At 13, I feel like I’m losing her. It rips my heart in two. We are too similar. And there are too many hormones flying around. I can’t back down because I’m the parent. She can’t back down because she’s my daughter – and she’s caught in the grips of a revolution inside her own heart. So I lay down the law and walk away. Eyes burning holes in my back. I think about my own family, and how they are no longer part of my life because of the way I am. Cutting little lumps of cancer out of my skin and tossing them into the red bucket with the white biohazard logo. Over and over until I’m covered in scars.

I’m losing her. Maybe I’m the cancer. Maybe the only way out is lobotomy. Sure, I’ll have no teeth or claws, but everyone around me will be happy – as they plop me on a stool in the corner and paint a smile on my lips. “Daddy looks happy today, doesn’t he?” they’ll ask each other as a way to convince themselves that everything’s fine. Just fine.

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Jim Mitchem


The Pact
Why You Can't Be Jesus

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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