Father Me, Father Me Not and other stories

Date
1981
Authors
Howard, Mary
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English
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My preference for rooms with lots of windows full of yellow sunlight--and for dark-haired, affectionate men-- goes back to the house I grew up in. Often I'd stand in the back hallway between the kitchen and Father's study and watch him sitting at his desk. He worked every evening on his sermons, his large hands turning pages in the winking blue light of the fluorescent lamp. That room was off-limits, and when he'd look up and right at me, saluting his gray-blond hair back from his forehead, I'd wonder why his face wouldn't change. It took me a long time to realize that he really couldn't see me there in the darkness. I wanted to go in there and have him talk to me the way he must have talked to people from the parish who would knock at the door sometimes, needing to talk. Those times he'd close both doors to the study, and I'd go up to my bedroom until he'd say my name at the bottom of the stairs. Before Mother had died, when I was seven, I'd spent my evenings with her.

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