I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
Goddammit, I fucking hate you so much.
You ruined everything:
I used to spend every Friday with Grandma and you at her house.
I used to love the dirve there because I got to sit shotgun and listen to music.
I used to love being there because I love talking and you and Grandma were the only ones who would really listen and respond.
I used to love going for walks with you down to the dock and seeing the dragon boats.
I used to love the ride home because Gabby and Ben would be asleep and Mom and Dad would both be there and we'd laugh.
I used to love you.
Then you started getting weird.
Your face would be flushed all the time and you'd be shaky.
You wouldn't come to our things anymore:
Chorus concerts and band concerts and birthdays and Thanksgiving and Christmas and my eighth grade graduation and everything else.
But you'd go to your girlfriend's kid's things.
You'd never miss seeing them.
You got fired from your job, and soon I started hearing Mom arguing with Grandma.
"Ma," she'd say, "Ma, Ray's doing drugs. That's the only explanation."
And there was screaming and crying and door-slamming and Mom driving away with nothing but her phone and a lot of anger.
Then, that night.
That night that I hate to remember.
Gabby and Ben were young enough to forget the details, but I won't.
I was eleven, and I wrote it all down and now I can never forget.
Grandma took the three of us out for a drive, and you wanted to stay home, so she let you.
When we came back, you had the door locked.
Grandma knocked, and you just screamed at her. You told her to stay out of her own house.
It was late fall. Grandma and I sat on the step outside the front door while Gabby and Ben played around in the little patch of grass next to that little red tree.
We haven't been back there since, and goddammit, Ray.
I fucking miss being there,
I fucking miss seeing you and feeling safe and happy and loved,
And I hate you for ruining that.
I hate that you tried to come back into our lives and I hate that I trusted you to stay this time and I hate that you left again the minute it got too hard.
I hate you so much.