fired me that day.
Upon arriving at home I see my dad’s car in the driveway, something that used to excite me but now continuously haunts me. To my surprise, there aren’t medical supplies on the counter, but several bottles. He’s been crying. I walk in and-
“You!” he charges at me, “It’s your fault your mom’s gone! She left because of you being such a queer!” he shouts, shoving me, “Now she’s dead! She never loved you and she can never love me again now too! God dammit! You’re such a mistake!” He slaps me.
I tried to hold myself back but I couldn’t. He reached my final straw. “No! It’s not my fault mom left! It’s yours! If you hadn’t been such an arrogant asshole and actually paid attention to her and showed her that you loved her, she’d still be here! Who else do you think bought me those G.I Joes for Christmas? Who else do you think bought me the boy clothing you always told me I was, a girl, not good enough to wear them? And who, do you think loved me when you didn’t?!” I punch him and race to my room. I grab a pen and fresh piece of paper, crying.
I need you more than ever. Dad’s drunk, he just hit me. He says you’re dead. I don’t believe it. I punched him. I couldn’t take the verbal abuse anymore. I don’t regret it. I got fired. Bernie tried to make me clean the girls bathroom. He’s been a real dick lately. I miss you mom. I wish you were home. I really need you. Please come back to me.
I put the letter in an envelope and address it to my mom. I put a stamp on it but I don’t bring it outside.
The dog is barking and I hear someone driving up into the driveway. I sit on the stairs, listening as I hear footsteps enter the living room. I hear a female voice. Upon reaching the end of the stairway I turn and see a dark haired, beautiful woman in front of me. She’s holding an envelope.