I used to date a scary, incredibly abusive guy.
When HE decided to leave ME (the only way the relationship was going to end because I’d bonded with my captor), Dad agreed to drive us both to the airport. We watched Gavin’s suitcases, TV (yes, he took the only TV ‘we’ had in ‘our’ apartment) trundle along the conveyor belt and away into the mysterious airport luggage void and stood awkwardly around the departures gate.
The sign flashed to ‘boarding’ and Gavin hugged me goodbye.
Dad shook Gavin’s hand and with tears in his eyes, he said “Thank you”.
Just those two words.
But Dad was saying more than that. He was thanking Gavin for releasing me back into the world. Back into the sun after 3 years of absolute darkness.
Sometimes I don’t know if my Dad loves me or not…but in that moment at the airport when he shook Gavin’s hand and said ‘thank you’, I knew he did.