“Daddy, I won’t see you anymore, will I?” I asked with three-year old curiosity and innocence.
“Antonio, I won’t be seeing you anymore,” he replied.
“I think Big is gonna take care of me now,” I said with a hint remorse in my voice.
“I think so too; just be good,” he said with sorrow.
“Bye daddy,” I said with sadness.
“Bye . . . son.” Those were the last words I ever heard from my biological father. That was ten years ago.
My biological father really is a blur in my memory because I was so young at the time that I do not remember his face that well, but I do remember some conversations. My first memory of him is when I was about two years old, and I was in a baby carriage watching him and my mother watch television. The other memory was the one above: the day started out with me going to my biological father’s store in the Bronx. I went with my mom and my stepdad now, Louis. Then I went into the store to take quarters from the cash register to buy gum from a gum ball machine outside of the store. That conversation with my biological father was the only sign that he loved me if he ever did. I honestly don’t think he did.
He hasn’t really spoken to me since I was that young, and I hope he never does. Since he has six other kids he has to deal with, I guess he just forgot about me. Maybe he feels sad for not being there or maybe he has enough on his mind. I wouldn’t know what his mind is, but I do know for a fact that even though he lives twenty minutes away from me; I haven’t seen him in ten years. I do know for a fact that ten years ago, when I last saw him, he knew where I lived, in New Rochelle. For the three years I lived there, he never came by. I think he was invited to my fourth birthday at the YMCA, didn’t see him. I think he was invited to my fifth birthday at New Roc City, didn’t see him. All of these birthdays were in New Rochelle, where he lived. I never saw him. My fourth birthday at the YMCA was my favorite birthday that I’ve ever had and maybe the worst. My best friends were there, my family was there, but my biological father was not. Throughout the party I kept walking around with my friends asking where was my daddy.
“Chris, have you seen my daddy?” I asked with sadness.
. “No, I haven’t, but he is probably coming later,” Chris responded. I realized now it was doubt.
“Yeah,” said John, Chris’s younger brother. “He’s coming soon man; don’t worry.” Three hours later the party was over, and he has never come to one of my birthday parties I have had. Until this day, I have never seen him.
He doesn’t deserve to know how far I’ve gotten in life since he’s been gone. Getting into one of the best schools in the country was not his doing. Never sending me a birthday card, a Christmas card, or a letter in that last decade might make you think he slowed me down, but no, him not seeming to give two shits about me makes me want to succeed so well in life; he’ll see my name on billboards and in television commercials and then he will know what it feels like to want to get to know someone.
My stepfather, I just call him dad, has played such a good role in my life, even though I’ll always wish he was there from the beginning. I love him very much and I know he does as well, but every so often I think of my biological father. My dad and biological father are nothing alike except for the genitalia between their legs. My dad cares for all three of his kids, is kind, is loving, and would do anything for his kids. My biological father, on the other hand, does not seem to be a man at all since he had his wife message me on Facebook last year. It didn’t go well.
So this random woman who I have never met, never cared about, never known to have existed, messages me on Facebook saying how she wanted me to go to the Bronx to meet my biological father. She wanted me to go see her, my biological father, and my six step/half siblings, basically complete strangers to me. At that time I did not want to talk about my biological father because I was going to change my name to my stepfather’s, and he felt I was being forced to change it.
“Why doesn’t Robert want my name to be changed?” I typed with anger.
“Because he loves you and hope [sic] one day he could have a relationship with you. He talks about you all the time,” she responded.
“Bullshit, I mean no disrespect but if he ‘loves’ me, he could have come here to see me,” I wrote with certainty. And just to put flames into the fire, she started writing about my stepfather.
“He don’t [sic] want to start problems. Don’t [sic] think your dad likes Robert very much,” she wrote.
“He doesn’t like him cause he doesn’t give a shit about me,” I typed, I was starting to get pissed, but I had to keep my cool, I wanted to seem like the better person by not blowing up.
“But he does… he talk [sic] about you so much.. and I tell him [sic] to call you, but he said if he did, he don’t [sic] want to cause any problems between your mom and dad. Don’t be mad… things happen for a reason…” she wrote.
“He does not care, 10 years ago he didn’t care, in New Rochelle he didn’t care, and he doesn’t care now,” I was done talking to this woman. Luckily, the conversation ended a few minutes later, and later in the day I told my family. It’s funny what the pollution in the air does to the mind of people. I honestly thought she had some sort of mental defect if she thought that I was going to see a man who I hadn’t seen in ten years. I don’t know what was in her mind, but when I told my mother about this conversation, well, she was not feeling it. After a nice long one hour talk with my family, we all (well my mother) came to the conclusion that I had to block my biological father’s wife on Facebook. Since that happened last fall, I have not heard from my biological father or his wife. This was the only time I had ever contacted someone he knew.
But I did see his Myspace account in 2007. His profile picture was of him and his newly born daughter, what else is new? Another kid he had makes the matter worse; he has six kids living with him and his wife in a two-bedroom apartment. Someone did not think their life out that well, and when I spoke to his wife on Facebook, she told me my older sister felt the same way I did (apparently, she contacted my older sister in the past). Two minds really do think alike, literally.
My father now, Big (I call him dad now, but when I was younger I wasn’t used to him living with me), does not care that I am not of his blood. He knows, as well as I do, that I love him very much and not being of the same blood doesn’t matter to either of us. My biological father has my blood, and I couldn’t care less about him. This man I have lived with for nearly ten years has meant so much more to me and we’ve done so many memorable things together. From the time I was three and a half to today, we’ve gotten so attached and close. The love binds stronger than blood. My stepbrother, his son, and I call each other brothers and love each other to the point where we do everything together, usually stupid things. I know my biological father will never feel that for any of his kids because I am his only son and he will probably never take a boy whose not of his own blood. My biological father could not make him into a developing man going to one of the best schools in the world, with a bright future. I do not know how he treats his daughters, my sisters, but I know for sure, if he cared about their future, he would have used protection and not have to provide for eight mouths.
Your father does not need to be your blood. A father is someone who teaches you how to be a man and how to present yourself in different situations and basically, how to survive in the world. My dad, my stepfather, is a man I love to death and I will never feel that for my biological father. He could potentially come into my life, later on, but he would never go further than an acquaintance. He could become homeless, and I would feel bad for his kids. He could go to prison for life, and I would feel bad for his kids. He could die today, and I would feel bad for his kids, but I wouldn’t feel bad for him. He will never be anything close to my father, not even if he was an idealist.
My biological father thought I was being forced to change my name, I was not. But he has a point because I do not want to change my name. I don’t want to change my name because every time I think of something bad that’s happened, every time I mess up or do something stupid, every time I threaten my future, I will say my middle and last name, Roberto Maseda. I never want to be like my biological father.
Antonio Maseda, Age 14, Grade 8, My Biological Father, Silver Key