At 102 words, he’s typing at 0.00000606 wpm

Posted on December 31st, 2018

His letter arrived Friday, a day after my birthday and 32 years after he kicked my 10-year-old sister and me out into the very literal cold of a Canadian January.

Our mother lived in the next town but she refused to come pick us up as her car wasn’t working and she didn’t want to scare off her new boyfriend with family drama.

Helen Mary and I didn’t have enough have enough bus fare for two and she wouldn’t ride without me. So we walked, carrying little suitcases filled with stuffed animals and favourite board games. The kind of stuff you think is important when you’re a child.

The route is bright lights and big box stores now but back then it was a black highway at night, surrounded by farmland.

It took three and a half hours. No cars stopped to ask if we needed help.

We came out of the dark to a donut shop on the edge of town, where bus fare for one bought lemon busters for two. I had difficulty paying as my bare hands were too numb to reach into my pockets. I had to run them under hot water in the bathroom. The pain was indescribable. The donuts were worth it.

I am honest when my daughters ask me about my childhood but I don’t normally bring it up. It makes them cry for me and I can’t bear to see them suffer.

You might think me cruel for ignoring my father’s letter. I am prepared to live with that.


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