Well, I already broke the seal and put myself on this blog, I might as well tell you a bit more about myself.
My name is Becca Moran. I like to describe myself as a mousy redhead, and the fact that I like to describe myself that way should tell you pretty nuch everything you need. Up until last summer I was working in insurance in Boston. I wouldn't say it was my passion, but it was a tidy little living. I had a very ordinary, quiet, perennially-single life. Some good girlfriends and some red wine was as exciting as it ever got for me on a Saturday night.
Then one night, I get a call from my dad. He's in the area. Normally he's down in Clearwater, Florida, where he ended up after years of drifting around with no particular agenda. I love my dad, and I want to believe there's good in him, but the most dependable thing about him is screwing up. He's the kind of guy who would sell the car right before you needed to go buy groceries, you know? Just poor decision-making skills. He was in and out of my life forever, but I go through phases where I forgive him and I try to mend fences, whether he's changed or not, until it becomes all too apparent that he is way too much the same man he always was.
So one night he calls. He's in the area. Actually, he's headed to Maine. Maine is not that close to Boston, but it's closer than Florida, sure. His latest sponsor, Bill -- I've never heard of Bill before, but what I don't know about my dad's life could fill a textbook -- has gotten him a room at this nice little place by the beach. You'd think he gets enough of the beach in Florida, but this is all the way up in Maine away from his usual haunts. Only Bill had to back out at the last moment. How convenient for Bill. So I've got a room waiting for me if I want to spend some time with dad, and sure, I've got a big heart -- I was going to spend my summer vacation weeks vacuuming and binge-watching TLC Reality Shows, so this seemed equally as healthy. Why not.
So, we go, and it's clear that dad is not keeping up on the program. And it's disappointing, but at this point it's not my job to keep him on the straight and narrow, I simply do not have the emotional energy to make that my responsibility. I'll keep him from killing himself in the immediate present if possible, that's all I can manage. Mostly he sleeps during the day, wakes up at 4, goes to the bar, pesters younger women, then comes home to crash. That leaves me plenty of time during the daylight hours to read, work on my tan, and ogle younger men on the beach (darn, I am my father's daughter, except I didn't drink.) Our paths didn't even cross that much in the waking world, except one day when he saw me heading out in my bikini, and he said I was too fat to be wearing a bikini (I'm not -- yeah, my jelly has a little wiggle to it, a bit of a belly and thunder thighs, but I liked my body just fine.) I'm not even bothered by these comments the way I would have been in my teens or 20's or even early 30's. That's just Nevin Moran being Nevin Moran. He can't keep his mouth shut. I happened to think a high-waisted and tastefully-topped bikini did a lot more for me than a one-piece would. Wait, why am I even having this argument with you/him?
So I roll my eyes, I dismiss him, I don't care. Once the week is over, we'll part ways and he'll miss my birthday and I won't spare him a thought. And it'll hurt a little, but everyone has baggage and I've accepted that this is mine.
Nothing too interesting happens on the trip. I see the town, I put my feet in the water, I shop, I sip coffees outside while it's nice. It's not like I'm going to meet anyone while I'm rooming with my father, not that I had expectations of that anyway -- I look pretty good but the phrase "no spring chicken" does come to mind. At night I sleep until dad crashes into the room and then I pretend I'm still asleep because it's easier than acknowledging we're both awake at the same time. You know, healthy family stuff.
And then one morning I awake to screaming. A big loud scream in a high little voice. A stream of expletives the likes of which a should not be issued so confidently from the mouth of such a young girl. I wake up dazed, I don't know what's going on, especially since it sounds like the girl is in our room -- which I desperately hope is not true because I'm not ready to face what that would mean.
But of course it's worse. Well -- it's bad in a different way.
Because I sit up and there's little Corinne, all of 16 years old, my father's faded PJ pants and giveaway Budweiser tee-shirt hanging off of her, her hair a matted, tangled mess, her face an expression of utter distraught, bewildered panic.
"What the f---?!" she says. Among other sailor-like epithets.
I'm confused. And scared. And, I'm realizing, not feeling like myself. My own PJ's are feeling extremely, extremely constrictive. "Who are you?" I murmur. "Where's my--?"
I sit up and... rip.
The back of my top, the back of my pants, torn, like I was the Hulk.
I look down at my hands. Rough, mannish. Hairy arms way outgrown the sleeves
I look up at her. She's staring me, and hyperventilating.
"Becca?" she asks through desperate sobs.
I feel the top of my head. Mane of wild curls, gone. My chin... rough, hard jawline.
My chest, flat. Not too flat, either. This guy works out.
I can barely gulp... I don't even want to say it, to ask if it's true, because to admit that I thought it might be possible would make me feel insane but in that moment I had no other conclusion but to ask... "Dad?"