Dad, Please, No


“Yes you did.”


“Dad, I know you did.”


It’s like arguing with a two year old. But worse. Because two year olds don’t know any better.

They’re not lying to their daughter’s face. Again and again. And again.

Chipping away at my patience, my sanity.

“There’s alcohol — hard alcohol — in the water bottle downstairs.”


Tears pool in my eyes. Then, a stab of doubt. What if I’m crazy? Did I somehow imagine it?



I stare at my brilliant and witty father, his eloquent speech reduced to stutters and statements. Glassy eyes and denial.

Flashback to last year. The long emails sent from rehab. His realizations, his guilt, his shame, his promises to make amends, to do better. And for a while, he did.

And now.


What else is there to do?

“Go fuck yourself.”

I slam the door for good measure.

What else is there to do?

I pace up and down the block.

“Hi, my name is Rebecca Evans and I’m the daughter of Christopher Evans who is a client of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was in your in-patient program in Tennessee in January of last year.”

I’m talking too fast.

“Everything was fine until recently and then tonight I found an empty bottle with vodka mixed with an energy drink.”

“I’m eighteen years old,” I add.

As if it matters.

But it matters to me.

I burst. It’s sobbing and it’s ugly, the kind that only comes when you’re not only upset but upset and don’t know how to fix it. The kind of upset you get when you’re terrified that your family can’t go through this again. Maybe divorce wouldn’t be the worst thing …

“I’m sor-sorry,” I choke.

Soothing words through the phone. Like a 9–1–1 operator.

This is my emergency.

I retell the aftermath. The no’s.

“He’s in denial,” she agrees.

Not again.