It Was an Accident
Lakota Price
My daughter won't let me sleep. Every night, it's the same thing. She wanders into my room, dragging her stuffed rabbit by the ear, clad in her nightgown, and bawling. She will come up to me and say "Daddy, it hurts." Of course it

does. I can see the bruises and cuts all over her. But it was an accident that did this to her. There is no one to be mad at. There's only sorrow looking at the poor kid. The first few weeks of this, I'd let her crawl into bed with me and hold her all night. It brought the crying down to sad whimpers. But I would not be able to sleep listening to her in pain. I told my wife, and she said ignore the problem, and the problem will go away.

I tried it. It made my daughter scream in anguish. If the whimpers were keeping me up, the screaming had me wide awake. I tried begging her to stop, to go to sleep, to give me some peace. It was to no avail. She would only cry more. She asked why I didn't love her. Why was I trying to make her leave? I was a mess, wracked with guilt. She only wanted her daddy to make her feel better.

It grew worse. I quit eating. I stopped going to work. My wife began to worry. But she grew exhausted, so worry turned to annoyance. My wife left. Without work, bills were left unpaid. I was alone in a dark house with only the sounds of my daughter's weeping. It was an accident, though. I didn't plan to hit black ice. I didn't know my daughter would be ejected from the car. I didn't know going for a drive would kill my only child.

It was an accident.