Blood Is Thicker Than Water This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 12, 2012
I never would have thought that my sister would really run away. But I guess I thought wrong. It all started in the fall of l989. I came home from school and I noticed that my sister wasn’t there. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but soon it would be dark and my father would be coming home from work. Finally, he came home and the first answer he gave was: “I dunno.”

Hours passed and my dad started to get worried. He got on that phone and called just about everyone he knew. Then, as soon as we were about to go out and look for her, my aunt called telling us that my sister was going to move in with her and that she needed a female role model in her life. (My mother had left the scene when I was born, so she wasn’t around to be a role model.) But all I heard that night was: “Hell no, she can’t have my daughter.” Next thing I knew my dad was telling me to get dressed – that we were going to my aunt’s house.

We arrived there around 11:30 p.m. I had never seen my dad so vexed in his life. He looked like he was going to blow. I didn’t know what was going on, all I was thinking about was going to bed.

When my dad got on the front porch, my aunt came to the door and said that my sister didn’t feel like seeing him because she thought he was going to yell at her. Meanwhile, I was still in the car watching my dad and my aunt argue. All of a sudden, my dad walked to the end of the driveway, picked up a brick, and smashed my aunt’s front car window.

My aunt didn’t get mad, she just called the cops. While they were still arguing, the cops came, and arrested my dad on the spot. They treated him like he was some kid. I couldn’t do anything, all I could do was cry like a hungry baby. They threw him to the ground like some animal, tightened the handcuffs on his wrist, and again threw him to the ground. My dad tried fighting back, but three to one was uneven odds. The last words I remember my dad saying were: “Go in the house, Faheem.” Then he turned to the cops and said: “My son don’t need to be seeing this.” Then the so-called “Officer Friendly” flung my dad into the back of the squad car.

The next morning I was in a sorry state of mind. Social workers and cops were asking me all sorts of questions. I didn’t answer any; they all looked evil to me with their fake smiles and want-to-help attitudes. I thought to myself, If you want to help me, let my father out of jail.

Since then, my life has changed drastically. The State took us away from my father because they said we were living in a bad environment and that they had found drugs in our house which put my father away for a little longer. Then they put us in a foster home, then another, then another and another. Until, finally we ended up with another aunt who lives in Windsor.

Life was cool with my aunt, but I had to adjust to the way people live in Windsor. Everything was all good until my aunt’s husband started complaining about how he didn’t feel like raising more children. Some family … huh. My aunt got sick of hearing him complain about raising more children so she put us back in a foster home.

Luckily for me and my sister, a neighbor two houses down from my aunt’s stepped in. My sister was already friends with their daughter. Her parents called the State and said that they would like to take custody of us. I love them for that.

But it seems weird to me how a total stranger can take us in and show us love that my own family couldn’t give me. The strange part about it is that we live only two houses down from my aunt, yet she can’t visit or call us.

Now it is l995, and I’m much older and wiser. I miss my dad with all my heart and wish he was out to be able to see me graduate. But that wish will never come true. I will always think to myself that if my sister hadn’t run away I would still be with my dad. Sometimes I blame her for losing him and sometimes I blame my aunts. But what I do know is that my family will never be the same. I went through a lot of heartaches and suffering, but suffering builds character. Whoever made up the saying “blood is thicker than water” lied.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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