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The morning after, I felt horror, dread and the largest sense of loss... and it was shared with the rest of the fleet. The rest of humanity. But I also felt guilt. Overwhelming guilt.

For several months, my father and I had been going back and forth about my enlistment. Every time I saw him, he made nothing but disparaging remarks about the military and everyone in it, including me.

------
The house was festively lit. Birthday's were always celebrated big at the Dualla house. Friends and family were invited and no expense was spared. Cake, ice cream, streamers, balloons and everyone dressed up. The alcohol flowed freely and the backyard was lit with dozens of sparkling lights.

"I have an announcement to make," Dee said hesitantly to the group that had gathered to celebrate her 25th birthday. She'd been promoted to Petty Officer Second Class and wanted to share the good news. The people seated around the table on the back porch of her family's spacious home all looked at her expectantly, but her father spoke before she could.

"You finally gave up on your ridiculous military idea?" The scorn in his voice grated on her nerves and she turned to look at him, eyes flashing, as he finished off the Ambrosia in his tumbler.

"It's not something you 'give up', Dad. I've enlisted, which means I can't just resign or quit. I don't WANT to quit. I like like my job and I'm good-"

Her father's scoff cut her off. "It's not but a bunch of emotional cripples and patriotic fools," her father retorted, the derision still dripping from his tongue.

"And which am I?" As much as she didn't want to make a scene at her birthday party, Dee found herself unable to stop the inevitable fight with her father. Again.

Her mother put a hand on her father's forearm and he didn't answer. Instead, her mother said calmly, "I think we're just wondering why a pretty girl like you would choose the military when so many other options were open to you." Dee shook her head, unwilling to make nice, yet again, for the sake of appearances. Her fork went gently onto her plate as she stood, placing her napkin on her chair.

"I wanted to say I believed in something and mean it." Without another word, she turned and headed into the house. A sudden yank on her arm stopped her and she found herself looking up into her father's eyes.

"You walk out of this house-"

This time, Dee cut him off. "Don't worry. I don't want to see you ever again."
------

It was the last time I talked to my father and to this day, I wish I'd told him that I didn't mean it. Because I believed in him. I like to believe that I'm a hardworking, generous person. And I had to get that from somewhere. I know I got it from my dad.

But the guilt on the morning after was the worst.



Anastasia 'Dee' Dualla
Battlestar Galactica
521 Words

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April 2017

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