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Father, Anthony B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My first word was not mommy. It wasdaddy. When I was seven, my mother started snorting crack andsmoking weed. She wouldn't help out around the house; a womanwho is a housewife should do the laundry and have dinnerready, but none of those things got done at my house. I wasvery scared of what she was doing to herself; she always hadblack circles under her eyes from not sleeping. And she wascarrying another child. Our house was always full of fighting.The biggest concern for me, a 7-year-old, should have beenstudying for a spelling test, not wondering if my mom wouldmake it to the next day.

When my brother turned four,things got even worse. My father couldn't take it and told mymother's parents what was going on. They took us in and mymother left us. My father then left us in the care of mygrandmother to find a better life for us. He promised us hewould come back, and for some reason, I believed he would. Butmy grandmother told me my dad had been bad to my mother andhad made her do what she did, putting all the blame on my dad.She brainwashed us so that, when my father came back for us,we wouldn't go. We were petrified of him. I was in first gradeat the time and didn't feel that my dad was safe to livewith.

I got a lot of verbal abuse from my grandmother,too. She constantly said I looked like my father and it wasbad to resemble a mean man. I felt alone; my brother saw I hadno one to talk to, yet couldn't help. Finally, I decided Iwasn't going to sit around and let my life get worse. When myfather came to pick us up on his visitation day, I told himeverything and asked for answers to my questions.

Thatday we talked about everything. He told me he never didanything to try to hurt us in any way. All I could think wasthat I was right. He did come back and rescue us.

Hesoon gained custody of us and we have been with him eversince. My mother went into rehab and has been clean for fiveyears. She wanted to reunite with me but I still don't feelclose to her.

My dad is my hero and I love him. He hasmade my life the best and for that I thank him. My brother,father and I live together now. Dad has remarried, and I havea new sister who makes us so happy. Now I have no problems anddo well in school, thanks to him. I have a house and know thefamily my mom wouldn't let me see. He's my inspiration and Ilove him with all my heart. Thanks, Dad, for always beingthere.




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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