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Stepfather John D. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My hero sleeps right down the hall. Every day Ipass him on my way out the door, and every night we sit at the dinnertable while I talk incessantly about my day. My hero is my stepfather,the man I call Dad.

Granted, I have never seen him leap tallbuildings in a single bound, and he definitely is not more powerful thana locomotive (unless you are referring to the one that circles ourChristmas tree). But he is my hero.

Years ago my parents divorcedand my mother was left struggling to raise two unruly girls. I was 11when I first met my stepfather; he'd come to pick up my mother for theirfirst date. Eventually they married. Soon after, my relationship with mymother began to deteriorate. No matter how bad things were, I knew Icould talk to my new dad and that he would listen withoutyelling.

Over the years, he and my mother had their own problems.I decided I could not handle living with my mother any longer. Shortlyafter I turned 17, I moved out. It was several weeks before I contactedhim, and I could tell he was worried. I assured him I was fine and notto worry. I tried contacting my mother, but she refused to talk tome.

My mother left, taking everything and leaving the payments tohim. He asked me to come home, and within a month I did. He never askedme to explain why I left. What was important was that I was home, wherehe knew I was okay.

My dad is my hero because he cares about me.He may not say it often, but I know how important I am to him, and I amso glad I was given the opportunity to know what a "real"parent is supposed to be like.




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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