V

Daddy In The Grandstands

Vivian's Testimony

When I walked down the empty corridor, the bare floor seemed to stretch on forever. Nearby, the clicks of my mother’s shoes rang sharply in my ears. When I opened the large metal door, my senses were immediately flooded by a pungent, stale stench. In front of me were rows of steel stools and bulletproof transparent windows. As I stood molded against the wall, my body shuddered, yet I hid behind a cover of indissoluble emotion. A short, stocky man with a close-shaved haircut, wearing pale blue overalls approached a window. Tears came to my eyes, but my feet remained stationed in place. My mother walked over to a steel stool and took a seat. When she picked up the receiver, I watched as an array of emotions swept across her face. After a few minutes of conversation, she motioned me over. Slowly, I lifted one leg and then the other. At the window, I stared across at a face which I had adored my whole life.

Vivian and her father
Vivian with her dad
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“Hello, mija,” he said casually. With those words, the torrent of tears that pressed against closed lids released a single trickle down my stricken face. Why? I asked myself. Why did our family reunion have to take place in this remote prison cell? Why was I crying? You have been through this many times; I tried convincing myself. What is the difference now? Nevertheless, my heart gave way at the sight of my father, three feet in front of me, separated by the glass partition. “Hello, daddy,” I said at last. Read More »