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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4. Chapter 4

Petal was awoken by a knock at the door at 9AM. She opened the door to find Vector standing there. She suddenly became conscious of her loose pyjamas, unwashed face and I-just-woke-up breath.

"Hey...." Her voice was hoarse.

"Hi, can I come in?" he pushed passed her before she could answer.

"O.K?"

Vector took a few steps up and down with one hand on his hip and the other rubbing his temples. Petal remained standing with her back against the door. Vector stopped pacing and looked at her. Her arms were crossed and her face questioning.

"Are you going to tell me what is going on?" She asked.

"Ya, mmm... last night I called you. Um, it's Lilo she...."

"What's wrong? Is everything fine, is Lilo fine?" Oh goodness what if she was pregnant?

"She received this offer, to work overseas on a mission trip. The thing is that there is this virus there and the Doctors Without Borders need as much help as they can get... and one of the doctors who went there two weeks ago died yesterday. She wants to go Petal and I do not want her to go! Look it's a good thing she wants to do, finally putting her medical studies to good use; but I cannot lose her... not when I have just found her!" Wow.

Petal did not know how to feel about this. It was not her place to decide for Lilo, and Lilo had always said that she wanted to use her medical background to volunteer and get the fulfillment that she did not get from the corporate world. She was a naturally good hearted person (unlike Petal who felt like being cynical and distrusting came more naturally).

"I really don't know what to say. This is really something she has always wanted. You need to talk it through with her." She shrugged.

"I could not sleep thinking about this and then I called you and you did not answer."

"Sorry, I lost my phone." She lied. She lost her phone after the phone call.

"Look Petal, can we go for a walk, grab a snack maybe. I just need a friend right now. I told them that I will be taking a long lunch at work."

"Sure it's not like I have to work." Petal replied. "Oh sorry, I forgot that you are working. Wait, but you lost your phone...." "No, really I am not being sarcastic, besides losing my phone I really don't have to work. Let me get ready and we'll talk later."

Malik sat at his desk in the IT office. It was almost lunch time and things had started slowing down. The morning was usually the craziest time for the IT department; when everyone was turning on their computers and gadgets and realising that this had a virus and that document had to be unlocked with a code. He pulled open his desk drawer and amongst the cables, chargers, USB sticks, gum and paperclips – there it was – the blue headed lady's phone. He hadn't turned it off because he was waiting for someone to call so that he could notify them that the owner had dropped her phone in the train. He decided to look through the most recent calls and call the last person she called or the last person that called her. He dialed the last call that she received at about 1AM that morning.

Vector and Petal were sitting at a café having sandwiches and chips when Vector received a phone call from Petal's number. It was a man, he sounded young. He wanted to return the phone to the owner and asked which way would be more convenient. "Wow that's really nice of him, tell him he can just mail it." Vector repeated that to the caller. "Oh, is she with you right now?" asked the caller. "Ya, you can talk to her." Vector handed the phone to Petal who shook her head and waved her hand in protest but he put the phone in front of her and dug into his chips.

"Hi...err, I am the owner of the phone, thank you for finding it and keeping it safe."

"Sure, no problem. I really don't mind getting it to you. I am about to go on lunch break anyway so I can drive to you... ailing just takes too long and I am sure you need your phone."

"Err, who am I speaking to what is your name?"

"I am Malik, I was on the train when you dropped your phone but I could not get to you in time. I noticed that you got off at stop 46. If you are in that area now, I really do not mind getting your phone to you. No funny business, you can tell your boyfriend to relax." Petal laughed a little, he thought that Vector was her boyfriend. She put her hand over the phone and whispered to Vector, "He wants to bring the phone to me." "O.K" Vector replied.

"...but what if he is like a psycho or something. You never know?"

"Then you will meet in a public place. If he is her in the next twenty minutes then I can wait with you but not longer than that. I need to get back to work."

Malik said he would be there in the next twenty five minutes. When Vector finished his lunch he paid the bill and told Petal that he needed to get going. Petal sensed that maybe he did not want to be around when Malik arrived. As he was leaving she said to him, "Hey, if you never see or hear from me again just remember that you left me with a psycho. Say hi to Lilo."

"You're crazy." Is all he said and he left.

Petal sat waiting. She did not remember clearly what the guy looked like, it's not like she got a good look at him. He should be able to spot her though, she had blue hair. She fiddled with the menu.

Minutes later, a man with black hair in a blue shirt, black trousers and work shoes came towards her. "Is that him?" Petal wondered. It was him, he came right up to the table that she was seated at.

"Hi I am Malik." He reached out his right hand. Petal stood up to greet him, she noticed that he had hazel eyes and a nice smile and he was tall, but not too tall, tall enough, and he was toned but not bulky and... oh goodness she had not said anything yet.

"Hallo, I am Petal. So you found my phone?"

"Yes, (he reached into his back pocket), there you go."

"Thank you, I really appreciate that and you did not have to drive all the way here. I guess you deserve a reward or something right?"

"No, that's not necessary (Malik laughed a little, flashing his pearly whites even more), don't be silly. I know what it's like to lose a phone; all your contacts, music, pictures and stuff."

"Yes, but I know that there are many people who just wouldn't bother to return it to the owner."

"Listen, I haven't had lunch and I don't know what's good around here. You can help me out by recommending a nice spot for a quick lunch."

"Well, I like this place called Home Style because it has a wonderful menu. They have some quick snack like food too but it's not a place to go for a quick lunch, however it is the best place to eat in this area and it would be a shame if you left without having something there."

"Oh, would you like to take on a date there?" Malik replied.

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, I forgot, you have a boyfriend. I am so sorry."

"No, Vector is not my boyfriend, he is a good friend."

"Who calls you at ungodly hours? Does he have a girlfriend?"

"Yes, because friends are there for each other anytime and he does have a girlfriend and...O.K, why am I discussing this with you?"

"Wait, he has a girlfriend but he is calling you at 1AM because he needs someone to be there for him, hey if a guy...."

"O.K Mr.!" Petal interrupted, "Men and women are allowed to be friends. Platonic friends who do in fact call each other at "ungodly" hours and have lunch together and I cannot believe how nosy you are!"

"Were you two having lunch when I called" asked Malik.

"Yes, and you do not see him here to mark his territory do you?"

"No, I was asking because I thought maybe we could have lunch together, you know, since you owe me for returning your phone."

"Ahgg, why am I not surprised. Here I was thinking that you were just a decent human being but I guess I was wrong. You had an ulterior motive all along! Typical." She looked at the ground, disappointed.

"Typical? You know what Petal, this has turned into a bit of an unpleasant encounter. I was just making conversation and hoping that maybe we could just have lunch and maybe chat. How else am I supposed to get to know a beautiful blue headed lady? Sorry about all this. I'll just grab a hot dog and head back to work."

Petal felt a little bit guilty, and then a lot guilty. Maybe she overreacted he was just trying to make conversation. She did this all the time; whenever she met a potentially nice man who was friendly or showed signs of being interested in her she pushed him away and turned him into a monster. He just had to say one wrong thing or do one stupid thing and she would cross out all the good things about him because it gave her a reason not to like him. A touch was a shove and a prick was a stab. She would hold on to that one wrong thing to prevent herself from ever falling in love or even in deep like. "Self-Sabotaging Behaviour", that was what they called it on shows like Dr. Real. She watched that show a lot, it helped her to realise some things about herself, but guess she already knew about most of them.

"Hey Malik!" she called after him as she walked towards him. "I am sorry, I overreacted. Thanks for the phone. Let me show you where to get a really good hot dog."

Malik looked at her for a moment then smiled softly, "That would be nice."

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