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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3. Chapter 3

Malik was standing on the rooftop of The Blue Lagoon with a half full glass of Champagne in one hand, his short extroverted friend had an arm over his shoulders.

"...ladies and gentleman please join me in wishing this handsome sonovagun, my friend, my big brother a happy thirtieth yeh!"

"Yeh! Happy Birthday! Cheers!" cheered colleagues and friends on the rooftop.

The evening air was cool and the artificial lighting made everybody's faces so bright especially Malik's. He walked over to the mobile bar shaking hands and giving hugs on his way there. He got to the bar and asked the barman for a tonic water. He opened the 220ml Schweppes bottle and began to down the tonic water when he felt a delicate hand on his left shoulder. He abruptly stopped drinking and nearly choked. He coughed as he closed the bottle of tonic water, turning around to face Fatima. She was in a skin tight long black gown with dark eyeliner around her eyes making them look even more emerald green. Her long black hair looked healthy and shiny.

"I had to wish you a happy birthday personally."

"Thank you and thank you for coming.... You look lovely tonight."

"...and you look handsome as usual" and so he was. He was wearing a maroon long sleeved shirt with a collar, denim jeans and Timberland boots. He had black hair, hazel eyes and a gorgeous smile that made the women melt whenever he came down from the IT office to deal with popups, password issues or retrieve "accidentally" deleted files.

"I got you a present, it's nothing big and I insist that you have it." She handed him a little grey box. It was a silver key chain with a little sword engraved in it. "I remember that you liked Samurais as a child and I remembered that sword you have on your living room wall. That is a really impressive sword." She looked expectantly at his face. Malik was staring with raised eyebrows, the open box in his hand.

"Fatima, you really didn't have to... I am not ungrateful just...." "Then have it!" Fatima interrupted. "It is just a damn gift, (she continued lowering her voice), and it's not an engagement ring or whatever. I get it O.K, I get that you do not love me."

Malik took a deep breath, ran his fingers through his hair and finally closed the box and put it in his pocket. He came a little bit closer to Fatima, his hazel eyes looking right into her green eyes. She shifted them and looked away and then looked at him again.

"Listen, I like the gift I think it's thoughtful. I really do not want you to think that I hate you or anything because I do not... but what kind of a man would I be if I lead you on but have no intention of anything more? You need to commit yourself to someone who will commit to you..." "So you will not commit to me! (Fatima interrupted again), and why Malik why don't you love me?" She started tearing up and some people at the bar were looking at them and the barman was pretending not to have been listening in and looking. Malik took a serviette from the bar counter and led Fatima away from the crowd.

"Honey you have put me on a pedestal, you have put men on a pedestal, (He had both hands on her shoulders), you need to stop that. You need to be single for some time and get your self-worth. No man wants to be with a woman who does not believe in herself. You are a great person and you are beautiful but you need to realise and believe that."

Fatima was rigid with arms glued to her sides and eyes wide open, she looked insulted and shocked. What the hell was he talking about? Of course she had self-worth, she had degrees, three of them! She had a career in finance and she had money and good looks. Malik's short extroverted friend came over wobbling with a floral lei around his neck and a Bullfrog in his hand.

"There you are mate, (faking a Captain Jack Sparrow accent), now let's go and paint the town red or blue or yellow or wadeva! Or rainbow!" and he took his friend away.

Malik and his four friends including Shorty Extrovert left their cars parked in the basement and took a walk to Heartbeat; a poetry lounge that served the best finger food platters. They usually consisted of some seafood such as deep fried calamari, meat such as beef kebabs and chicken and vegetarian snacks such as veggie spring rolls and crudités. They had an assortment of sauces and dips that ranged from fire breathing hot to sweet and mild. Shorty was against the poetry, he wanted to go to a club however, his friends overruled him and everybody was looking forward to having a Heartbeat platter.

They chose to sit on a sofa right at the back facing the stage since there were no free tables or seats close to the stage spending the rest of their evening having the best finger food in all of Section B and listening to good poetry.

Meanwhile about ten kilometres away a group of ladies was having a get together of their own.

