“I thought I had my life figured out getting a job and taking care of home. It's funny how life takes a lot of weird twists and turns so welcome to the life that I live”. Chapter 1: Life There’s my nana sitting in her rocking chair watching Mama’s Family, scratching her scratch offs and drinking coffee. She is so beautiful with her small frame Nana is tall and slim she has long curly gray hair that she always wears in a braid, high cheekbones, caramel skin and freckles that spread across her face. I’ve always dreamed of being half the woman that my Nana is. “You ok baby ? want something to eat?” Nana said as she got up from her chair holding her cup of coffee on her way to the kitchen. “No ma’am I was just about to head out to work. I'll grab something on the way”. Every morning I take the subway to work. I love it, I get to listen to music and daydream about traveling to places like New York, the city that never sleeps. I whisper to myself “One day Bri, one day you won’t have to work so hard, one day you’ll be able travel to all of the places you dream of”. I get off the subway and as I’m walking through the Metro Station I see a homeless man sleeping so peacefully, I can tell he hasn't eaten in days he was so skinny and dirty he was a good looking man he had to be in his late 40s he had a scruffy beard, jet black hair he wore an old leather coat and brown boats with a knitted blanket over him he reminded me of my daddy. All I can think about is helping him out. I don’t have much money but the least I can do is spare him ten dollars so that he can get breakfast. I walk up to the sleeping man and as I’m going to put the money in his tin can he wakes up and says “God bless you young lady”, I smiled and said “Have a blessed day sir”. I loved working at Crystals Coffee Shop we have the best breakfast and drinks, Crystal has always been good to me when I first moved to Multnomah Falls she was the only person that gave me a chance she never looked at me as a weak girl little girl I’ve been called weak more times than I can count but she's always told me “I know that you will be great babygirl, you are not weak you are strong God gave you this life to live because you are strong enough to live it ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE”. Her words encourage me everyday. I’ve only been working here for one year, I don’t have many friends I work, mind my business and go home. “Hey Crystal, do you mind if I take some croissants home for my Nana?” “Of course not babygirl go ahead, I have to head out early can you close?” “Yes ma’am” I replied. It was finally closing time. I couldn't wait to get home. I knew that once I got there Nana would be asleep. My feet hurt so bad I love my job but being on my feet all day whew chile I needed my bed more than anything. When I got home I peaked in Nana's room she was sound asleep so I went straight to bed.
Chapter 2: The Call The sun beamed so brightly through the curtains into my room. I checked my phone. It was about 7:30 AM and it was my day off from work thank God I knew today would be a good day. I got up out of bed, took a shower and headed downstairs to say Good morning to Nana. ”Goodmorning Nana” I yawned. ”Goodmorning baby, any plans on this beautiful Tuesday morning,” she said. ”No ma’am I was hoping I could take you to breakfast” I replied. ”I would love that! Bri let me grab my coat” she said excitedly. As we were about to head out I received a phone call from my daddy. I haven't talked to him in five years. He's my Nana's son and he decides to reach out now why? He ain't care to be around this whole time. He chose drugs over me. I decided to decline his call. See my daddy is an on and off again drug addict he sells me false hope of him getting clean. I've paid for him to go to rehab so many times and it never works out. He's right back to being on crack when he calls me It's usually because he wants money. ”you ok baby,” Nana asked. ”Yeah Nana you ready?” I asked. The whole bus ride all I could think about was ”why wasn't I good enough for my daddy to stay sober and take care of me I just wanna be a regular 17-year-old girl who has a ”perfect” relationship with her father but instead I'm working my ass off trying to pay off the bills at my Nana's house when I should be in school but instead I'm a dropout sad right? When is someone going to take care of me and make sure I'm good? I guess that question will remain unanswered”. My mama died when I was 3 so I was left with my daddy. We had such a nice house in Montana it was so big we had three bedrooms, a big backyard with a swing set in the back and a pool but my dad got into some deep shit with a drug dealer. How ironic and our house was taken from us and life as I've known it was just sad and lonely. My daddy chose drugs over me and I can never forgive him for that. ”You’ve been quiet the whole bus ride baby you sure you ok ?” Nana asked. I know Nana is worried but I can't tell her my daddy called not yet anyway. ”I’m ok Nana” I smiled and said. We made it back home. It was now 10:15 AM. ”Nana imma go take a nap” I said. ”Ok baby” she replied. I headed upstairs and slept for what felt like hours. When I finally woke up it was dark outside. I didn't realize that I had slept for so long. I guess that nap was well needed. I have been beating myself down with overtime at work. I barely have any time to sleep how I would want to. Nana was already in bed fast asleep so I decided to make something to eat. I checked my phone and my dad left about ten voicemails asking me to call him back. He said that he really needed to talk but I know it ain't important it never is. Once I ate dinner I decided to go back to sleep.
