Due To Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Dad, I love you, but you don’t know it. I care about you, but you don’t see it. I need you, but you don’t think I do.”

I had never, ever seen my dad cry. He’s way too tough for tears. I think he doesn’t cry in front of us so it will seem as though nothing hurts him. Then Arnel came into my life and every day I wanted to be with him. My father has two jobs, both in San Diego. I live a few hours away from there, so he was rarely home and when he was, I would rather be with Arnel. I would even get mad at my dad when he made me stay around for “family time” because my two brothers were only interested in the TV or the computer. I hated spending time with them and whenever I did stay, I would have a fit.

Thanksgiving we went to San Diego and I was angry because Arnel couldn’t come. The whole day felt wasted. At night we all got together to say what we were thankful for, but the only thing I could think about was my boyfriend. Then my dad came in from work, exhausted. My aunt asked what he was thankful for and he said, “Nothing, because all I have is my family and it seems like they don’t appreciate anything I do. I work two jobs and am barely home and when I am, my family isn’t. I work hard but it seems like I am the enemy. All I want is to spend time with them, but they hate me.” I listened to how hurt he was and it tore me up inside. My cousin said I should appreciate him more because of all the things he does for us and that’s when I realized how selfish and sorry I was. I cried ... and then I stood up and said, “Dad, I am sorry, and I love you.”

My dad’s eyes turned red and a tear fell from his cheek. That is the first time I ever saw him cry ... and it was because of me.

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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