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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Family · #2239081
As all of my foundational pillars crumbled, I thought my father would still stand.
I remember being intimidated by you
It's my first memory of you
Tall, bulky and tattooed
I was both afraid and proud of you

I loved you, and you loved me, yes
But it took some time for us to become close
I wasn't adventurous like you wanted
I know you wanted a son, whose name you had already chose

You told me to always keep my word
To stand up for those around me
You told me that doing the right thing was seldom easy
You said not to believe everything I see

I clung to that, embodied that
I embraced truth, kindness and morality
Instead of praising me like I expected
You made fun of me for being too good, with too kind a mentality

We became the best of friends
I looked up to you as a teen
We would ride together to the hardware store
And sneak to our favorite soft-serve shop for ice cream

You told me that nothing could ever stop you
From being my best friend
You said that it was me and you
Until the bitter end

The pain of our family often dug deep
Trauma follows me like a shadow still
You were the only solid thing I had
The one hope I thought life couldn't kill

Things got hard, when you and mom split
I was an adult with children of my own
I sat with you in the garage every night
Watching you cry as you waited for her to come home

I sat by your side and I told you I'd be there
I promised you that you'd never be alone
I reminded you that it was you and me, Dad
That in our friendship, we'd both find a home

But, gradually, things began to change
You met your now-wife and a new reality emerged
There was no longer room for me in your life
That reality felt like being submerged

For many years I was drowning in the loss of our friendship
I was lost, no longer able to trust others
Instead of helping me, you called me "insane"
And tried to pit me against my mother

When I tried to end my life
When I called you in tears
Begging you to care
My only friend for years

You told me I was "fine"
You said maybe it was my time
You stopped answering my calls
You let me fall

God damnit, that hurt
It seared through my heart like a hot coal
The knowledge that you no longer cared for me, were a friend to me,
It destroyed a piece of my soul

It's taken me years, Dad, to get to this place
To understand that we aren't guaranteed time
To realize that all relationships can be broken
To accept that friends can become strangers anytime

It was like you had died
I mourned you, I cried for you
I blamed myself for your silence
As those who hurt tend to do

I picked apart everything I had said
All the things I had done
But you know how many faults I found in myself?
Zero. Not one

Over time, the pain has been forged into anger
When I think of what was, a numbness pervades
I'll admit that it still brings me to tears to remember
But thinking of you no longer feels like swallowing blades

I kept my promise, Dad
I did what you taught me
You were never alone, never without a friendly home
It was you who broke all of your promises, the friendship you swore to keep

It's been a long road and often lonely
I'll admit, I almost call you every once in awhile
But just as my finger nearly selects your contact
I stop myself - I never dial

Because I'm sick of the fakeness
Sick of the emptiness
Sick of the grandstanding
Sick of the pettiness

I wasn't enough
And that use to hurt too
But the real problem with our friendship
Was never me. It was you.
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