Chapter 3: An unexpected Visitor I was awakened by screams, I got up out of bed so fast and ran downstairs. ”NANA ARE YOU OK!?” I yelled. Once I reached the bottom of the stairs I stopped frozen there was a very tall black dark skin man with black hair with a little bit of gray in it , muscular and very slim, he wore black combat boots with a leather jacket and ripped black jeans and had a strong scent like he put on way too much cologne for the occasion I knew this man he was my daddy. ”Bri oh my God my baby girl” he stated and hugged me. I didn't know what to say. I was stuck with all these questions inside my head. Why was he here? He wants money doesn't he? Is he staying? Is he clean? What do I say to him? ”Let the girl breathe, Harold,” Nana said. I asked the first question that came to mind ”Are you here to stay dad?” I asked. ”Yeah baby I'm clean now so how about I take you to get something to eat down at Jimmy Junk Shack remember that was our spot,” he said. ”I finally got my dad back, Thank you God” I whispered to myself. I said goodbye to Nana and we headed out. It felt so good to be around my dad again. The waiter came to take our order and we both said at the sametime ”Cheeseburger well done lettuce tomato mayo with a side of fries and a pepsi”. We looked at each other and laughed ”I forgot how much we had in common it's been so long” I said. ”I’m sorry I haven't been around Brianna. I know it's been hard for you because a girl needs her daddy but I promise I'm clean and here to stay,” he said. ”I know dad it's ok I'm just happy you're here now”. We laughed and joked and headed home. It was late when we got in so Nana was already sleeping I headed upstairs to bed but before I did so I looked at my dad and said ”I love you”. The whole night I couldn't sleep all I could think about was that my father was finally back. I could finally have the father-daughter relationship I've always wanted and before I knew I was fast asleep. The next morning I woke up so eager to see my dad and have breakfast with him. I went downstairs and my Nana was crying. ”Nana what's wrong?” I asked. ”Your dad baby he” ”He what Nana?” ”He left Bri and took all of our money, I'm so sorry” she said. He left me once again…. With no explanation no goodbye. I'm so stupid. ”He promised he was here to stay,” I said. ”I know,” she said. I ran upstairs, slammed my door and cried. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. I screamed so loud I gave myself a headache. Why wasn't I ever good enough? Why did I believe an addict all they do is lie? I wiped my tears and said to myself ”Fool me once shame on you Fool me twice shame on me”.
Chapter 4: Foolish ”I was so foolish to think that he would stay for me then he stole from us Nana” I said. ”It's not your fault baby and you're not foolish don't ever say that again,” she said, hugging and kissing me. “I’m going to tell you a little story about your mama and daddy and how they met”. Your mama was such a beautiful and kind soul, she had long flowy black hair kind of like yours. Her smile could light up a room and her skin was so clear and beautiful. She was a very smart girl. She had dreams to become a doctor one day. Her and your dad met when they were in high school at that time he was playing football and he dreamed of going to the NFL someday. They didn't start seriously dating until they both graduated high school and not even a month after she was pregnant with you. They were eighteen around that time fresh out of school no job, no place of their own, just two kids in love. When Marie told her parents she was pregnant they kicked her out she was left with nowhere to go and no family. At that time I was overseas in Germany with your grandfather so Harold was left with my sister. They ended up staying with her until they were able to get on their feet and get a place. They were finally about to move out into their own place; they had everything figured out before you were born. I've never seen those two so happy until you were born. They would do any and everything for you. They loved you more than anything else in this world. Your mom sadly suffered from breast cancer; it was genetic her mother had it. Marie started treatment just after you were born she had cancer beat that was until you were about three years old and the cancer came back more aggressive and stronger. She couldn't beat it so there was nothing left for the doctors to do so she passed. It became so hard for Harold after your mother's death he couldn't eat, he couldn't function, he couldn't even sleep. Not even a month later we lost your grandfather. That's when life took a drastic turn for Harold he dropped you off to me one day and never came back. That’s when I found out he was on drugs. “I want you to be able to live your life to the fullest Bri while you're still young” Nana struggled to say as her eyes filled up with tears. “I know Nana I will,” I said. I’ve always thought about going back to school to get my diploma but I can’t worry about that right now. School will always be here but my Nana won't. I have to make sure she’s taken care of for the time being because I’m the only family she has left. I hugged my Nana so tight and said “Thank you I love you so much, Nana”.