They told us it would happen. We’ve read about it, were expecting it, knew it was the disease, not to take it personally, but – it still hurt.
I had gone up to give dad his breakfast and as he was munching on his cereal with banana I mentioned it was my birthday.
“Oh, many happy returns,” he said.
“Thank you. Do you remember the night I was born?” It is one of those stories I’ve heard many times. They lived, then, on Islay, a small island off the west coast of Scotland – famous for its whisky. My mother (not the step-monster) had passed her due date and was restless and becoming anxious. The nurse/midwife was called, examined her, told her nothing was going to happen for a while and left – for the pub. Some time later it was obvious things were happening and the call went out for the midwife to come back.She was eventually tracked down but by then the doctor had also been called. My mother was apparently in an extremely stressed out state. When they tried to give her an injection (I’m assuming Pethedine) her muscles had become so tense the needle wouldn’t go in. Clearly an unforgettable occasion.
The Goldfish laughed. “No, why would I remember that?” he asked.
“Well, you were there,”
“No! What would I be doing there?”
“Because you were there the night I was born.”
He laughed again. “Why would I be there?”
“Because you are my father and you were there the night I was born. I’m your daughter.”
He shook his head and I realised, at least for then, I was not his daughter.
Who did he think I was? Some random woman who came to give him tasty meals?