It was winter, Dad always told me the reason why I did not introduce him to my friends and even more so I always told him I did not have them. It did not bother me that he cared about it, he is my father after all.
He was always so understanding with me, maybe because he raised me by himself. In Zinnia where we lived, spring was my favorite season, the flowers were beautiful, and the breeze you lit up in the morning felt warm to me.
I used to really like the holidays, because they always fell in the spring and also because obviously I would not have to attend classes. Jean Pierre is my name and I was probably the only thirteen-year-old who had no friends at the time.
The house in which I have lived with my dad was always so big and suffocating that I never liked being inside, although dad was always there with me keeping me company. But that was no problem. We were happy all the time in our big little world, Dad used to get melancholic at times and he also used to avoid the subject of my mother so I never really knew what happened to her, until a while ago.
We were not alike at all, Dad and I have different personalities, so I could easily tell if something in him changed, from knowing each other so much. It was very obvious when one day he came home from work with a sneaky smile on his face that was difficult to hide, I had never seen that shy and reserved smile on Dad as if he wanted to share a very embarrassing event with me. That smile kept me intrigued.
We have not spent time together for about a month and on that reprehensible day, he only entered with a woman after him, pretending that I met her.
—Son say hi. I want you to meet Hellen, I will marry her I hope you get along.
He just dropped a bomb that for a thirteen-year-old boy was incomprehensible.
She smiled at me and was kind to me, she definitely did not like me because there was something in her or better, a part of me that was not satisfied with her. We sat down and had dinner, after that Dad said he would go to the bathroom, but I knew he just wanted to leave us alone to talk and for sure she would not miss her opportunity. Like in the movies.
She let me see her true face.
—Do not get between your father and me, you are already a heavy burden for him, I can not imagine how hard work it has been to raise a bastard like you throughout his life. When we get married I will send you away.
The girl is so ridiculous. That is what I think today, when I was thirteen and had met her, no. My world became much smaller in that small table. Maybe I was about to lose my father?
He was scared, but he also hated her. I did not say anything to dad, I wanted him to be happy because he had always been alone and I did not want to ruin his happiness, I did not want him to be alone just like me. I did not want him to keep feeling empty just like me. Not knowing that even with everything he had and that silly woman by his side, the two of us were still alone. Dad only understood until much later.
But luckily for me, Dad heard his words. He had been listening behind the door, he ran over and insulted her. So it would not happen just like in the movies, huh?
I had never seen dad like this, he was angry and she was just trying to justify her behavior, but dad did not want to listen to her, I felt so happy. Then dad asked if it was okay I said yes and then I burst into tears, dad hugged me and said.
—I already knew you did not like her. From the moment you were silent I knew it; I am sorry for the bad time you had honey, forgive me.
So I held on very tight to that little situation to be more cautious in the future. I just clung to him and that night I slept with him in his room. Was dad always this warm? I wondered while falling asleep.
Dad was filthy rich. I say “filthy” because I wanted to sound great, my father has always been a man of integrity. I do not want to imagine how a harpy like that would have caught him, you definitely had to be more careful.
The next day I went to school. I did not like going to school, but it was one of my obligations, it was a martyrdom for me because I was always alone and the other children always teased me for being shy and getting good grades. He was in the tenth grade, but what he wanted most was to change schools.
—Good morning I said— but everyone gave me a bad look, others threw paper balls in my face, made me fall and put gum on my bench. I just wanted to disappear.
The teacher came in and when I sat down I noticed gum on her seat and then it was the worst for me. They said that I had done it, obviously I denied it, but the teacher did not believe me and left me without recess. During recess I looked for my lunch, but it was not there. I was very hungry, but I knew that no one would be merciful to me and every day it was the same, until dad found out and made a fuss, but there was nothing to do because I finished the last semester and I no longer had to attend that horrible high school, I did not go to graduation either, there was no reason because there was no one I could congratulate.
Nor is anyone to miss.
Spring was coming, my favorite season. Spending time with dad, eating ice cream and especially watching the flowers grow the color of rebirth and life. Also vacations were coming, so everything was perfect and well planned.
But things do not always go your way.
—Pack your bags. I will send you to boarding school in Aster.
A boarding school? Dad was impatient, not for an answer, but rather for me to move quickly to pack my bags. When I did not even understand what was happening.
—¿Why boarding school?— I asked. Although he did not seem to have time to give me an answer.
—It is a sociable place, you will do all kinds of activities and also new colleagues and you will do it for a year, just one, darling. You will attend your first year of high school in Áster, in a new institute and as the vacation period has just started, you will meet all the people before. Is not it amazing? When I go to see you, I want you to introduce me to a friend.
By God, Daddy is a smart man, it was very obvious that there were problems, no matter how smart Daddy should have known that you can not fool a child. Anyway, at the time I was not very smart either so I just made things harder for him and I do not regret it for a single moment.
—No, I won't go, do not you understand that I just want to spend time with you!
—I understand that perfectly, but I want you to have friends, to meet someone and when you are older, to fall in love, and to be a strong adult. If your mother ...
—Do not get mom into this, whenever you want something from me, you use mom as an excuse she is dead, you do not know what she would have wanted for me!
He hit me, it was the first time he ever did it and I just ran and sneaked into my room. I thought he was going to change his mind, but this time he did not, the next morning he took me to the airport early, he did not speak and neither did I. He did not used to be a resentful kid before, but he was heartbroken into a thousand pieces that day.
Dad did not love me anymore?
It was the question that constantly hammered my heart in those moments.
I just got on the plane and left. As I left I saw how my beautiful spring became more blurred, I did not say goodbye to Dad, if something was happening, from Zinnia I would surely not find out.
Everything was different from Zinnia, a new place, a new school, nothing would be the same, and my problems started in that horrible boarding school.
While in Zinnia my father could look a bit regretful. Only a little
—I did not send you away just to make friends but to have support when the worst happens, I know that when you know the truth you might hate me and never speak to me again, but you are my son and I love you.
Those words were said to himself.
Dereck, my father just watched me fly away on a plane that he himself had put me on.
Why if things are painful we decide to do them?
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