My dad left us when I was in the first grade. No one was sad about it. We all moved on with life. We carried on living the miserable heights-of-OCD-life with my mother. But we never complained. When I hit 6th grade, dad said he wanted to meet us kids. We were delighted. Meeting him was an escape into an ordinary world. We jumped and frolicked around him, until he said, “There’s something that I need to talk to both of you about.” We knew instantly that he probably came bearing some not-so-good news.
We sat in the car, and he said, “I have decided that I will marry aunty Rita.” We were speechless. Numbed. Not because we were hurt, but because we didn’t know how to face mom and tell her of this new development. Rita was a prostitute he hitched up with, 5-odd years earlier. My brother asked him, “Why?” Dad said, “Because I am a man of principles. I got her pregnant, and now I must get married to her.” We never bought that.
After my step sister was born, he tried to get us involved in his life for years. But we wouldn’t because we were mom’s soldiers. Still are. We gave her unconditional love, unwarranted support, and believed every word she uttered – which were accusations of the unjust life given to her. We lapped up every bad thing she said of dad, which was mostly right. But irrespective of it all, we loved dad and still do. Sadly, the one thing he wants from us is something we can’t give him. He’s been asking us to talk to Samantha – my step sister. He asked my brother if he would take care of her when he does pass away. My brother responded in the negative.
I do feel bad for dad. But then I wonder, would it be fair to myself to start talking to her, laughing with her, and sharing girly stuff with her? My mum, brother, and I had a tough time – financially – ever since he left. We barely managed to eat a square meal a day, while he splurged all his money on her. I had just a pair of pants and two shirts when I was in college, while she had a whole wardrobe of clothing. I struggled to get to college from home and vice versa, while she went on trips to foreign lands.
To sum it up, she had everything while we had none. So now, would I be fair to myself if I should forget everything that happened and get pally with her after all these decades? I do love my dad, so would it be fair to give him the one thing that he wants?
#life is always unfair; so do we go with what makes us feel good about ourselves or what makes someone else happy that could eventually make us kind of happy too?