This is a tough one for me. Although here I am at 20, you finally showed up for me. But to your mistake, it’s a little too late. When I was five you walked out of my life. Well, I guess you cannot say walked out, you would grace me with your presence when you felt it was beneficial to you. You used me as a pawn in your sick game of life. Yes, I have some built up anger towards you. Yes, you are here “here” now, but you really aren’t even here! A real father calls their child, my number has never changed, you have always had it. Are you too ashamed of yourself to contact me? You will shoot me a text saying, “I love you, Have a good day.” But actions speak louder than a text message… There were a few times, you “showed up” to save the day, ,when I was left on the side of the interstate, but after that you crawled back into your world, leaving me out of it. You come and go as you please, like a small child on a summers day in and out of the house, until one day I will have enough. I will lock out you until dark falls and you beg to come back in, but it will be too late. But who am I kidding, I will never lock you out, as much as I try to inch and creep away from you, any ounce of attention you throw my way has me pleading for more. I am tired of you playing the victim, remember I screamed that at you while I had a brick in my hand, I threw it at you in hopes that I would somehow feel better, but I was the crazy one… I know I should forgive and forget, but somehow I cant. I like to say I have forgiven you, but deep down, I know I haven’t, because you will never learn. I will never forget, all those school functions that you missed, all the birthdays you called a couple days late, all those important moments in my life that you never even asked me about. I will never forget. You always left me wondering why you would never show up, what did I ever do to make you hate me so much, was it because you were bound to my mother financially until I aged out of her home, which was a rare occasion when we did get financial support. But paying a check every couple months isn’t what makes you a father. You like to blame my mother for your lack of relations with me, you blame me for being crazy, you blame everyone but yourself. Why would you not show up for me? Yes, my mother put you in jail a few times, but if you were acting like an idiot she would have never needed to call the cops on you in the first place. There were so many nights when I would cry to myself alone wondering why I was never good enough for you. Why would you always choose your new family over me. Not that any of this is their fault, it isn’t. You are a grown man that always put your children on the back burner, even when you didn’t have a second family to tend to. When you were alone, depressed, suicidal, I still always showed up for you! But you never showed up and stayed for me. You got so angry when I told you my brothers were giving me away, you called every day the week I told you, an you never realized, you got what you deserved. A father doesn’t come into a child’s life when it is convenient for him. A father remembers your birthday, knows your favorite color, food, what your dreams and goals are. In case you didn’t know, February 10, red, Gumbo, and one day I want to be a mother and never have to tell my children that their daddy didn’t know how to be a daddy. Yes I am angry with you, but deep down, and I sometimes question it, I still love you. Somehow I always managed to show up and stay, but you are so comfortable with showing up and walking away.