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Hi! I’m Jennifer. Do you know what the worst part about people’s relationships is? It’s disappointment. When you first trust in their good feelings for you but then you realize that they just wanted to use you. And when this happens with the people you're the closest to or your family, it hurts the most.
This story happened this past year. I had just turned 18 back then, just graduated from school, and found a nice job at the local grocery store when my older sister Stefani called me to tell me that our mom was in the hospital. Of course, that news made me really worried about my mom, but the very first thought in my head was “Please, let mom be OK ‘cause we can’t afford any treatment."
I’ll explain. My sister and I have been raised by a single mom. Our life was full of ups and downs, and most of the time we had a pretty tough situation with money. To be honest, there were very few things that we could ever afford, actually. I’m sure mom tried to do her best to stay afloat, but my childhood was full of envy for my classmates. For example, when everyone else got the latest tech gadgets I was still using a pre-owned push-button cellphone. I tried not to show it to anybody if I didn't absolutely have to.
And also, from time to time, we would buy clothes from the second hand store. Once my classmate Joana even recognized her former dress on me. She wasn’t my friend at all and when she told everybody that my dress used to be hers, I was terrible at denying that she was right. Some people believed me and some didn't, but I was totally embarrassed. I had to slightly rework it to be able to keep wearing it. Well, at least I can sew.
Now you understand why my sister and I had to go to work right after our high school graduation, with no chance or opportunity to go to college. Anyway, that day mom happened to be admitted to the hospital because of a broken wrist. Her break was not that serious and we were going to take her home. While Stefani was filling in some documents, according to hospital procedure, I’d decided to find the vending machines. When I get back to Stef and mom, I suddenly saw them talking to… my father.
Don’t be surprised. Mom left him when I was three and Stef was 6 or so and we’ve never discussed the actual reason she had for doing this. But we still had a couple of his photos somewhere deep in a box with other unnecessary stuff. We never associated with him or any of our other paternal relatives at all. And now, after so many years have passed, it was like seeing a ghost or something. Of course, that meeting went completely cold, but he unexpectedly stated his willingness to have lunch with me and Stef. Later on, when we had already gotten home, mom said that she was against the two of us seeing him. And she finally had to explain why.
Mom knew that dad came from a wealthy family when they were about to get married. However, it turned out that he was going to inherit their fortune, their business, and other things, but only if she were to have given birth to a boy. Mom was deeply in love and she agreed, but after having my sister, and then me, mom happened to have some health complications. It turned out that she could no longer have babies. She was ok with it since two daughters was already enough for her, but dad wasn’t. He preferred his family business to his daughters and wife and found another woman who’d gotten pregnant with a boy. Mom was insulted and devastated. So, she’d taken us away and filed for divorce. He tried to pay her some money once, but she was too proud to accept any help from him.
Now, since both my sister and I are already adults, we could decide on our own whether to keep a tie with our dad or not, but she won’t really be happy if we do. Stefani immediately took my mom’s side in all of this and said she was way too busy working and didn’t want to have anything to do with our dad. But it made me wonder. Not only did he turn out to be a wealthy man who could help us with money, but I felt that I missed him a lot. Even when I was a child I used to imagine how different the lives of children were who were from families with both parents. And now I had gotten a chance to experience the feeling of having both my mom and my dad in my life. That’s why I called him and the next day we were already sitting in a café close to my work.
Dad kept asking about my life, my friends, and stuff and I couldn’t believe this was actually happening to me. I felt like I was a little girl amazed by the main man in her life. Dad gave me the latest iPhone, and took me to the Mall to buy new clothes, and we were having dinners in different restaurants every day.
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