"So I told myself that I am never going to kiss a drunk man again as in ever!" laughter. Stacey was a flight attendant and had not been with Hunn and Petal in over five months. She always had crazy, weird, funny and sometimes scary stories; like the suicide bombing that happened a few metres from a hotel she was staying in once. She was naturally curvy and very conscious about her looks, she always wanted to be seen looking fabulous and at her best. She had decided to go completely organic and vegan which did not always work out because of all the traveling, plane food and different destinations with different cuisine and resources. She swore that fifty squats, fifty push ups and fifty crunches were a regular must and what kept her sassy curves from "jiggling". She called it the 150 Blast. She had shoulder length dark curly hair and big brown eyes which always spoke.

"I don't even know why you would be kissing a drunk man in the first place?" said Petal.

"Hey we all have to kiss a few frogs before we find our price right?" replied Stacey.

"I don't believe you have to kiss frogs, I mean they could be princes in progress or farmers or something." "Hunn, you already found your prince so you cannot judge Petal and I, capeesh."

"Speak for yourself dear, you cannot find something that you are not looking for, and I am not looking for any prince. I am no damsel, who said we need to find men to feel complete anyway?" commented Petal.

The ladies were in Hunn's home/studio. The home was mostly upstairs and the studio was downstairs occupying what used to be a large garage. They were sitting on a mosaic carpet with a game of snakes and ladders and snacks.

Stacy shifted from her bottom and onto her knees.

"Whoa sister, nobody said anything about being a damsel. All I was saying is that it would be nice to have a good man by my side or maybe in my bedroom (wink), nobody said anything about being a damsel. It's about giving love and receiving love. It's not like I am going around with whoever, I am saving the good stuff for the real deal." "Hey and if that is what you want then that is what you want. I just think that men and guys are not all that great, in fact, I think they are the problem in most situations. Women are fine without them Stacey."

"So Petal, you are telling me that you do not want a man ever and you believe that there are no good guys out there?"

"No, I ....I don't know Stacey. All I know is what I have seen and experienced. My father fucked up my mother's life, he fucked up my life O.K. and my brother has turned out to be just like him. I look around and I see men abandoning their children and mothers and grandmothers are taking care of them, even the rich guys and the ones who can afford to maintain their kids are too busy cheating with little girls. Sweetie I have good reason to be cynical and a sceptic!" there was silence for a while.

Hunn took a sip of orange juice and started to speak calmly, "Look I am no life expert, and I think that past experiences play a huge role in our lives, but we cannot keep reliving negative experiences because we will miss out on the beauty of the present. Yes we can live without men for sure. I think that once you know who you are and you are not living in fear but you are grateful and at peace, then all things fall into place. The older we get is the more we realise that things will fall into place and anxiety is just a waste of life. Petal you need to be strong but not hard and Stacey you need to take it easy on the man hunt because your prince will not see you when you're too busy kissing frogs."

"Oh c'mon now (Stacey covered her face in comical shame), now you make it seem like Petal is made of rock and I'm a whore." They laughed.

After Heartbeat Malik decided that it was a beautiful night and he wanted to walk for a bit therefore he would take the train back home. Shorty Extrovert was to be taken straight home because now he had gone from Shorty Extrovert to the Rowdy Shorty.

The train was quite empty at 1AM. There was a young man who had passed out by the window on the right, a woman in a very short skirt typing on her phone and an elderly man who looked like he was probably from working a night shift. The old man got off at the next stop and the lady in the mini at the next stop. At the third stop Malik noticed a young woman with blue hair in a red floral jumpsuit and a red cardigan get on the train on the other side of the coach. "Hmmm, interesting hair." He thought to himself. The woman with the blue hair looked to the right and saw that that side of the train was empty. She decided to sit on the side where there was a guy in a maroon shirt and another one who seemed passed out. "Guess they had a wild night." She thought to herself. She sat a few seats away. She saw from the corner of her eye that the guy in the maroon shirt was kinda handsome but, whatever.

Elephant Man started singing Petal took her phone out of her small sling bag and saw Vector's name on the screen. She decided not to answer. Why was he calling at such a weird time anyway?

She had not told him about the dismissal; why should she? She had told Hunn who suggested they have the little get together they had and when Stacey arrive in town she was invited as well. Lilo could not make it - and thank goodness because Petal just did not want anything that reminded her of Vector right now. She was thinking so hard that she nearly missed her stop. She snapped out of her reverie and moved to the door quickly before it shut. The guy in the maroon shirt had noticed the blue headed young woman get up and hurry to the door, he also noticed the smartphone that she had slip from her lap and onto the train floor. She disappeared so fast that he would not have been able to run after her anyway and the train doors had been shut.

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