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Not the Surprise I was expecting
During the summer when I was entering my sophomore year, I flew to my dad’s house in Richmond, Virginia for two weeks. My sister and I have to go there every summer; it is in the court order from when my parents got a divorce quite sometime ago. When I arrived I expected us of sitting around and my dad dragging my sister and I around to places we did not care to go to when he had the time. My sister had already been out at my dad’s for a couple of days now, and as soon I got there I knew this was not going to be a normal trip to my dad’s house. Every time I went there I never really felt comfortable like feeling at home. It was my dad’s house and it did not feel like a second home.
“Hey I got a surprise for you while you’re here. You’ll see tomorrow” my dad told me. When my dad had said surprise, in my head I am thinking maybe a gift, something he would never do for any reason. My sister shot me strange looks all day. We went out to eat later on in the day. “You know Matthew, you should really start working out and eating better. Does your mom feed you right?” My dad preached to me. He always did. The day was filled with my dad’s remarks like that and a lot of watching new movies when we got home. At around ten o clock, my dad had decided to go to bed. My sister ran to me as soon as his door shut.
“You are not going to believe what I am going to tell you” she exclaimed with a mixture of excitement and seriousness on her face.
” You know how dad was telling you about how he was going to show his surprise to you? Well, it is probably not the surprise you have been expecting. Okay, so you know dad’s girlfriend? Dad and she had a little girl. Her name is Meadow and she is two years old.” Michelle said. My face was blank; I did not know what to think.
“Well, have you seen her?” I asked.
“Yeah, I have. She is really cute and she looks a lot like you and I, except her nose is more flat than ours. It is pretty weird being around dad and her though. She calls him Daddy and it’s just different.” At this point my mind was racing. How the h*ll did my dad have a daughter for two years and hide it from my sister, his parents, his sister, anyone, or me?
It was hard to sleep that night. I called a couple of friends from back at home and told them everything that I had just found out. I really had to get everything off of my chest at that point. The entire night the thought of a second sister kept going through my head. What should I say to her? How should I act? Did she know who I was already? I finally fell asleep and woke up to my dad poking me, trying to talk.
“Hey, so do you want to hear what the surprise is?” my dad said.
“Michelle told me last night”, I said barely even awake.
“Oh, alright then.” His voice was shaky; anyone could tell he was scared. “Look, I know I am not setting too good of an example here. You know Jinky and I aren’t even married. She will be coming over later today, so you will get to meet Meadow.” He sat on the edge of the bed for a little longer, but I said nothing. He then walked out and shut the door. I just lay back down, staring at the ceiling. How does he not even say sorry, I had a child and did not tell you for two years? And why would he talk about the example he was setting? I honestly didn’t care if he and his girlfriend were married or not. I did care if they had a child though. I finally got out of bed, took a shower, and got dressed. Even though I was still confused and upset, I was still really excited to meet Meadow. I was unsure of how our first encounter with each other would go. I went downstairs, and my sister told me she would be at the house in twenty minutes. My dad and my sister continued to tell me about Meadow. My dad told me how smart she was for a two year old
“You know Matthew, Meadow is really smart for a two year old. I can see it. She figures things out fast. You got to see her with her toys.” My dad told me.
“She is the cutest thing, you won’t be able to take your eyes off of her” My sister said to me. Then a knock on the door echoed through the house. My heart began to beat faster and faster. Jinky walked in the door holding Meadow. She was tiny; her face was very round and was everything that my sister had just told me about her. She went immediately to Michelle and lunged herself into my sister’s arms. Michelle picked her up and walked her toward me.
“You want to meet your big brother”, she questioned
I looked at Meadow and smiled. She looked at me for a second and then turned her head quickly. For the next hour I tried to get her attention. I whispered her name constantly, but she wouldn’t look at me. Nothing would grasp win her over; she would either walk away or turn her head. My dad and Jinky kept telling me she was just shy and that it would take some time.
We spent the day walking around in an outdoor mall close to my dad’s house. The highlight of Meadow’s day was that she got to ride this train that took younger kids her age around the mall, and she had the biggest smile on her face. Meadow was tired from all the walking around, so her mom picked her up. I was walking behind them, so Meadow was facing me. I decided to make funny faces at her to make her smile or laugh. It took a while, but I finally made her giggle. I was ecstatic; everything that had troubled me this whole day didn’t matter anymore. I had got my little sister to smile.
The remaining days at my dad’s house, I spent playing with Meadow. The next time I went to my dad’s house would be the last time I saw her. My dad never really told me what went wrong, but my dad and Jinky had broken up. Jinky had been born and raised in the Philippines, and she had decided to move back home. She brought Meadow with her and it has been over two and a half years since the last time I saw her. The rest of the family found out about her when they saw a picture of her on the Internet. I don’t know how they reacted and if everyone has met her or not. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. I hope she is doing well and want my dad to tell me when she goes to visit him. The last time I saw my dad, he spoke seldom of Meadow. I don’t even know if he still talks to her or Jinky. I asked my dad if they would come to see me graduate from high school, and my dad didn’t know what to say. I hope he at least asks.