The Tears This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Thetears wouldn't stop. I was trying so hard not to lose control, but the sobs stillescaped and made me feel helpless.

"Honey, please, tell me what'swrong," my father begged. "Tell me!"

He knew my tears wereover him, but he didn't know why. That night during our visit, I was extremelyquiet. When I spoke, I felt my hurt stir, and I couldn't keep myself fromsnapping at him. I didn't speak to anyone else in that same biting manner - justhim.

I wanted so badly to tell him everything, to make him understand whathe was doing to me without even knowing it. But he could never understand.

I hate you so much sometimes, Dad, I wanted to say. I hate you fordrinking and what it does to Mom. And I hate your "friends," thosepeople who supply you with whatever you need to get away from us so you can havea good time. I hate you for having a girlfriend who's younger, prettier andthinner than Mom. You'd rather spend time with her than your kids because she'smore beautiful and exciting. I hate you for choosing someone I could nevercompete with, Dad. I thought all these things as I wondered what to say, and myheart burst with sadness.

Saying all of this would almost be like askinghim to become a different person, and I know better than even to try. In the end,I simply said, "I miss you, Daddy,"' and wrapped my arms around him andcried until I was exhausted. There was truth to what I said, and I wondered if itwas enough to make him understand my seething bitterness, the dejection I hadtried to keep secret from him.

"I know, sweetheart, I know," hesaid. "Don't you think I miss you and your sisters, too? I think of youevery day. I miss everything about what I used to have in this house." Ithought I had finally gotten through to him.

Two weeks later, my fathermoved into a condo with his girlfriend. My sisters and I didn't hear from him forweeks. I felt like the dumbest person alive. He had played the cruelest trick onme, and there was nothing I could do. He told me the worst yet most believablekind of lie. This was my payback for having faith in him. It ate away at me, butI didn't reveal my emotions.

The next few months passed quickly and Ibusied myself with the school musical, choir practices, and mountains ofhomework. Dad would occasionally call or stop over for a short visit. I stillcouldn't tell him how forgotten and ignored I felt. The moment never seemedright, and even if given the opportunity, I worried that I wouldn't be able tofind the right words.

Summer vacation rolled around and I spent the firstSaturday at the beach, walking down the boardwalk and sitting on the rocks towatch the sea; I needed time to think. I saw a little boy stick his toe in thewater, then back away as if he thought it were too cold. When the waves slappedthe shore, he danced backward, hoping to avoid the chill.

It was likewatching my father.

It was like watching myself.

I got up from therocks, brushed myself off, and headed back to my towel.




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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