Locked Out (Part I)

The light was blinding as Athena stepped out of her small, cramped tent of a home into the sun. It was time to try again.

“Dad, let me back in. Please. Think of Mom and what she would do!”

Those were the words she repeated every single day ever since her mom died and her dad kicked her out of the house.

Athena knew it would be the same. Her dad would just slam the door in her face and walk away. She ran across the street to her friend Lily’s house. Lily’s dad would drive them to school.

“How did it go this time?” she asked.

“Same as usual,” Athena replied.

Lily was the only person who knew her story and understood Athena’s problem.


The afternoon light peeked out over the high-rises as Athena and Lily approached the hill where they resided.

“Wanna crash at my house?” Lily said.

“Sure. Beats having to go back home,” Athena said back.

As if I have one, she thought.

Lily’s house was always very inviting, and every time she came in, Athena felt like she was in a fancy hotel.

The next day was basically the same. Except for one thing. Her dad didn’t slam the door, he closed it gently and gave her a sad look.

Maybe he’s had the slightest change of heart, Athena thought, He just needed some time to himself.

But that idea was quickly vanquished because her dad had all the time in the world to himself. He had been alone for 2 years.

When Athena tried the next day, her dad spoke to her for the first time in a long time. His voice was dry and raspy.

“I’m not your father,” he said.


Athena stormed into her house and sat down.

“You owe me a very long explanation,” she said angrily.

Her “dad” started to say, “You probably won’t — fine, I’ll tell you. Your mother was a doctor. Emmeline Carenlater. She was working late one night when a call came for a patient going into cardiac arrest. Emme got into her car and started driving, but a drunk guy slammed into her car. Then — well, you know the rest. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how she died. You were only eight then.”


“But if you’re not my dad, then who are you?” Athena said quietly.

“I’m your… your uncle.”

“You were hesitating. Tell me the truth!”

“Fine. I’m not your relative. Your mother, in her will, she entrusted me to you.”

Athena was slow to answer, “But who is my father?”

“You didn’t have one.”

The shock was too much for Athena, and she ran out the door, tears streaming down her face.


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