A reader shared this heartbreaking post with us.
“You got no daddy! You got no daddy!”
This is the most common phrase used by the kindergarten children to ridicule me. Who is my father? Where is he? These questions didn’t bother me at all then. I just hate him down to the rotten core because he is responsible for all my misery. Fast forward to the age of 5, my mum brought me into a stranger’s home. An old sweaty, smelly and dark skin uncle stood right in front of me.
I refused to obey my mum’s instruction. I tighten my grip on my teddy bear and stared at him with a pair of furious eyes. When he stretched out his hand to offer me sweets, I swept it off to the floor. My mother was furious at me for being rude to him, but father didn’t blame me at all. While I was watching cartoon in the master bedroom, my mum slipped off in secrecy. Yeah, I was abandoned by my mother. That was the last time I saw her in my life. She broke my fragile little heart and I kept crying non-stop for over a week. And so, I had to live with a total stranger who is my father.
My dad is a blue collar construction worker. His meagre salary is barely enough to pay the utilities and food. Despite being heavily tied down by our monthly budget, my dad tried to spice up my life by bringing me to places like Changi airport. I was fascinated by those planes taking off and landing on the runway.
Me: Papa! Have you sat on a plane before? How does it feel like!?
Dad: Actually, papa also never sits on plane before. Maybe it is shaky inside.
A group of boys from better privilege family overheard our conversations. They started casting demeaning glances at us and giggled among themselves. I noticed that my father was deeply saddened by their actions. For the first time in my life I saw deep remorse in his eyes.
Dad: Is papa very lousy?
Me: …….Yes! Very lousy!
Being his daughter, I should have put myself in his shoes and be more empathetic towards his feelings. However, I began to develop a sense of resentment towards my dad. I felt ashamed of having a lowly-achieving father like him. I told my primary school classmates that my dad is a doctor. When my lies were exposed, they started calling my dad a smelly beggar and me a motherless girl.
From that day onward, I stopped smiling when he was around me. Our relationship deteriorated further when I became rebellious in my teenage years. Our home transformed into a battleground where we engaged in frequent heated arguments. Even a simple question like “how is your school result”, could escalate into an argument. On many occasion I deliberately hurt his pride by comparing him with my friend’s parents, who were working in highly respected occupations. I even told him, “You are so damn useless, that’s why mum ran away with another man!” Later on, I began working night shifts in MacDonald’s because I just wanted to avoid him forever.
When I was in JC, I wanted to participate in an overseas field trip organised by my school. However the cost of this trip isn’t cheap. Furthermore it would definitely place huge financial strains on my dad. Does that bother me? Nope, that is his problem anyway. I’m giving him an opportunity to compensate for my unhappy life. Because of this trip, I quarreled with him and even threatened to severe our ties. After a few days later, he finally gave in to my demand and left the money on the table. I revealed a proud and arrogant smile as I was immensely satisfied with this victory. Even if he die 100 times he won’t be able to repay his debts.
One fine day, my form teacher informed me that my dad was involved in a construction accident. She told me to rush to the hospital asap because my dad was in critical condition.
This unprecedented event sparked off an internal struggle deep inside my heart. A part of me kept asking why he wasn’t dead yet? I wanted to be released from my misery life once and for all. Yet the other part told me that I shouldn’t be heartless. In the end, I made my way to the hospital because I should at least have a proper closure with him even though I hated him a lot. The chief surgeon told me that he had done his best to save my father and the rest depends on his will power to survive.
When my dad’s supervisor saw me he told me, “You are really fortunate to have a good father like him, don’t worry he will be fine”. I was deeply offended by him for praising my father without considering what I have gone through.
“Your father always like to hao lian that he has a pretty and capable daughter. He skipped his lunch quite often so that he can buy better food for you. Recently he requested to work more OTs in order to pay for your overseas trip. When I told him that he should rest, he said that you had never fly on a plane before, therefore he has to put you on the plane no matter what”
After hearing his words, I entered the ICU with a heavy heart. I touched my father’s hands and found out that they are very rough. He looked older now with those wrinkles on his face. While I was immersing myself with all those selfish thoughts throughout my entire life, I completely neglected my father’s unconditional love. I cried and begged him to live on for my sake. I kept apologising to him for being a unfilial daughter. Things shouldn’t end this way because for the past 18 years of my life I haven’t baked him a cake on his birthday nor make him a card on father’s day. Thankfully my prayers were answered.He pulled through the most critical period and recovered.
After my A level, I had to apply for university bank loan because my dad don’t have enough money to pay my fees. I saw deep remorse in his eyes again when he was about to sign the guarantor form. I held his hand immediately this time round.
Me: Pa, don’t worry! I will study really hard and earn a lot a lot of money. One day I will be able to bring you onto a plane and travel around the world.
Dad: Sorry, papa is very lousy.
Me: NO! You are a unkillable superhero.
Thankfully I was able to secure a scholarship in my current year of study. This helps to lighten up my financial burden and allows me to pamper my dad, once in a while. On one occasion we had our first taste of western carrot cake at a famous dessert restaurant. After taking a quick bite, we both stared at each other for a short moment. EEEWWW YUCKK! We still prefer the chinese carrot cake from the market. “Uncle,chai tao gue one packet. Add more soya sauce and chilli, the darker the better!”
Anonymous NUS Girl