Dropping her head, the woman glances away nervously. He was helping her, so the least she could do is answer a simple question.
"My, uh... Daddy hasn't been well as of late. For years, now."
Obviously upset by the topic, the woman leans slightly more weight on the man, slowing down.
"...He was never, uh... Quite well, you see. He's always had heart problems, and me and momma would have to sit in the hospital waiting rooms for hours, just begging the spirits, gods, whatever's
out there he'd make it through surgery. I think at last count he's gone under the knife... Six? Seven times? Most when I was little? That was... Damn, thirty-four years ago? Thirty? I don't remember anymore, I was little and I was scared for my daddy, scared I was gonna lose him and his big, handsome, warm smile and how he'd play chess with me when I was bored or hold me close when I was scared or sad..."
Small drops of water sinking into the man's shoulder, she eventually continues, pushing out into the open air.
"...And now he's sick and doesn't have long and... As much as I wanna say me runnin' away was about me
, was about what I wanted from life, I know it's just because I can't stand the thought of watching my daddy die when there's nothing
I can do about it."
Tears in her eyes, the taller woman turns to the dad, now unashamed of her sadness and simply seeking the comfort of another person.
"It's not easy growing up, becoming an adult, and then barely aging a day while your beloved, wonderful daddy turns into a withered husk of an old man, barely able to walk or eat or piss on his own. I abandoned
my family because I'm a coward who couldn't face that. Who couldn't look my dying daddy in the eye while he breathes his last because I didn't love him enough."
Wiping roughly at her eyes as a choking sob escapes her lips, the woman adds,
"And I'm just... Terrified
because there's a good chance if I ever have kids and they turn out human that I'll have to watch them die before I even look a day over thirty-five."
Silent for several moments, she takes a deep breath, and dabbing at the corners of her eyes, asks,
"So does that answer your question, hun?"