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Hey, guys. I'm Anthony. I'm 17 years old and soon I'll be a father. I think I can do it because I have a great example of what kind of father you shouldn’t be. Yeah, I'm talking about my own dad.
I'm not saying that my father is a bad man. He's a sailor, and we only see each other three months out of the year. Ok, I understand that he makes money so that my mother and I can live well. But I still miss him, you know. I envied the other kids because their dads were there for them for their whole childhood. And I spent most of my time just waiting for my dad to come home and enjoying the few days we spent together. And recently my mom and I found out that we weren't the only ones waiting for my dad to return from the sea.
The last time my dad was deployed, his sailing was supposed to be over on a certain day, and he was supposed to come home. But dad texted that he would be home a couple of days later and didn`t explain the reason. It was weird. Because before that, dad was always on time. He was always in a hurry to get home to see us. And then he completely stopped responding to messages. My mom and I were getting worried. A sailor is a dangerous profession, even in the 21st century. He could have been caught in a storm, or gotten malaria in a third world country port. In addition, there are still some pirates on the ocean in today`s world! My mother and I just couldn't calm down until one morning we heard a car drive up to our house. I looked out the window and I saw my dad getting out of the taxi. Hurray! I ran out to meet him, but then, a boy who was about of five years old got out of the car. Then dad said that we all needed to have a serious talk.
My mom and I didn't understand what was going on. We sat down at the table and my dad started talking. Many years ago, when his ship was in a port in the Philippines, he met a woman and they had an affair. At sea, sailors often miss regular human relationships, you know. So one day my father received a message from that woman. And it said that she was pregnant. Dad didn't want to leave her alone and he felt responsible for the child. So since then, his life has been divided into three parts: the sea, his family in America, and another family in the Philippines. But something terrible happened. That woman got sick and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately the doctors couldn`t help her, and dad was with her until the very end. Then there was a funeral and dad had to figure out what to do next. If he had left the kid there, he would most likely have ended up at an orphanage, and he wouldn't have survived there. My dad couldn't let that happen so he stayed there for a week, processing documents for the child to bring him to America. And here they are.
That's just "oh my God" information and it took a few minutes just to process it. My dad had another family for five years! Do you know how it feels when you find out your father's been lying to you for five years? I can't even begin to imagine how my mother felt. A woman who was faithful to him for all these years. She dutifully waited on the shore until my father returned from his deployments and now she found out that for the past five years he loved another woman. Of course then the fighting started. Dad was sitting silently and listening to everything that my mom shouted at him. He understood what he had done, and now he had to deal with the consequences.
I didn't want to be in the same room with him anymore. So I left and sat on the couch. I tried to think about what the hell was going on. When I looked up, I saw this boy standing in front of me and he was scared. The boy didn't speak English, so he didn`t understand what was happening and just covered his ears with his hands. He probably thought we were crazy, just yelling at each other. I felt sorry for him because I'm an adult, and I can deal with family problems. But he's too small, and he's already been through the loss of his mother. I wanted to calm him down. I pointed my finger at myself, and I said, "Anthony. And you?" He pointed at himself and said "Gener." Then we smiled at each other. And I have to say, this kid looked just like me. We have the same face shape, eyes, and eyebrows. And this was not surprising because we were brothers after all. I sat with him for about ten minutes, trying to calm him down and explain that everything was going to be fine. By the time I got back to my parents, the fight was over and my mom had decided to kick my dad out of the house. Obviously, after finding this out, she did not want to be together any longer.
Music by Epidemic Sound: www.epidemicsound.com
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