Who are you? This man that I see in front of me. You look like me but older. You talk like me but with harsher tone. Your face, yet similar, more wrinkled than I remember. Who are you?
I faintly remember you now. The man that came knocking. You bought me a toy car when I was young, maybe 7. You are the man that took me to the circus but yelled at me all day. We ate Krystals that day. I don’t remember much.
Faint memories now. You picked me up and dropped me off at a house with some kid. Strange. We were suppose to spend the day together. I was scared. You left me there. Maybe I was 9.
Oh I know you now. The man who promised to get me at Hardee’s when I was 8…but never showed up. I waited. I looked up and down the street for you. I asked my mom where you were. I remember the hurt in her eyes. You never arrived.
Yes…I remember now. You’re the man in the grocery store when I was 15. Your wife was pregnant. You told me you loved me. I didn’t know you then. I walked away. You looked like me…only older. My mother was furious.
Yes that’s you. When I was 18, you stopped by my work to show me your daughter. She was beautiful. I felt sorry for her. She was innocent. You didn’t deserve her.
Back again. I was 27. You told me stories of how you followed my tours in Iraq. I never saw a letter. I met your daughter again. Took her for ice cream. She was perfect. I still felt sorry for her. Still so innocent.
I have a daughter of my own now. So perfect. So innocent. I do deserve her. I make a promise to her to never be like the man who came knocking. I smile. She smiles too.
I have a son too, so strong. He will grow to be a man like his father. Knowing that I will never leave. I smile. He smiles too.
Thank you sir for all you did. You shaped the man I have become. Your absence has not gone unnoticed. You can take your bow and exit stage left.