I had come to my senses.
Growing up in a broken family is what I thought can make me a stronger and a better person. I’m sure as hell there are a lot who can vouch how strong of a person I am and it’s something I always saw as a compliment. But yet again, when fate seem to play with your feelings, it’s not the easiest to stay firm on your ground when everything else is falling apart.
I didn’t expect myself to be letting out my feelings in a burst of tears. I never ever wanted to come to the point when I need to be 10 years younger, not knowing what to do and not understanding a thing. And it hurts how I had already come to that.
I remember going on outings with my aunt and uncle, to Enchanted Kingdom, eating out, and even once in an overnight to Subic complete with a tent and a grill. I was even playing Badminton or flying kites in Luneta back when I was in Elementary. My dad would always bring me there every single Sunday. I always looked forward to it. Till it became twice a month, then never at all. Those are my clearest memory from childhood that I want to keep alive in my mind. The days when I always thought of our family as the perfect one.
But then, fate had to ruin it. All those memories shattered into tiny little pieces piercing my heart of the perfect family I thought of. My dad, having a second family. It didn’t bother me at all, of course not. I was only 9 then, I think. But I do remember having to finish a carton of tissue in my mother’s store while flushing myself in nothing but tears.
The next year after that, my dad invited me to go out with him on his Birthday. He told me the same story my mom told, but I was hearing his side. I remember we were in SM Manila’s food court then, I had a plate of steak and my dad sitting in front of me.
Those were the days when none of it mattered to me. My dad still went home despite. It was as if nothing happened. But the frequency of seeing him diminishes little by little. I didn’t mind. I was still able to see him 5 times a week.. to 3.. to once a week.. to twice a month.. to once in three. But it never bothered me. Because I was still able to call him whenever I like, whenever my mom and I would fight, he’ll lend his ears and comfort me through the cellphone. It was as if he was never actually gone. He was actually my hero, still.
As I was growing, I began to understand what he left. I graduated college and realized the responsibilities he was slowly letting go of and how my mom took all the burden into sustaining the family both financially and emotionally. filling up the emptiness even though she is also broken.
My mom would always tell us that we’re lucky we grew up with my dad, whereas my sister grew up not having to bond with him or anything. But I say, it’s harder to live being left by someone despite your memories than not knowing them at all.
My mom would occasionally text my dad about her rants on the responsibilities he left. And instead of producing results, my dad would rather seenzone her texts. Just the other day, my dad went home.. and after seeing my mom in the house, he left. Avoiding conflict? I don’t know. But I know my mom sure was pissed. She felt that my dad was making nothing into an issue when it didn’t matter to her if she sees him or not.
My dad texted and messaged me on Facebook apologizing that he had to leave. I, of course, slightly scolded him on how that was a bad move. Which eventually lead our conversation into me scolding him some more.
And I never thought I’ll be able to say this while drowning in my own tears.
“true, we don’t hear your side. but if this is actually a blame game.. well we both know what started this. and of course i don’t want to come to the point that we have to discuss way-back-history. maybe yes, what’s happening is way beyond your control but then maybe no too.. but it isn’t in mom’s hand either. Exactly why you both, and even us kids have to exert a little more effort.. but then, ikaw yung bumitaw sa responsibility, dad. do you really expect us to just always understand that it’s out of your hand and you’re doing your best? it’s not that we’re always with mom to be able to feel and say this eh. for the record, she doesnt even know of this conversation. 6 years pa mag-aaral si shobe. who knows what avenue is already after 5 years, or even after this year lang. hindi naman malaki kinikita namin ni ahya to sustain every meal, necessities, shobe’s education, house rent, electricity and all those.”
“i don’t know how this conversation is going to affect our relationship.. I love you and I respect you dad, we all do. but at times, I really do question why this is all happening. Or if you even feel we’re as important as those in bulacan. we should be the one who’s asking if you still love us. We could have been the perfect family dad eh. back when we were still flying kites every sunday or vacationing in Subic. funny, those are the memories i rather keep to be able to actually feel you do. but look at it now. it’s no where near and sad to say everything is close to falling apart. akala mo madali yung gantong setup? hindi kita sinusumbatan dad, it’s too late for that. but i hope you sometimes feel how we do kasi if you think you don’t feel our love, paano pa kaming naiwan?”