“Promise me that you’ll never grow up Marisa.”
That was all my father said before he left me. Before he left my family to rot and my mom to suffer. That’s all he left us.
My mother told me to not worry about him. My mother told me to stop wasting my time caring for someone who doesn’t care for me. But something inside those layers of hatred towards him told me I had to love. Something deep down inside told me that hating my “father” was wrong. I just couldn’t give him up.
I don’t know much about my father. He left me when I was four, leaving my sister all alone in her adolescent years, the one time that she needed father most. She always told me that he was a “great, big man, who loved to eat salted caramel ice cream with one huge dollop of mom’s chocolate whipped cream.” That’s all I ever knew. That’s all I was ever allowed to know.
I get jealous sometimes. Whenever I see my friends with their father, a little piece of my heart crumples up and throws itself into the garbage can. It hurts so much it’s almost painful.
It's been ten years. Ten years since he left the little blue brick house I call home. Ten long years since he let me down. Ten whole years since he let me crumble into an insecure teenager with no one to run to.
But I love my father. I love him because I don't know who he was. My memories told me to adore him. He was a big man with warm arms and sweet hugs. He was the one thing I was proud of until I lost him. And I tell my friends that I love him, I tell my friends that I love him even though he's not there anymore. I tell my friends I love him because he's my dad. I tell my friends I love him even though he’s sleeping in a grave.
I love the dad I never had and nothing will ever change that.