My dad, the master manipulator, had a way of getting help from pastors and churches too. Most of my experience with church in my childhood was my dad bumming something from them like gas, money, or our next meal. We attended once or twice as part of my dad’s method, but only when it seemed necessary. But, here in this serene community, we were able to truly participate as members, attending regularly, not as bums seeking a handout.
If I had been able to live this life from that point forward, this story would not have been written. But, it didn’t last long. I always had this fear that someday, my dad would show up and ruin our lives again. I was afraid that he would take away this pleasant, normal living experience we had created without him. Then, one day, when I was out riding my Big Wheel by myself, I spied my dad sitting in a car across the street. I pretended I didn’t notice and kept riding around. Not long after, I went inside hoping he didn’t see me.
The next night after dinner, my mom told us all to stay inside and she went out front. We looked out the window as we saw her approach the vehicle, then walk around to get in on the passenger side. They sat in that car for what seemed like an eternity. I prayed that mom would not fall for whatever he was trying to tell her. I just knew he was trying to get her back. I imagined, in his master manipulator ways, he was talking her into taking him back. Hours later, my mom came back into the house with my dad. I could tell they had been crying and I instinctively knew this new life we had found was over.