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I smoothed a few long strands behind my ears and stared into the large, round mirror. As usual, a related image of my father stared back at me. My sisters favored our mother with their thicker hair and warm, ginger skin tones, but there was no mistaking that I was my father’s child.
My parents named me Adeline, but Daddy nicknamed me Addie, and it stuck. I switched to Adeline when I moved to New York because it sounded more professional. My fingers traced the antique silver frame, which sat on the wooden countertop of the dressing table. It encircled one of my favorite childhood memories of my father. He held the tow-headed, one-year-old me in his arms, my pink cotton dress sufficiently delicate for his princess. His proud smile was bright enough to light up the room, and I beamed as I placed a tiny hand on either side of his face.
I held my hand over the photo and hesitated, not wanting to feel what would inevitably come after it was over. But reliving what used to be was all I had now. So I shut my eyes. Then pressed my fingertips onto the cool photograph. The smell of his cologne reached me first, and then the sound of his laugh thundered in my ears, took over my heart, and made me feel invincible. His love for me and the rest his family made each of us feel like superheroes.
“Addie, my angel,” his voice echoed from beyond. “Promise me you’ll never leave me.” I leaned in with the limitless love that all baby girls feel for their daddies and hugged his neck. As my palms flattened against the gold chain normally hidden by his shirts, his worst fear was revealed to me: he would be without us one day. I squeezed him a little tighter.
The vision began to fade and emptiness crept in with the silence. At least the sound of his voice held strong this time. I missed hearing him call me Addie.
As the past went back to its place in my history, and the present became clearer, I sighed and stared at the two jewelry boxes that sat on my vanity.
Copyright 2015 Alyssa Richards
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