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  • Melissa

Where Was Mine?

Updated: Feb 20, 2022


I’m on the phone with my mom. Honestly, I wish I could say I’m a good girl and chat with her every day, or at least every week, but it’s not the case.

Today, I actually have an agenda. I need to confirm a few family facts for the genogram my therapist said I should draw up as part of our work.

I work my way to the topic slowly, so as not to arouse her suspicion that I have a motive.


“I’m sure I told you this story already,” she says after my son gives her a noisy kiss through the phone. “When Rachel was a little girl, she once went over to Daddy while he was on the phone and asked for a good night kiss…”


The rest of the story is lost on me. I forget why I even called.

“So were kisses dispensed to your first batch of kids? A kiss from Daddy? I never knew that was an option.” I say it lightly, jokingly. But inside I’m screaming. Where was my kiss?


Where was my hug?

And I don’t even ask for that much.

Where was my pat?

Where was just a pair of eyes fixed upon me, a face turned in my direction?


If years before I was born a little girl had the brawn to demand a kiss from Daddy, why didn’t I ever know what a kiss feels like?

Why did my skin turn brittle?

Why does my body have to be constantly locked in this tension hold?


Why do I, until today, have to startle every time a person dares so much as come close to me?

Why did my marriage have to be a rocky road to doom from the very start?


If you knew how to kiss, Daddy, I cry on the couch long after the phone was disconnected on some pretense or another, why did I never feel your mustache on my cheek?

If you knew better, why didn’t you save just one kiss for your seventh child?



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