My Dad Has Two Families... And We Are Not The First One!
- Published: 14 June 2019
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Hi. My name is Lisa, and while this story was taking place, my life went all the way to complete chaos. I mean, it's that kind of story where you question if you are who you are, and if anything you had ever known is real. And all this happened in a about week or so. I promise I'll try to remember everything correctly, sometimes all I can recall is just... emotions.
I still remember pretty clearly the last day when everything was normal. It was a Sunday, and I'd spent the whole day together with my parents. My mom’s name is Melissa and my dad’s name is Tom. We had lunch at our favorite diner, went to the movies, and finished the day chilling in our front yard. We laughed so much that day, just the three of us. Then the next day my dad had to leave.
It was just another trip of many. I've always known that he worked in a company with offices on both the West and East Coast. We live in California, so every other week he has had to fly to New York for 5 to 7 days. Sometimes these periods were longer, sometimes shorter. And it's been like this for years already, so I never questioned it. When he was away, mom and I would miss him a lot, of course, and look forward to him coming back. The family was not complete without him. In addition, when he was away, he was so busy, he couldn't even call us on some of the days. And he always said he missed us too, and that every day he would dream about coming home.
So that time was just like any other time. He had his return ticket for a week later. Unfortunately, his birthday was during the week he would be away.
The next day one of our teachers gave us an assignment to tell the class about how different government stuff works. Mrs. Jackson says she wants us to know more about adult life, so she gives us a lot of tasks that will help us years from now. I had to create a thorough report about tax returns: what are they for and how do we fill them out.
I remembered seeing my dad fill those forms out a couple of days ago. He didn’t have time to file them, so he was going to do that when he got back. So, thinking that it would not be a big deal, I opened his desk drawer, where he kept all of his documents. The tax returns were there on top, so I started going through them. And here's what caught my attention. In the “dependent” column I saw several names that I'd never heard of in my life. These people had our last name, but I obviously did not know them.
I did not want to jump to conclusions, but that was weird, right? When I took a closer look, I saw my name mentioned in this column twice. But... this is a really serious document! Everything was supposed to be double checked, so it could not be a mistake.
Still I tried not to panic. And I did not want to tell my mom yet, because first I had to figure it out myself (my mom can get too emotional now and then). So, I thought, what if I searched these people on Facebook? At least I could get… something.
I did. In fact I got a lot more than I expected. I found some of these people, not all of them, but who I did find was a girl with the same first and last name as mine. Her face looked somewhat familiar to me, and the whole situation was pretty creepy. She was a couple of years older than me. I started looking through her pictures and after tons of photos I found a picture that seemed to be taken on Christmas several years ago. There were a lot people at the table, and one of them, whose face was not fully visible, who looked very, very much like my dad about 5 years ago.
I freaked out. But still managed not to panic, which was harder with every new discovery. Ironically, after all this happened, I got way more confident about me being able to think and act smart under pressure. And this time I decided to text the girl I had found, but with a lie. I pretended to be her allegedly very distant relative, who really wanted to find and get to know her family. So I asked her who the man in that picture was and what his name was.
She replied really fast, saying she was glad to find a cousin that she didn't know either, and said that the man was her father and that his name was Tom. There was no doubt that it was my dad. And while I was trying to find a logical explanation (what if he left that family a long time ago and just wanted to leave it all behind?)... Lisa said: “He’ll be home from work soon, so I can ask him whatever questions you want!
No, no, no, that would just ruin everything! I didn’t even consider that that might happen, but I already had another story in my head. Maybe I should be a novelist or something. So, dad had a birthday in two days.
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