Love may turn to betrayal...
Betrayal may turn to hurt...
Hurt may turn to hate...
Then you hate, and hate, and hate until there's nothing but bitterness...
Where he went.
Daddy, my daddy, my daddy who was funny, who was always nice to me—my daddy.
I remember, my daddy, playing with me, holding me...he went to California a lot, but he always came home. I love my daddy.
He was good at fixing things.
But then he left—I don't know why—but he left...left, for California, and he never came back—never, ever, ever. I lived with only my mommy; she said that Daddy had left because they had "divorced"; that he had left, because he separated from Mommy, that they were no longer together. She said he was very lazy, but I can't believe that...he fixed things. He wasn't lazy, I said. He fixed things, and he was very good at it.
"No," she said. "He's very lazy. Whenever we worked, he just sat on a chair while I lifted boxes, and all the time...he complained. One moment—'My back hurts!'—the next moment, 'I'm cold!' He was always complaining, while I worked...."
"Daddy's not lazy," I insisted. "He fixes things. He's really good at it. He's not lazy."
"He's honest," she admitted. "But he's very lazy! He doesn't work."
"No, he's not lazy!" I replied, determined to prove it.
But my mommy didn't reply.
I remember the day my daddy left me. It was—sad. I was sad.
We, all three of us—Daddy, Mommy, and me—went to the airport. Daddy was going to California again—but this time, I had a feeling that I wouldn't see him again. Not in a long time. Daddy was going to leave, and he wasn't going to come back.
That's what I thought.
I was right too.
But I wish I wasn't. I love my daddy, I didn't want my daddy to leave.
I said, the whole while, "I'm going to go with Daddy!" I didn't care if I would leave mommy...I just wanted Daddy to stay. I didn't think that much about my mommy, really; I only thought about my daddy. I didn't want my daddy to leave. He's my daddy. I love my daddy, and he loves me. Right? It's true—Daddy loves me a lot. If he left, I feared that time, I would miss him.
Daddy's plane came, and he kissed me good-bye. Be good, okay? he smiled, but gravely. My daddy was always somehow serious. Be good, he said. Be good, I'll miss you. I love you.
I love you. That's what he said. And I said it back. I meant it—I love my daddy.
He walked down through the hall. I tried to follow him. I ran after him, ran—wanting my daddy—as he gave his ticket to the lady and left. Daddy, I said. Daddy.
I ran over, wanting to follow him, saw his distancing back as he walked away.
I want my daddy, I had yelled, panicked. But the lady looked down at me, expressionless—maybe even amused, I wasn't sure—and said, "No"; and I got mad. My whole body froze.
No, she had said, and I had yelled back,
"Daddy! I want to go with my daddy!"
But my daddy didn't come back, and my mommy took me away. Daddy, my daddy, he had left, and I wanted him back. I wanted nothing else, and I hated that lady who had kept me from him. No, she had said. No, like I was doing something bad, something wrong. No, no, no. No, I couldn't have my daddy anymore.
Daddy left, and I cried.
Daddy, daddy, daddy. My daddy, who left for California—where everything was warm, where I couldn't follow.
"My dad?" I looked up from my book at the question. "Oh, I hate my dad. The bastard doesn't give a fuck about me."
I looked back down, reading the translation of Romance of Three Kingdoms. Interesting book. It's influenced me since earlier years, and I was quite glad to be able to read it—even though I detested this translation. And the grammar. "He is eighteen " It was missing the God-damned period, damn it.
"Anything else?" I asked, reading the part where the character Guan Yu was adopting his son.
"Oh...never mind..." My questioner looked suddenly uncomfortable. "If you don't want to...it's not therapy, so..."
"Nah," I waved a hand, "it's okay. I don't care. I hate my dad, but it's not like I'm going to cry or anything." My hand tightened around the book's edge, as I delve deeper in the bond between Guan Yu and his son. Well, they're close, I mused, coolly. If only my dad was a good a father as Guan Yu.
"I don't really care," I said, without bitterness or anger. It was true, at the moment. If people wanted me to rant about my father—about how I looked to much like the lazy bastard, how he abandoned me for my half-siblings for his second wife—forgetting completely that I was his daughter—living off my mother's kindly lent money...well, I had no more secrets to hold. Who cared? It was done. Move on. I was not going to end up a failure like him, like my mom predicted; I was more than ready to prove her wrong. Who cared? So I looked like him, had countless personality traits that matched his—tsch. Move on. I hated the bastard.
Because my dad doesn't give a fuck, I thought, remembering the day he left for California, how afterward many people marveled at my resemblance to him, how he got a second wife...shit...screw it. That was nine years ago, when he left. I even remembered throwing tantrums in pre-school, missing my dad so much that even my mom had to come in—
Shit. I was a fucking idiot. The bastard wasn't there anymore, good riddance. Screw it, I wasn't sorry.
I was ready to go my own way...leave the guy's shadow behind—
He had never wanted me, anyway. Whatever.
That night, I cried over my copy of Romance of Three Kingdoms. The pages were flipped to the page where Guan Yu adopted his son. I cried, cried, remembering the bastard who didn't love me.