Friend Request

It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was so excited. Who wouldn’t be? Delicious food and a whole day of family time? Of course I was excited. I had been having a hard time with my biological father, whom I hadn’t seen in over eleven years. I was struggling with the fact that he wasn’t there for me. I have a step-dad who was there since my real dad left but it was never the same after I found out he wasn’t my real dad. I called him daddy and I call him dad still but it’s not the same, it never would be. My mom and I were in the kitchen preparing the stuffing and turkey when I decided to check my Facebook. Yes, I had gotten one months before and was still addicted. To my surprise, I had a new friend request. Strange when I had sent a request to everyone I knew. I clicked on the friendly icon and there it was. A picture on my real dad. Sure, I had searched his name on Facebook before but I never thought that I would be getting a friend request from him. I can’t even describe the feelings I had because I don’t know. I was scared, shocked, happy, sad and all from this little friend request. Thoughts raced back and forth through my mind. Should I tell my mom? She hadn’t seen him since he left. Would she be mad? Should I conform or decline? I was terrified. But at the same time ecstatic. I was so happy that he wanted to be friends. I was happy that he wanted to know me. Or did he? I spent so much time thinking that he was just doing this to make my life terrible. I didn’t know what to do so I slept on it.

When I woke up, I raced to the computer and typed in those familiar letters and sure enough, there it was. It wasn’t a dream. My father, the one who left more than a decade before, sent me a friend request on the most familiar social networking site I know. It was hilarious. I laughed at the thought. I sat down and thought some more. And more. And more. I stared at his picture. He didn’t look anything like from the baby pictures I had. In an impulse, I clicked confirm. I hurried to his page and scoured through his pictures, music, movies, and sports interests just to try to get to know what he was like. I got sad and went back to my page. He had a daughter. Named Abby, who looked just like me when I was little. I knew he had kids but I guess it never sunk in that he had a life. He had kids who he cared about. He had friends, interests, hobbies that I never knew about, never thought about and never would. I un-friended him. I didn’t want to mess his life up. He didn’t need me and I didn’t need him. I told my mom and she said she’d love me no matter what. And I cried. I cried for the fact that I would never know him. I cried for the fact that I didn’t want to know him.

Soon after my whole “breakdown” I received a text message from an unknown number. Could it be? Yes. It was him. He asked if he could call me. I said no. He replied one last time saying that I could call him if I wanted to and Happy Thanksgiving. I said you too. It’s two days after Thanksgiving and I still haven’t called him. I don’t think I ever will. I haven’t been too happy with my life and I thought that if I had a dad who paid attention to me, it would get better. That’s not true at all. My step-dad loves me. Even if he shows it in odd ways or doesn’t show it at all. I know that he loves me. I know this, because he’s here. Guess who’s not.





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leafy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 9:48 am
Wow, very nice story. It was written well with no 'dead words' and such, I caught no errors, and it was paced nicely. My only problems with it was that in the first few sentences, you said 'excited' twice, and in the first paragraph, you dad, in my opinion, too much. Other than that, it was really good. While I know it's tough, I think you should go call you biological father, it doesn't have to be for long. I think you'll regret not doing it, and if it doesn't go well you can always hang up :)... (more »)
 
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