The Passed Note Issue 6 February 2018 - Page 18

ched decorated vinyl onto a plywood board. It is an advertisement for their annual pancake breakfast. I ask my father why he still bothers with Pancake Breakfast.

“Good for me to show my face I suppose,” he says. “Good for people to know I’m there.”

After the next intersection we pass Taqueria Mi Familia, where sitting inside behind the cash register is a woman who knows my father’s order by heart.

Outside the driver’s side window, my father sees a whole different set of places than I do on our way home.

#

We are almost home, turning the corner. That’s when my father starts about the divorce.

“How has it been at the house? Anything new?”

“Not really.”

“You know what I mean.”

And I think I do. Then he says the whole thing was Mom’s idea, anyway. We are in the driveway with the motor running.

He is looking up at our house sitting in the dark. I am looking at the floor of his car, at the spots of dirt crusted on my shoes. The laces are starting to tear. But they are still my normal shoes. In the trunk are a pair of brand new sneakers my father bought once I agreed to try out for the basketball team. When he gave the sneakers to me, he told me never to wear them outside the gym or else the soles wouldn’t last. I made sure to remember that.

It is still quiet in the car except for those low, calm voices reporting the news. After a while, it is as if my father and I are waiting to pick someone up, but I know we are not. So I reach for the door. That’s when he says it.