Let’s talk trauma Part 1


Today was the third day this week that I had skipped school. And although it wasn’t like me to do this usually, here I was. It was the third day this week that I sat in this diner sipping hot chocolate as I stared out the window and watched my dad with his other son.
I knew that when or if my mom ever found out what I was doing; she was going to kill me, but I couldn’t help myself. It was something about that first day when I was sitting on the bus with my headphones in, and I looked out the window and saw his face as his tinted windows rolled down. It was like time stopped, and I didn’t want it to move. So I jumped off the bus.
When I got off the bus, I wasn’t sure what to do next. By the time the bus pulled off, he had rolled his car window back up, and Chase was on the passenger side, leaning in the window, talking to him. I went in the diner, found a booth to sit at that gave me a good view of them, and I watched. When the server walked over, I was staring at them, and she scared me and made me jump. “I hope you are not admiring them?” she said, “Huh?” I told her. “The father and son duo over there that you're watching. I hope you're not admiring them.” She said back to me. “Why would you say that?” I tried to say without an attitude. “Because I see little boys come in here all the time and they see them two with fancy cars, flashy clothes and jewelry and want to be just like them. But it’s so much more to life than that quick drug money.” She said to me,
I stared at her for a minute, shocked because my mom never once told me that my dad was in the streets. When I was younger, I used to hear my mom talking to my dad and telling him how she would never let me be around Chase or his mom. She said Chase’s mom was nothing but a sneaky hoe, and Chase was young but already in the streets and was going to be worthless, and she refused to have that rub off on me. But she never said Chase was in the streets following my dad’s footsteps. I would lay in bed pissed off on those nights because who was she to make that type of desicon for me.
“That my dad. And if they are father and son, then that’s my brother. I have never met my brother before. And the last time I saw my father was probably ten years ago.” I said to her, and her eyes got big. “Ross is your father?” she asked. I nodded my head. “Damn,” she said. I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean, but before I could ask, she told me. “I am going to go get you some hot chocolate. And just so you know, your brother’s name is Chase.” she said to me.
Today, I was back in the same booth again, looking out the window, watching my dad and Chase. It was something that got to me every time the bus got to this area, and I saw him. In all the years, I had ridden this same city bus to school, and it took me down this same street, but this week was the first time I saw him at this run-down building sitting in an all-black BMW.
It was something about seeing your dad with his other son that just made you feel you had to see what was so great and special about him; that he got all your dad's attention and time and while you got none and your mom struggled to raise you and teach you about how to be a man.
I knew I shouldn’t be bothered. My mom had been doing a great job of raising me. Not to mention I was a junior in high school with a job at McDonald’s. But I still felt like I needed my dad and deserved him just as much as Chase did. I was intelligent, athletic and despite him being a when its convenient parent, I was amazing as a kid. Compared to Chase, who was a dope boy.
“You know it would probably be simpler just to go across the street and talk to him.” the same server said as she stopped at my table and said. “Nah, it’s not that simple.” I told her as I took my attention from the window to her. She shrugged. When I turned back to look. My dad was looking at me.
We made eye contact, and I spun away, scared, with a knot in my throat. “It looks like now you have to say something.” she said. “Nah I’m a just head to school.” I told her as I pulled some money from my pocket for my hot chocolate and put it on the table. By the time I grabbed my bookbag and made it to the door, there he was, and we stood face to face.
“Have a seat!’ he commanded with his deep mellow voice as he walked past me. I watched him walk away, and I sized him up, realizing that the man I felt I needed was the same size as me.
I strolled back to the booth I was sitting in before and sat down across from my father. “So how many more days did you plan to skip school to watch me.” he asked me. “I… I…” my words struggled to come out.
“I don’t want to deal with your crazy ass momma and her shit because you out here doing the dumb shit. Dont do this shit no more. Let today be the last day you do this shit. Now come on so I can get you to school.” he said, quickly ending the discussion before it could even start.
I got up from the table with my head down and followed him out. As I walked past the register, I looked at the server, and she gave me a look that I couldn’t even put into words. We walked over to the BMW. My dad informed Chase that he would be right back. Chase was sitting on the steps of the building and gave me a head nod. I looked at him and then followed my dad and got in the car.
The smell of weed-filled my nose. My dad pulled off quickly, heading towards my school. I sat in my seat, silent, looking straight, with my mind racing. I kept feeling like someone was staring at me. I looked over, and my dad was looking at me. I turned away quickly again, just like I did in the diner.
“It's crazy how much you look like your mother. As much as I pissed her off when she was pregnant with you, I expected you to look just like me.” he said, followed by a laugh. I didn’t find a damn thing funny. This man hadn’t seen me in ten years, and he was bringing up who I looked like. What I wanted to hear was why. Why the hell was he right here in the same city with me but not in my life but in chase life.
The more I sat there, the tighter my jaw got, and I could feel the vein on the side of my head popping out because I was getting angry. We pulled out to my school, and Ross said nothing. At that point, I lost my cool. “So that's it?” I asked. “What you mean?” he responded. “My nigga, he I am 17 years old. You haven’t seen me since I was 7 and you have nothing to say to me.” I said. “Jayden, what do you want me to say to you?” he said. “Something! Anything. Maybe explain why you thought it was a good idea to just leave me. Why, you thought Chase needed you more than I did. Why you’ve been in the same damn city as me but yet my mom had to teach me how to be a man, my homeboys and porn had to teach me about sex, why I didn’t matter enough to you for you to fucking be here.” I said, with a tear streaming down my face.
“Jayden, some things are better left unsaid.” he said to me. “Unsaid, are you serious? Did you know I was fine until I saw you Monday? But now here I am with all these unanswered questions and I deserve an answer. But you are going to tell me something arer better left unsaid.” I yelled. “Jayden,” he said, and I cut him off. “You know what your right some things are better left unsaid and I wish today never happened because without you I have grown into someone that you couldn’t dare take credit for, and you better not dare open your mouth and claim me once I make it. Because without you I got through 10 years of life without you. I got through my first fight without you. I watched my mom struggle, and you never showed up to help, but it’s okay. I thought I needed you, but I don’t. I got homeboys that are more of a father figure to me than you have ever been.” I said to him and then got out of the car.
Ross rolled down the window and called my name, and I kept walking. I got to the school door, and Dave and Rico were waiting for me. “Nigga, we almost late; waiting on you.” Dave said. “Who, that nigga calling you name from the car.” Rico asked. I walked into the building, and they followed behind me. I walked straight to my locker, saying nothing, and Rico and Dave were on my heels. “Jayden, you okay.” Dave asked as I unlocked my locker. But I still said nothing. Rico grabbed my arm and turned me toward them, and they both could see the tears I was holding in my eyes. “Jayden, what’s going on?’”Dave asked.
“Ten years. Ten damn years. I wondered why? Why he left, why he wasn’t here for me. Why didn't he make it his business to be here for me? And today I got to talk to him face to face and he wouldn’t tell me anything.” I told them. “Who?” Rico asked. “My dad,” I said, and that sad look came over their faces because they knew the feeling of not having a dad around. “All I ever wanted was my pops. How come he don't want me.” I said as the tear streamed down my face, and Rico and Dave hugged me tightly.

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