Simonyte Ruta

Left behind

Left behind 


On Christmas eve, my family and I always spend time together at my mum's house. 


We have an ongoing tradition of opening one handcrafted gift from each other that evening.

I'm sitting next to my little sister on the couch watching my phone dreading my fathers arrival.


If only my sister knew why we only got to see “dadda” during some holidays, she wouldn't be so jumpy and constantly be asking when he’ll arrive. My brother is too absorbed into the football game going on tv to acknowledge the fact father should be here soon.


“Bzzz” I heard the doorbell buzz.


“Lilly, will you get that for me?” mum asked me while taking the food out the oven. 


“Fine” I whispered to myself mocking her tone. 


While unlocking the door I didn't know what to expect. I don't know why he keeps coming back. I pull the door towards myself and find myself standing in front of what appears like thirty wrapped presents. Father relies on retail therapy.


“Hey honey” said father enthusiastically while entering the house. 


My brother and sister ran up to him jumping up and down as he was giving me a hug that felt like it went on for an hour.


 “Hey kiddos” he literally screamed. 


He approached the kitchen and gave mum a kiss on the cheek. How dare he. We all took our seats by the Christmas tree. This year I had to get dad a homemade gift. The plan I had was brilliant, given he's been gone 549 days. When everyone gave each other the gift I loudly announced a three second countdown till we opened the gifts. I couldn't stop looking at my father hoping for a reaction. As he ripped the paper to reveal a family portrait of us in a frame I covered in seashells, which I had engraved "please come back” into. When he read the phrase I could see his face. 


“Oh honey “ he whispered. 


Father’s perspective:

“I hope I bought all the right gifts, I mean surely their interest in different toys couldn't have changed that much '' I keep reassuring myself. 


As I stood outside and rang the doorbell. I could see Lilly coming up towards the glass door, it's always so hard to impress her. 


Later when I sat down on the floor and I heard Lilly’s call saying go to open the gifts. I get flashbacks to every year we've done this tradition. Before certain circumstances, it really feels 


As I was unwrapping the gift I could see her big smile in the corner of my eye. When I first saw the seashell frame “ how artistic” I thought to myself. As I noticed the text and started reading it “oh crap” I ever so slightly whispered.

I've always felt bad for her, I know I hurt her and I can't imagine what she's been through, but I've got a new family now, there’s nothing I can do.





Envoyé: 09:06 Tue, 14 March 2023 by : Simonyte Ruta age : 15