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The Most Important AspectWhen I was nine
He left me with just half of a father.
I cried, and so did my mother.
For weeks upon weeks
Until we couldn't cry anymore.
When I was ten
I didn't shed any tears when
Our visits would end way too soon for
And when I was eleven,
I stopped missing him.
I stopped crying and longing to be held in his strong arms.
Now I'm almost eighteen.
He's going to Ecuador for five weeks.
I'll wave goodbye at the airport,
But I wont mean it.
He is lost to me.
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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