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And I Still Wonder Why
I’m only nine years old I don’t know what’s going on. Though I thought I did.
“Where have you been,” my mom asks curiously.
“My job kept me over time tonight,” he lies.
She questions again, “and this happens every night?”
“Well you know how work can be.”
That’s how it all started. In my house, every night of the month of December, my dad would come home at 3 a.m. and say his job kept him working over time. I can’t believe what I am hearing. This wasn’t happening. I don’t know why he was doing this because I know he loved my mom. Did he? Why would he do something like this to her? She was the greatest with a sweet smell and loveable all the time. I didn’t understand, they wouldn’t explain anything to me. Thinking I was too young, but I knew that I needed to know because it interfered with my life. It wasn’t like a, whatever kind of situation that they were getting divorced.
They’ve been married for 11 years. Eleven years ago when my parents got married it was arranged. My dad and his parents wanted my mother as his wife. Even though only my mother’s parents wanted her to get married to my dad she didn’t want to. She didn’t like him. After 2 years she had actually fallen in love with him. They were perfect together. They had me, then my brother a year later, then my sister 4 years later, then my other brother 3 years later. Eleven years had gone by then different things started to happen. My dad would sleep out of the house. He wouldn’t be home at night. As movie nights came and went by he didn’t care to see the movie with us (the family). I had gotten so sad that I would cry every night in bed.
“Where’s daddy,” I would ask my mom.
“I don’t know he will be home soon.” She would reply.
When he finally got home at 3 in the morning, I hear the door open. Open my eyes wide, run down stairs and into his arms. “Where were you daddy,” I would ask.
Then he would lie, “At work.”
“Oh,” I would reply in the saddest of ways. My tired eyes would fill with tears, but he wouldn’t notice it because he was drunk. “Mommy said you would be home before bedtime,” I sobbed in my little voice.
He would lie again, “Well sometimes they have me working over time.”
Why did I run into his arms I thought to myself? I was so stupid for doing that. I couldn’t stand myself. I knew he was doing something wrong. Well now I know because he was out cheating. He wasn’t the kind of dad that deserved the love of a great daughter. He came home, breathe smelled gross. Eyes all red and dry and couldn’t walk straight. He was drunk. He wasn’t the daddy that smelled like colon and gel before he left to work and came home smelling like grease because he would cook all day, the daddy who had a white bright smile when he arrived from work everyday, he was a whole new person. A drunken skunk bag. When he got up the next morning it was as if nothing had happened even thought he left at 6 a.m. and came home at 3 a.m. I would always ask my self, why did he change why can’t he just be normal like all the other daddies. Before all of this he told me I was special…
“You are special and the best,” he tells me, with a big smile.
“You are the perfect daughter,” he said. I always loved the daddy that told me that. I smiled and gave him the biggest bear hug which to him I probably felt like an ant. Those were the days I loved him.
Years later, I found out that when Daddy was really skinny and he went to California for a “business trip” as my mom called it, it wasn’t really a business trip it was a special place for him to go to get help so he could stop taking drugs. When he came back from this so called “business trip” he was big and jolly almost like Santa Clause. I wanted to love him all over again, start all over but I didn’t now if it was his true face yet. I gave it some time then he went back to what he used to be before. Why? My mother was trying to help him but I had no idea till I put it all together, when I got it all in order.
This would be on daily basis. He would leave to work at 6 a.m. and pull into the drive way at 3 a.m. sharp. My heart filled with fury every time I saw him. I wanted to choke him with my little bare hands. He was always smoking. I hated it so deeply that the only way of letting it out was for him to die…
“You know daddy I can help you stop smoking…”
“Oh really,” he would say in sarcasm thinking I’m stupid.
“Yeah, usually people that are addicted to smoking usually chew gum instead of smoking a cigarette.”
“Yeah well it’s not that easy you know, I’ve been smoking since I was 15 and it’s hard to stop,” he would say raising his voice.
“You haven’t even tried,” I would yell as my eyes filled with tears.
“Don’t raise you voice at me! I am you father and you don’t tell me what to do! Okay,” he yelled back as my heavy salty tear rolled down my boiling face of hatred.
“I was just trying to help,” I said in a little voice, almost whispering. “I don’t like it when you smoke.”
A year and a half later my uncle came to visit us. My mother’s brother. Uncle Mohammad. My father wasn’t very happy with this.
“I don’t want him here, I don’t want him to live with us,” he would argue furiously with my mother.
“Calm down he’s only visiting, besides he will be gone in a month,” she would calmly say back trying not to let her temper go.
About a week later things started going wrong. There was fighting and arguing, yelling sadness, crying. All kinds of bad things shouted out on and on…until that night…
It was cold and icy, midnight, and I was still up because all I heard down stairs was my mother and father screaming and yelling.
“I don’t want him here,” he would shout and throw something across the room, making the house shake.
“Well then I guess you are going to have to deal with it! Or leave,” she yelled back with the loudest, most furious voice I had ever heard come out of her mouth.
“STOP,” my uncle would yell, “stop arguing about me,” he shouted again, “if you want me to leave I will,” he shouted again.
“No! Maybe he should leave,” my mother would yell pointing at my father. My father was so angry right now. I could imagine his face red, head ready to explode, and his fist so tightly squeezed by his side that his veins stuck out. He grabbed the glass plate and threw it at my mothers head. He certainly didn’t miss because all I heard was it hitting her head, a scream and then shattering glass on the marble tile floor in the kitchen.
“Yeah maybe I should leave,” he said heading for the door,” and kill myself,” his last words before my mother and uncle scurried after him. The next thing you know I’m looking out my bedroom window and he was there holding a gun tightly aiming at my mother and uncle.
“GO CALL THE POLICE,” my uncle yelled in fury. My mother headed inside and in a split second spinning bright blue and red lights surrounded my house. Sirens surrounded the whole neighborhood.
Four hours had passed by and I was still sitting by the window. My grandparents arrived and my father was arrested that night. And when everything had happened the police called again saying my father was bailed out with five thousand dollars. My grandparents had bailed him out. He was forbidden to go near our house ever again.
Now I look at my memories as I’m 13 years old. We visit him 2 times a week and he always tells me that he didn’t want to do that to the family, break us apart. He wants to be with my mother again. And yet I still ask myself why. Why did he do it? Why did he do it even though he wanted to get back with her?