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Most of his companions thought he was a captive the way he interpreted his home life: “Just wait until you’re 18, man. It’ll get better when you’re an adult,” they’d reassure him.  

At home, the teen felt free within the cluttered confines of his room. Only upon cravings for food and drink would he emerge in a mad dash to the kitchen and back to avoid the constant questions and suffocating concern of his parents. Their hopes of a productive conversation with their son often resulted in faint, rushed responses through a locked door. 

Why doesn’t he talk to us? Where did we go wrong? Mother and Father wondered, reliving the happier days when their son was little and enjoyed their company. Now, they were a nuisance. Sometimes it was simpler to just leave their son be.  

“We’ll always be here for you, no matter what,” his parents reminded him every day.  

They prayed for their son’s success as a writer, encouraging him from afar with every tap, tap, tap, of the keyboard behind the locked door into the late hours.  

He’ll hear us one day. 

And as time went on, the son became a father facing a similar dilemma. His daughter scoffed at every hello and shunned questions, avoiding his presence to great lengths until she needed something which made him feel used. He knew these tricks, the evasion.  

But why me? I was always the cool one. 

Water grew thicker than blood as friends replaced him and his famous adventure novels she once held dear, left to collect dust on the bookshelf, old news. 

Why doesn’t she talk to me? 

The epiphany struck a heavy blow. Now, the son, the father, heard them.  

“I’ll always be here for you. No matter what.” He couldn’t believe the same words moved from his lips, his parents were somewhere above smiling. And there was no response from his daughter other than the familiar sound of soft brushstrokes. 

He knew deep down she would hear him. One day… 

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