When my father answered the phone, I didn't know what to say. "Hello, dad, this is Viviane" seemed too personal. "Hello, father" sounded like something out of Star Wars. I didn't want to call him by his first name, that was too detached. So I said, "Hello, this is Viviane."
Of course I managed to mumble this and I had to repeat myself a few times. He didn't recognize my voice and I had to clearly explain who I was (his daughter). He was really, really surprised. It shocked me to not have my voice recognized (even though it's totally logical) and I fought really hard to control myself because I was going to start crying.
We had a nice talk. We both avoided diving into conversation about the past and talked about the weather (twice), where we lived, what I did for a living and other safe topics. He did mention that he was a different person, a calmer person. When I ended the conversation, I made a point of letting him know that he could call me, that this was just the beginning of us talking, and that we couldn't let habit keep us from moving forward. He was really happy I called and said that it meant a lot to him that I did. It was clear that this was true. When I ended the call, I looked at my phone; we talked for 51 minutes and 52 seconds.
I'm not 100% aware of all of my feelings about this. It's been a long time since I've even thought about my father. It's hard to even type this. The whole thing is sad and has left me thinking about the amount of time that has passed, the amount of time he has left, my upcoming birthday, getting older, relationships, children, parents, love, the meaning and purpose of my life, of his. I am overcome with the feeling of the fleetingness of life, of how time is always passing and that nineteen years has gone by where neither of us were capable of ending this thing. But why? Why did things work out this way? I know some of the answers, but I also want to look forward and have hope for the future, because nothing that has happened in the past can be changed.