I Blame It On My Father

A story about Petal, a young blue headed woman working through her family drama and most importantly dealing with her "daddy issues" which have affected her life and relationships so much. On her journey, she struggles with forgiveness, her mother's mental illness and vulnerability in relationships. She did not know that a broken relationship with a father could have such dire consequences. Things become worse, much worse before they become better. A story about hope, love, patience and forgiveness.

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1. Chapter 1

5AM. Lying faced up on the sofa bed, her obliques and whatever abdominus (it had been a while since high school biology) sore from the intense running of the previous evening. Petal was up thinking about that evil judge. He claimed that mommy was faking her mental illness, saying that "Somebody was looking for an Oscar". She ran so hard and long that evening at training just to release the anger.

Petal did not like seeing mommy in court; she looked lost and weary and she was thinner every single time. Why did Blunt refuse to drop the charges against mommy? He knew he provoked her.

Elephant Man's "Do the Right Thing" came blasting from the bookshelf disturbing the quiet of the room in the early morning. Who was calling this early? It was four hours before crazy call time. She gingerly went towards the bookshelf to get her phone, realising with every movement that it was not just her oblique muscles that were in pain. The name Vector appeared on the screen with a glowing green phone icon on the left and a red one on the right, she pressed the one on the right.

Vector was a nice guy and she just remembered that they were supposed to meet that afternoon but she was not in the mood to talk. He had not asked her out exactly but he kind of hinted it and that made Petal uncomfortable.

After an hour of doing dancer's stretches, a quince and a sesame seed bun it was two hours to crazy call time. 9AM was when work officially started for Petal. She worked from home for a company called Direct Me. To save on rent and electricity and any costs involved with maintaining a real live company, they had a few contact agents working from home on their cell phones and computers. Petal chose to receive calls from lost people seeking directions from 9AM to 3PM. Direct Me was linked to a conference and event company which worked with international corporate companies. Since internationals were frequently getting lost on their way to various venues throughout the day, the company came up with the idea of a 24 hour directions assist with each contact agent working 6 hours a day. The problem with this set up was that Petal could and did accidentally get calls at any time of the day and/or night until she decided to get those two sim card phones. She had a number specifically for those six hours and when time was up she disabled the sim. Having two phones just seemed too much of a hassle, having one phone was stress enough since she often forgot if it was under the pillow or on the basin or was it the kitchen cupboard while she was doing the dishes? She did not know who her manager was or who controlled the call times and whatever as long as she received a payslip via email every two weeks from Chia Mia from HR, all was good.

At 3:44PM sim number two was finally disabled and forgotten after a 35 minute phone conversation with a man with a funny accent and a deep voice who kept saying "Heh?", some people have no manners - never heard of excuse me?!

Elephant Man started singing and she knew it was a personal call because for work she used the basic phone tune.

"Hi Vec" making an effort to sound pleasant.

"Ola called you this morning and no answer..."

"Ya it was quite early sorry I missed it... err... let's meet this evening, had a crazy afternoon" stroking her cute blue dreadlock bob. (It was irresistible seriously, ever since she shortened her locks the bob was dangling on the side of her face or in her face, she could not resist stroking or twisting it whenever she spoke on the phone.)

"Okay at 5PM, I will bring the files and you can bring the laptop..."

"Alright, see you the then."

"Sure."

Vector was a slightly nerdy and quiet but sometimes very talkative medium height medium built guy. He was dark skinned and had a big smile and shy eyes. He was sitting at a corner table by the window in their favourite restaurant Home Style when Petal arrived only five minutes late. He looked fresh in a white golf shirt with a red stripe along the collar and some light denim pants. He always dressed casually, Petal thought; she could not remember seeing him in formal. The air conditioner was on full blast and Petal was grateful that she decided to throw on a blue cardigan over her orange tank top. She had great legs and runners thighs (those with the nice quads and hamstrings and nicely firm), because of this, skinny jeans were her choice of pants almost always. Hey if you've got it flaunt it right!

Vector did not notice her come up to the table, he was busy texting on his phone smiling.

"Hey Vec."

"Hi." He stood up and she sat in the chair opposite his.

"Are you good?"

"Great and you?"

"Nice, I like the blue hair. The blue is nicer than the blonde."

"I was always planning on having it blue I just had to bleach it first because my hair is very dark. I have to say I like this bob. I was kind of worried that it would not suite me after having long hair for so long... but I actually really like it. And are you planning on doing any new and fancy hairstyles?"

"Oh no, the simple stuff for me thanks." Laughs.

This was how they usually got along; casual and platonic avoiding anything too intimate. Even though they had known each other for five years they never hugged. Vector would sometimes maintain eye contact a little bit longer than necessary and made Petal uncomfortable. Petal had noticed a while back that he was kind of into her and tried by all means not to lead him on. It was not because she did not like him, just not like that. Vec was too nice sometimes - like he would probably be a clingy boyfriend kind of nice, and Petal was more of a free spirit. She did not understand why boyfriends and girlfriends felt the need to call each other seventeen hundred and fifty five times a day. What would they talk about when they eventually met face to face? Nothing the other does not already know.

Their relationship was a casual friendship to share ideas and accompany each other here and there. Vec was a welcome distraction most of the time because Petal worked from home and did not get out with colleagues like other 27 year olds. She hardly saw her friends because they had other things going on. Today they were discussing the new business venture that Vec was interested in. Vec was the implementer and Petal was the planner and organizer. Petal could plan and advise on pretty much anything (thanks to hours spent on Google) and Vec made things happen. He was super practical. After discussing the business for about an hour they ordered dinner and were beginning to pack away the papers and the laptop when Vec's phone buzzed again. It was the fourth time now and each time he would quickly pick it up and text then put it back down. This was unlike him. He preferred calls and would usually excuse himself for a few minutes to talk and it did not happen often. Another weird thing was this little suppressed smile he had while he texted. He was totally not giving this meeting his full attention and this was SERIOUSLY unlike him.

As Petal sat back in her chair sipping on a lemon and ginger tea while staring out the window looking at a street artist paint cuts of meat on the wall of the new butchery across the street, Vec was at the door. He walked back to the table and stood next to Petal's chair, lost in her thoughts and the meat cuts, she did not notice. "Petal", she heard a familiar sweet female voice and looked up. In a pink and white kimono like top and black leggings, long braids and freshly tweezed brows that made her eyes pop. "Lilo?" Goodness her waist was so tiny and her hips so wide and her hand was....her hand was in Vec's hand. Her two friends stood there smiling hand in hand for what felt like hours. Were they dating? But when did they...? But why was..? What is this, was Petal feeling....jealous?

 

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