Maple syrup on the dining room table adheres my skin, reminding me of breakfast on Sundays.
The sun was pouring through the window, illuminating the dust in the air as it slowly floats around like magic.
My dad was big and tall, like a lumberjack.
He flipped pancakes while singing along to Led Zeppelin, transforming the energy in the house as we all woke up .
His smile was as warm as the butter melting on the plate of food he made for us.
This glimpse was like a family portrait on the wall.
It was Sunday’s best, like what you see during a church service.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday:
Those days were not the same.
Those days were darker and they were not mundane.
His the sun faded, so did his smile; he wiped the liquor off his mustache, swaying as his eyes showed someone else’s soul.
Our bellies were not full from a happy family dinner, but from a deep aching pit of fear.
My legs would shake and my heart would race, wondering how the night would end.
Who would get hurt?
I would hide in my closet, picking glitter and Barbie shoes out of the corner as I heard screaming and yelling.
Something would break.
After the night became quiet and we all slept ’til morning, we would wake up to Sunday’s best version of him.
He remembered nothing as he kissed my forehead and went to work.
I always remembered everything he didn’t.
In the end, it was my turn to kiss his forehead, and for the very last time.
His skin was cold and yellow.
Just before he took his last breath, I told him I would only remember Sunday’s best.