I saw my father twice.
1. In Virginia, just before he closed his apartment door after claiming his wife was at the grocery store, and didn’t allow guests unless she was home.
2. In court, just before the judge ejected my brother and me from the room because we giggled while the bailiff cuffed him.
About the first time.
When my mother drove my brother and me from our South Texas home to visit our birthplace, Alexandria, Virginia. We were five or so, had been gone for two years, and we begged our mother to take us to him. She knew. Somehow she knew. That he lived with a woman who wasn’t the mother of his children. Not us or the two before us. My mother and I stood in the shadows while my brother stepped forward to knock. The door opened, slowly, creaking with apprehension, as if for the past five years our father had been eyeing the peephole, expecting us. His voice quivered as he spoke. As he claimed he couldn’t let anyone in until his wife returned from the grocery store. Then he closed the door.
About the second time.