The Cedarville Review 2021

33 | CEDARVILLE REVIEW and be subdued by your hollow threats. So do it. I dare you. He does not speak back to me, though. He sits, still, unsure of what to say. I steady my foot and plant it on the ground, reaching to the left for my backpack to cram my open calendar inside. As I step to leave, he looks at me with crystal eyes, preparing to shatter. I pretend not to see, pushing past him to the entryway to put on my shoes and grab my keys. As I look up from the outdated pile of sneakers, all too small but the ones my mother had bought me, I see the picture of him holding me on my first birthday plastered on the wall. He still has his wedding ring in the picture, and he is wearing his gray “Awesome Dad” shirt. I am giggling in the old photograph, smiling into his warm eyes with toddler slobber all over my face. I do not look back to him, frozen at the kitchen table. Rather, I throw open the creaking and rusting screen door with crystal eyes that mirror his own.