A Day which I will remember for the Rest of my Life

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It was the day I thought would never happen to my family. It had happened to a few of my friends, but of course you never think it might happen to you. You always think of how it might affect your life if ever it did happen to you. But you can never plan or think of how you may react when it actually does. By now you are probably thinking what day could change the rest of my life when I am only fifteen. But there was a day that could and for me it was not in a good way, which is how I might have liked it. Parents speaking, seeing my dad at weekends, see how much they both loved me.

But no for me it was the opposite; parents fighting, when dad rung their conversation would be “Are the kids there? ” and mum would just hand one of us the phone. Not the way two people who loved each other for 18 years might communicate but that’s how it was… Whatever way I looked at it, it was not a happy time of my life and it is still going on today as you read this but here’s how it all happened. My mum told us that she and dad were going to be splitting up, just one month after their 14th anniversary. I don’t think it really affected me, as I never really loved my dad as he was always down the pub hardly ever at home with us.

He and mum had always told us that he was at ‘work’ or ‘football’, not that I believed it. But if I look back at it now, it did have an affect on me in one way, I had to look after my mum and brother. Even though I talked to him at least twice a week I didn’t think of him as my dad anymore. It might not sound like something someone should say about his or her dad but it’s true. He was no longer my dad not that he had ever really been my dad anyway. It all happened in the last week of July 2000. We were on a caravan holiday in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. I woke up to hear my mum arguing with someone on her phone.

I decided that I had no choice but to listen to the conversation and soon after I had started listening, I found out that she was talking to my dad. She was telling him all the things she wasn’t happy about, and I could tell he was trying to say that he would change but my mum just said that she had had enough and it was all over. She finished the phone call and went to sit down a few minutes later her phone rang, she just let it ring. It was obviously my dad calling her as it kept ringing and she just cried even harder. I felt so guilty for listening to the conversation that I didn’t get up for about half-hour after it.

I just lay there thinking about what I had just heard my mum saying to him. I think I didn’t want to believe it at first and tried to pass it off as a dream I had while I was asleep. But once I got up and saw my mum sitting there with a cold cup of tea and tears falling down her cheeks I knew that it wasn’t. I made her a hot cup and soon after my brother got up. She didn’t want us in all day just because ‘she and dad were having a few small problems at the moment’. She didn’t know that I had heard the conversation. I got dressed and went to find my friends; no one else knew what had happened yet.

The first of my friends I found was one of my best mates, Dean, I told him what had happened and he was very sympathetic; my shoulder to cry on. I eventually told all of my mates so that if I was feeling down then they would know why. At this point you may be wondering what all this did to change my life forever? Well here is how it did… We came home after another 2 or 3 weeks but my mum became so depressed about it all that her mum and dad, my grandparents, decided to send the three of us to Ireland for 10 days so that she could sort herself out. We were told we were staying with her cousin Michael and his family.

While we were over there my mum had got my dad to clear out all of his belongings from our house. I was having such a good time over in Ireland with my third cousins that I didn’t want to leave. The day before we left my mum took us to see my terminally ill great aunt, Eileen, who we had known quite well when she had lived in England, a few years back. She was very tired and doctors said that they didn’t know how much longer she would go on for but we all knew she would fight it all the way. Soon we had to leave for the ferry but first we would have to drive from Cork to Rosslare.

It was one of the longest journeys I have ever had to make. My mum was tired, my brother asleep and me, well I tried to keep busy so that no one knew that I was worried in case my dad showed up at OUR home. When we arrived home we dropped our bags off and went straight round to see my nan and granddad to thank them for letting us go and also to collect our dogs as they had looked after them while we were away. Later that day, while we were still round my nans house we got a phone call from Ireland letting us know that my great aunt Eileen had died about ten minutes ago.

My mum broke down into tears but was glad she had got to see her aunt before she passed away, peacefully. We booked a place on the Swansea-Cork ferry so that my mum could go to the funeral 3 days later. We were off to Ireland again!! When we were there it was a case of visiting family and saying how sorry we were for them that she had died. I think that the worst part of that trip was when we went round to her house and had to sort through all of her old belongings. It felt weird going through her things the day after her burial.

One strange thing was that we didn’t find any of her paper work that she always kept in the same place, none of it was there. We were over in Ireland for a while and I missed the first few days of the new school year. I missed all my friends from the caravan as I was in Ireland for half the holidays. But what made it worse was that my mum was planning to sell it as she could not keep up the payments now she had no job because she used to work for my dad. As I mentioned at the beginning I spoke to my dad at least twice a week, not because I wanted to but because it made mum happy.

When I saw him the next and last time I hardly recognised him; he was skinny, non-shaven, and had very short hair. He did not look like my dad at all. Soon after we were getting abusive phone calls at all hours of the night as he was drunk; not unusual of course. Mum got the phone cut off and we soon lost contact with him. My brother was quite upset about it as he looked to my dad as his hero, his idol. He remembers our birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions. He thinks that this will make up for all of the harm he has caused our family, his family.

That’s where he would be wrong, very wrong. He does not see us regularly or send us any maintenance to help us out a bit. It’s not as if he hasn’t got the money to give us, he just doesn’t care. I also said earlier that I never really loved him but at one point I’m sure I did, it’s probably just so long ago I can’t remember when it was exactly. Some days I want to go and kick him where it hurts him most, his pocket. I feel that he at least owes me that much because of the way he just upped and left us without an apology or anything.

However, I sometimes do want to thank him because if it weren’t for him I would not have the friends I have and I wouldn’t know how much my family stick by each other in times of trouble and need. Also I wouldn’t have my current boyfriend, Dan, because I would not have met him if my mum didn’t start working out at the rugby club where I met him a while ago. I still see a few of my good friends that I knew down the caravan site and I have been down there a few times to see them all. But it has changed a lot down there.

I think that that day may have affected me in a better way more than I think as I am now more confident and able to stand up for myself more than I was able to before. I don’t give up a fight too easily, although I never did, and like to be able to get my own way sometimes. That day had the same effect on my mum, as it did on me. However, it has effected my brother differently. He has become more like how my dad was before he left; aggressive, argumentative and threatening. He hasn’t noticed it himself but everyone else has. We all think that it is the worst thing to happen, having my brother turning out more and more like my dad!!

I would like to see my dad again but I’m not quite sure whether it would be a good thing or not, as I would probably end up having a big punch up with him. I would also end up telling him what I really think of him and the way he acted about the whole thing, which is that he is a lying, cheating alcoholic, woman-beater, who deserves everything he gets in life. Everyone knows how I feel about him and what I would do if I ever saw him, so they try to discourage me from speaking or going to see him because they fear what I might do to him. They also try not talk about him when I’m around.

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