by Jaylen Washington

I was having a really hard time after my dad left me.  I was confused about why he didn’t come get me and spend time with me. The reason he left was because he cheated on my mom and ended up having another child by another woman. When my mom found out about it, she was furious and she told him to leave, but she did not tell him that he could not come get his kids and spend time with them. Since he wasn’t in a relationship with my mom any more, I guess he wasn’t in a relationship with me anymore either. I thought he loved me. He says he does, but he doesn’t really show it that much.

I didn’t really think about it, but deep down I feel some sort of resentment towards him because he does not really put in any effort to show me any love. He expects me to put in effort towards him. He wants me to call him if I want to spend time with him but it’s supposed to be the other way around. He’s supposed to call me. I didn’t have him; he had me, therefore, he’s supposed to put in the effort—not me. He never even calls to check on me from time to time. Since he never really wants to spend time with me, he doesn’t really know me. There are a lot of things he doesn’t know about me. For instance, he never knew what my favorite color is, who my favorite football, basketball, baseball team is etc., what’s my favorite food, or what my hobbies are. Usually a dad would want to know all that important stuff about their child, but I guess he’s different. It was like he couldn’t care less about wanting to get to know me!

I sometimes go into deep thoughts and ask myself; why doesn’t he want me? Why did he make me if he’s not ready to be a father? I understand if you’re not ready to be a father, then do not make any children. It’s just wrong to not be there for your child even through hard times. If you say you’re going to be a good father to your child, then do it. Keep your word, don’t lie about it. Even though he wasn’t there for me, that’s okay because I made it to who I am today without him. My mom helped me. She helped me with my homework and with school projects when I was in school. She supported me in whatever I wanted to do. She made sure I wouldn’t flunk out and even helped me with talking to girls. She also came to all of the parent-teacher meetings and most importantly she helped me graduate high school. My dad on the other hand, didn’t come to none of the parent-teacher meetings, nor did he come support me in whatever sport I was playing and he did not help me with any of my homework.

Sometimes I thought to myself, I don’t need him but then again I might need him. I say that because when I hit puberty there were some things happening to my body that I was not aware of, and of course, I had questions to ask, but I couldn’t ask him about it. I needed a male figure in my life to answer my questions because only a man could really answer them but there was no one I could ask. I had to ask my mother, but when she did not have the slightest clue, I had to use google for answers. I also couldn’t ask him for advice on how to talk to girls and I never learned how to tie a tie when wearing a suit. My mom couldn’t teach me how to tie a tie because women don’t wear suits and ties. Whenever I need something, my mom will do her best to help me, if she has no clue, she will figure it out.

All of it was like a challenge to me. To me, it meant I have to work harder and be strong and independent. I take that very seriously because I have two brothers that need me and look up

to me. I would never want to disappoint them. I want to be there for them all the time whenever they need me. I learned how to do somethings on my own. The things I learned I taught to my brothers. I feel like I had a pretty good influence on my brothers. I always spoke to people with good manners, I never disrespected my elders, I made good grades in school so I can achieve my dreams, I helped my brothers with their homework, and I always obeyed my mom. My mom, my brothers and I knew everything about each other and always helped each other out. From then on, I realized I did not need him in my life at all! I had my mom and my brothers and that’s all I needed. They say a woman can’t raise a man, but I beg to differ because my mom did a great job. I can say I turned out to be a great person. (888 words)