A Letter for You

February 18, 2011
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Dear Dad,

It’s been over 4 years since we last talked. The last time I saw you I remember being mad at you because I wanted you to buy me something, but you didn’t, so I got mad. You must have thought I was egotistical.I felt so guilty afterwards.

On a Sunday afternoon, around 2:00p.m, about 4 months ago, my older brother, Alexi, came home from going to the doctor with some surprising news. He said, “I saw your dad.”

What followed afterwards was just plain, unbearable silence. I was too surprised to speak.

Alexi said, “I figured I should get his number for you... I know you’ve been wanting to talk to him.”

I didn’t respond.

Alexi continued, “I called after him. He turned around and had a confused look on his face. I introduced myself and we started talking. He asked about you. We exchanged phone numbers and he said he’s been calling you.”


Alexi asked me if I wanted your phone number and I replied, “Not now.”

My voice was faint as if I had been punched in the stomach. I wasn’t ready to call you. I was afraid to get attached to you all over again and then have you disappear for another three years.My brother said to just ask him for the number when I felt ready. I could only nod.

I didn’t want to be in the house. It felt crowded and stuffy as if the walls were closing in on me. So I left to the park. I was walking around trying to escape my thoughts. I thought back to the time when my mom and I had gone to a Korean restaurant. That’s when we first talked about you, we had talked about you other times but this was different. I remember it like it was yesterday, though it was three months ago.

It started out as a regular conversation. We were looking at the menu, trying to decide what we wanted and as usual my mom told me to make a healthy choice.Like always, I protested, to get a burger. In the end, mom won.

Finally, after what seemed like forever I asked her the question I’ve been meaning to ask; “Why did you get divorced?” They’d been divorced ever since I was six. My mom never told me why. She’d said she’d tell me when I was older so I could understand.

She didn’t answer. I looked into her eyes and asked, “Did he cheat on you?”

Tears were forming in her eyes and they began to cascade down her cheeks.

She didn’t respond, but she didn’t have to. The look in her eyes told me everything.

She stood up to go to the restroom and I was left there, alone. I’ve never seen her cry before but seeing her cry over you, a man who abandoned her when she needed you the most, was hard for me.

To be honest, I can’t say I don’t miss you. I miss our movie nights and drive-ins at Micky D’s, but now I know not to trust you. I haven’t seen you in three years and you never bothered calling. Did you expect me to call you after running into my brother and exchanging numbers, as if you were still a part of my life? Like those three years hadn’t passed. You taught me not only to be strong, but that trust is hard to find. In order to find it, we must take a risk and in that risk we may be let down because nothing is guaranteed. People make mistakes everyday, some mistakes can deeply hurt the people they love, but in order to heal, you must forgive. When you forgive you can finally move on.

Your Daughter,

Nathalie Sanchez

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