Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon

Summary: The day that Ruki realises her father is never coming back.

For Kaito Lune

They think I can't remember it, mother and grandma, but I do. I remember it all, down the shape of the clouds in the sky, every detail of the day my father left me, and never came back.

I was young at the time, and saw little of either of my parents. My mother was flighty and constantly bringing home the latest in designer clothing for her child to model, treating me like a doll that had nothing to say, and was simply there to smile and look pretty. It was left to my grandmother to provide the necessities, regular meals, a clean home and whatever semblance of routine she could wrangle my mother into complying with.

My father didn't do anything for me. He worked, and contributed toward the family income, but my arrival had been unexpected, and I think he felt bereft when my mother's, however misguided attentions turned to me and me alone. Maybe he envied me, as some parents do when the other is more affectionate with the child than they feel comfortable with being. He held me like a doll, stiff and careful, as if unsure what to do with me.

I know that he didn't resent me, not really, but he hadn't been prepared for the burden of fatherhood. Perhaps that had been one of the stipulations set down before he married my mother, that they would have a few years to themselves before trying for any children. I can see it now, mother studiously adhering to her birth control for a while, forgetting just that one time, and then bang, along comes baby.

She's careless that way. I was born ten days before their first wedding anniversary.

It was cloudy, the day he left, an expectant tension in the air as if it were preparing to rain, tension not unlike that which I felt build up in the house all that day, with my parents shouting louder and louder until finally mother screamed at him to leave and the front door slammed, the peal of shattering crystal colliding with it mere moments later. The figurine she had thrown after him had been a wedding gift.

I remember grandma's gentle chiding for me to go to bed when she found me outside mothers door, listening to the sobbing coming from within. I remember her crying herself when her attempts at comforting mother degenerated into an argument and yet more feelings were hurt.

I was the only one who didn't cry that day, because I knew what my mother couldn't bring herself to acknowledge yet, that we would have to live without him, and in a way I had a head start. He had never been a real part of my life, always distant and distracted, and therefore I could neither bring myself to hate him or to want him back. I would make my own way, without any of them, because in the end they were all going to hurt me anyway, if I let them.

I lit a candle that night and prayed for myself, for the strength to not need anyone. I still loved them, but I didn't want to need them.

It was my independence day, and I would never be the same.