By: Daniella Suarez
Some days I wonder if my dad misses me. Other days I wonder why I’m still wondering. It’s so crazy how everything can change in a blink of an eye; how can he just abandon me like that?
I was 5 years old when my mother died of breast cancer. At that time, I didn’t understand what death meant; my father explained to me that she was in a better place. I live in California with my dad. My older sister lives in New York City; she attends New York University, so it’s just me and my dad. I miss my sister a lot, and it’s not like I can visit every weekend.
My dad began making really bad choices a few months after my mom died. I was ten when he began abusing me. Every day he would come home from work drunk and I would hide under my bed or in the corner of my room and just sit there and cry and pray that he wouldn’t hit me. But night after night there he was. My dad left marks on me and people at school continuously asked me why those marks were there and I didn’t say anything about it. I just stayed quiet.
When I was 13 my teacher asked me to stay after class. She asked me about my bruises. “Gabriella if something is going on at your house you need to let me now so I can help you.”
I was so tempted to open up to my teacher and tell her that my father hits me but then I remember what would happen if I told her. I stared at the wall and tears rushed down my face. “No. Nothing is going on at my house. I just fell. Thank you for your concern.”
I left the classroom quickly wiping my tears and ran home. I got inside my house and locked the door. I went into my dad’s room. I’m not allowed to go in there, but I do whenever he isn’t home. I saw my parents’ wedding picture hanging on the wall. I took it down and held it close to my heart and slowly began to cry. I try so hard to remember my mom, but any memories I once had have slowly begun to fade away.
I held the picture close to my heart as well. I tried to control my tears but I couldn’t; they just kept coming and then the unthinkable happened-my father walked into the room.