He Got Issues but I Luv’em

November 15, 2007
By Dominique Wescott, Norfolk, VA

I could hear the tears rolling down his face. Every word he struggled to say filled with heartache and anger. He sat in a pitch black living room pouring his heart out over the phone to his “Daddy”.

“How the hell can you raise my sister and brother and not me?…. I had birthdays and neva got a phone call or gift…. I remember when I was a kid… I asked you Daddy please don’t go back to jail …. And you promise you wouldn’t…. But you broke that promise….. That was the first and last time I ever called you Daddy and it meant nothing to you….

I laid tucked in my bed pretending to be asleep as I listened to my 16 year old brother break down. I was pierced by every word because I never knew he carried around so much pain. Whenever we talked he was always laughing, joking or arguing. But never had he said anything about his “Dad” I knew he hated the song “Ben” by Michael Jackson. But I didn’t know it was because it reminded him of the relationship he wished he had with his “Dad”. I listened as my brother continued.

“You missed my graduations … You missed most of my chorus concerts… I remember you coming to one… do you know how many I had like 20…

The more he spoke the harder it became for him to speak and for me to listen.

“Ha Ha Haa Ahh man. Rudy you is stupid you stay joking somebody. Your turn. Role the dice, Rudy,” laughed my cousin.
“1, 2, 3, 4”, said Rudy
“You move four times. You play too much stop cheating”
”Haaa haa ha,” we all laughed.

We all set on the floor laughing and playing Sorry. As we played I began to really look at my brother. I looked past the chocolate brown skin, short curly hair, big brown eyes and long lashes. For the first time I saw my brother. It amazed me how beautiful he was. I started to see that he was fragile. Don’t get it twisted my brother ain’t no punk but his feelings are easily hurt …..

“Dominique, Dominique,” my cousin said while shaking me.


“Your turn”.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.”
…even though he will never show it. One thing he always showed was the love for his daughters. For a man who never felt love from his father, he be damned if his daughters did not feel it from him.

I’ll never forget when my niece’s mother took her away for Father’s Day. My niece came home three days later. When my brother came home and saw his daughter playing, he picked her up and held her tight and began to cry as he said he loved her over and over again. Its beautiful moments like that make me believe despite bad there is some good in that man.

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