I covered my head with a pillow. "Dad!" I moaned. "Ten more minutes! Please!?"
"Up and at 'em, Sally, Molls," he replied brightly, turning on the overhead light.
I talked, still under the pillow. "I'm pretty sure I've asked you at least twenty times not to call me that. I'm not even named Sally! And I like my first name better."
He kept on grinning. "Sally is easier to say than 'Nadira'."
I peeked at him from beneath the pillow. "You're the one who named me," I reminded. "You could just call me 'Nad' like Mom does."
He shrugged and walked out of my room to wake another unsuspecting child. "Breakfast's in 10," he yelled over his shoulder.
Your back is turned to me as you clean the house. Your attempts at wiping that brown stain off the counter are futile yet you still try every day to remove it. However, the brown stain is not what captures my attention. It is you, scrubbing and scrubbing, trying to get rid of it like you are the knight with shinning suds and the stain is the evil dragon kidnapping the Princess Pristine Counter.
You are so busy playing knight you do not see me standing there, watching you. I want to reach out to you. Make a joke like we used to do so many times before, back when things were easier. I see you attacking that stain and tears prick my eyes.