Every cold Wintery morning in Cleveland, my dad would take me to the coffee shop and buy me a peanut butter cookie, my favorite snack. Once in a while, he would make me drink tea with it. “It’s good for you,” he would murmur in his husky voice. I didn’t like the taste of tea, but I drank it anyways.
I loved my dad very much, we would go everywhere together. He was tall and thin, with long ropelike dreadlocks hanging from his head. I used to think he was a hippy, the way he loved the woods so much and his old fashioned yellow van drenched in stickers, which I would call, “the school bus.” We had a dog named Dakota, who belonged mainly to my dad, but we all loved her. We enjoyed going camping, mom, dad, Dakota and I; we would pretend we lived there, and had nowhere else to go. We would pretend to live in the caves, with rocks as our furniture and Dakota played our pet wolf. My mom usually wasn’t as imaginative as my dad. If everything was up to my dad, we’d be traveling in the school bus and camping out in the woods all the time. My mom would always prefer me safe at home, but once and awhile we got her to come camping with us. They would disagree a lot, but I never heard any arguing between them. My mom and dad were different but they also were alike in some ways. They were vegetarian, they loved animals and they had the same taste in music. My mom was sort of a hippy too. They would wear tie dye clothes and drive me to street fairs. My dad would braid me hair wraps and my mom made me bracelets.
One cool morning, I sprung out of bed and got ready to head down to the coffee shop for breakfast with my dad, but when I went downstairs, he wasn’t there. I looked through the cold frosted window to see his van was gone. I was confused but not completely worried until I realized that Dakota was missing also. I strutted to my mom and asked her in a soft, calm voice “where’s dad?” Without looking me in the eye she replied “daddy had to leave for a while.” How could this be? I frantically thought to myself. I’ve never seen my parents fight before, but I knew, from the pain in mom’s voice, that he wasn’t coming back.
For a while, which felt like an eternity, my mother and I were alone until one day I surprisingly found someone with her when I arrived home from school. He was tall, taller then my dad, and he had long scruffy black hair that lay on top of his shoulders. My mom introduced him as Rod. I didn’t know what to think of him, I was still in shock that she brought him else home. I felt a jolt of pain had a pain burning the bottom of my stomach, and I went to my room. I didn’t like him, but I could tell my mom did.
She brought him over more often and he tried talking to me more often, hoping I’d warm up to him. Even though he wasn’t my dad and I wasn’t used to him, I gave him a chance, for my mom. He started to become more fun and we started to connect after a while. We became friends.
To this day my mom and Rod are married and although he can never replace my real dad, I have learned to love him, and I am very grateful to have him in my life. I still talk to my real dad once in a while. He lives in Canada with his girlfriend and my new half brother. I miss him still but no longer feel pain. I’m glad I accepted Rod because he is now a big part of my life. I believe that time and change can heal hard ache.
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