Chapter III – The Birthday Fail
After awhile, Alice got used to the routine. She even managed to make a few friends in Daddy’s neighborhood. One weekend she got an invitation to a birthday party from one of her new friends. It was for a Saturday that she would be visiting Daddy so she was sure he would let her go. She read the invitation over and over in disbelief that her name was clearly printed on it and not Claire’s. Not that Claire would have been interested in going to a 9 year old’s birthday party. How beneath her that invitation would have been.
Without a second thought, Alice went into the house to ask Daddy if she could go to the birthday party. It was more of a formality for her to ask as she was sure that Daddy would say yes, but ask away she did. Daddy turned to look at her with a scowl on his face and said “Absolutely not”.
Alice stepped back just out of arms reach. She knew when Daddy’s face made that scowl, it was certain danger to ask questions, but she reached down deep inside of her and said “May I ask why you said no?” Daddy laid down the guilt trip on her. Stating that he only got to see her every other weekend and that she was there to see him, not to make friends.
Alice did her best not to cry. She quietly said “okay Daddy” and left the room. Her little heart was broken yet again. She knew that Daddy didn’t really want to see her when she came to visit. He spent his entire weekend in the basement working on one project or another. She wasn’t even allowed down there while he was working because she might ruin what he was working on. She knew this was her punishment for causing him the inconvenience of child support and driving back and forth to get her every other weekend.
Alice spent the rest of the weekend quietly tucked away in the corner of the formal living room with her nose in a book. She always wondered why they had a formal living room when it was always empty. There was never any furniture in that room as long as Daddy lived there. It was the one place she could go that nobody would ever bother to go look for her.
When the day of the big party came, Alice lied and said she had a stomach ache and that’s why she couldn’t go to the party. She didn’t want anyone to know that Daddy had said no. She especially didn’t want anyone to know why he said no. She distanced herself from these new friends after that. It wouldn’t be right for anyone else to invite her to anything when she knew she could never return the favor.
She also knew that she would never really fit in with these friends anyways. They all had Mommies and Daddies together in one home. She couldn't even remember with fondness when her Mom and Dad were at home together because it always meant the yelling and door slamming was not far behind. Nope, she would never be the one to encourage them to get back together.