Dad and Lies

June 13, 2018

Hannah Nguyen/Staff Illustration

People always say that dad gets along with boys more than girls, but I did not find that in my house. Since the day I was born, my mom always grumbled that she officially lost her husband because I had all of his attention. He would say “The most important thing is being honest, and honestly, I love you more than anything in the world.” I chuckle with pride to know that he is total “my possession”.

Back then, we did not have any type of transportation except for walking. I remember when I was four or five, every morning the neighborhood would see a man walked to the nursing school with a little girl sleeping on his back. Mom always wanted to wake me up, but dad just refused to do so because he wanted me to sleep a little more. Until we got a bike, I still enjoyed sleeping in the back seat with arms around him and face leaned on his back.

Dad was the one who tried to make my hair. His big clumsy hands would create a tangly braid but I did not care. He also made unique handmade toys for me when mom did not allow me to buy any.

I thought things were so beautiful and perfect for me and my dad as years went by. That changed  the day my mom announced she was pregnant and I was going to have a baby brother.

When my brother was born, the doctor told us that he has some problems with his heart and lungs, which could severely affect his life. The only way to minimize those risks was to prevent him from crying too much because crying took away the amount of oxygen he needed. There is no doubt that my younger brother became a real “prince”. He got all of the attention from our dad, probably more than the amount of oxygen that he needed, and mom never refused to buy a thing for him.

Of course, I loved my brother, but for a while I could not accept the fact that I was not my dad’s  priority any longer. I started to hate my dad and wished my brother would disappear. I was a hurtful, hateful, and sorrowful little girl.

So, I decided to take revenge for everything I was experiencing. I chose to attack the most important rule that my parents insisted on – that of being honest.

Mom and Dad had a small business; money fromm that business paid for my brother’s treatment. I knew where the money was kept and took the money when everybody fell asleep. The amount was only $50, but was huge 10 years ago.. With the unprofessional plan of an 8-year-old kid, I am now not surprised that I was caught red-handed. Dad was smoking outside and walked in when he overheard some noise in the living room. When he saw me holding the money, he said nothing but gave me a look of deep disappointment, shook his head then walked away like nothing happened. His look stuck in my mind and my soul, left me scared with more regret than I have ever felt before..

Hannah Nguyen/Staff Illustration

Those next couple of days were hell to me. Dad did not tell mom about what I had done nor would he talk to me. It was agonizing to me, I wished that he would just punish me instead  of ignoring me that way. The look he gave me appeared everywhere, even in my dreams. Then, with all the bravery of 8-year-old I could bring, I admitted everything to my parents. Mom was dismayed to know how her daughter could think of stealing, while Dad gave me a smile of relief. I knew that being honest might make him forgive me and I began to hope that dad would love me again.

In that evening, dad came to my room. We had a long talk about what both of us did and felt toward each other. I asked: “Dad, do you still love me more than anything in the world like you used to say?”

He shook his head, formed his hands into two loose fists, put them together, said:” I only love you this much.”

I almost teared up. “Dad, I am so sorry for what I did, please forgive me, I need your love. I do not need attention anymore, but please love me like you did,” I said.

Dad smiled, and said the words that make me swear to myself that I would never lie to him again: “The size of these two fists is equal to a heart. I love you with all my heart.”

Happy Father’s day, Dad, for being the one who taught me the most important lesson in my life, being honest.

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