Daddy, Are You There?

By , Chicago, IL

For as long as I could remember, my dad always liked to have a drink or two, or even five. When I was younger, I never really noticed until I was around the age of eight. It got so bad that I was embarrassed to call him my father. Day after day, I would walk home from school, do my homework, and then go upstairs, never knowing if my loving, kind father would come home from work at five-thirty or a man I didn’t know would stumble in at midnight. I’m sixteen now- turning seventeen in a couple of weeks- and nothing has changed. Yeah, I guess you can I say I’m more mature now and I’m used to it, but no kid should be accustomed to their father or parent being intoxicated more often than not.


Let’s look back to when I was eight years old. We were living in our first house- it was on a fairly busy street just down the road from an ice cream store, and then a little farther down was the heart of Edison Park with bars, restaurants, and entertainment. That was the place I despised with a passion. I knew that nothing good ever happened down there.
           
“Hey, do you want anything to eat from the Ice Cream Parlor?” My dad asked.
“Yeah! Can I have a scoop of chocolate?” I couldn’t have been more excited, because I loved ice cream. After he left, I waited on the couch for him and my ice cream.


One hour later
Two hours later
Three hours later
“It’s time to go to bed.” My mom said. I knew she wanted me to go to sleep just so she could leave and pick up my dad from wherever the hell he was at.


“No, dad went to go get me ice cream. I need to wait!” I was mad, really mad. I knew he wasn’t going to come back with ice cream, I knew he wasn’t coming back even remembering that he was going out to get me ice cream in the first place.


Now it was eleven o’clock. My mom had left to go pick up my dad from the dive bar he had been drinking his life away at for five hours.


I heard them come home. It did not sound good at all. 


“How could you do that to her? She was waiting for you to come home, and you never came!” My mom yelled loudly. I could hear them arguing, and I didn’t know what to do.


Crash! boom! bang! “F*** you!” “I hate you!” “Get off me!” So many things were running through my head. I didn’t know what to do- should I go down there and fight him, should
           
I run away, should I call my uncles? I started to have a panic attack. I couldn’t catch my breath- tears rolling down my face, covering my ears so I couldn’t hear it, I was rocking back and forth. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed the house phone and called


the police. Probably wasn’t the best idea, I could've just walked down and they would of stopped. But it was too late.


“911, what is your emergency?”
“My mommy and daddy are fighting.”
“How old are you?”
“8”

Now I knew I was in trouble, my mom heard me talking on the phone.
“Who were you talking too?” She was crying.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t know what to do.” Now I was crying even more.


She went outside, there were red and blue lights coming down the street. They pulled over in front of the house, but it wasn’t just one- it was three police cars. My neighbors must had heard the arguing and were concerned. Now the police officers were talking to my mom, and my dad had ran away.


“Now ma’am, would you like to press charges?” The officer asked my mom.
“No, it was just a misunderstanding. Everything is fine.” She lied.


Everyone driving past was looking at all the commotion. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed. The police officers left to go look for my dad, which made the situation even worse. My mom and I laid in bed saying nothing. I knew she was sad and angry, but I was too young to do anything to help.


The next morning, it was like nothing ever happened. My mom left for work, I got ready for school, my dad woke up and then drove me to school. It’s always like this the next morning. Pretending like nothing happened.

 

Ignoring the problems. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad to death. He has never done anything serious to harm me. But seeing him the way he is when he drinks makes me love him a little less each time. Now that I’m older, I can handle it better. Taking his alcohol and hiding it, picking his car up from bars, telling him to get help, etc. It’s embarrassing to stay home when my mom can’t make sure my dad doesn’t go out and drink. But I can’t truly help him or make him change- he is the only one who can. But I’ll be with him and love him every step of the way.






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