I was at a house of a relative when you came by.
It is a little weird that only a few days ago that I heard your voice for the first time in over thirty years. I wonder why you decided to try and approach me. Odd.
I made sure to ask them to not mention I was there. In truth, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to speak to you at that point.
I am was also not sure what I was expecting to feel but I felt … nothing. Yours wasn’t a voice that I was familiar with, it had no connections to me or the way I speak. There was nothing of me in your voice and vice versa.
You were only there for twelve minutes and I was not tempted to speak to you. You left and that was it.
Then this morning I received a letter from you.
I read it and again I felt nothing towards you.
What is strange is the fact that I honestly do not feel anything towards you. You asked if I hated you but I don’t. My Great Uncle Dewi told you that I did? I would ignore what that presumptuous old man has to say. I have only spoken to him once and even then I never mentioned you. In fact, he was more concerned by me calling him ‘Dewi’ instead of ‘Uncle Dewi’. At the time I thought about mentioning that since he was your uncle, that technically he would be my ‘Great Uncle Dewi’, or to be more honest, my ‘mediocre Uncle Dewi’ but I bit my tongue since it is wrong to mock the elderly. I am still smiling at the thought that he believed he should be given respect with the honorific of ‘Uncle’ when he has never visited me once in my lifetime. Like I said, presumptuous.
Sometimes I wish I did hate you if only to feel something concrete but the thought of you arouses nothing more than mild curiosity and even that is just a vague question as to why you came back after thirty years. Was I meant to feel something? I have never asked my mother or anyone else about you. You have never crossed my mind until now.
You ask for forgiveness but I don’t really wish to forgive you. Or rather, it isn’t in my ability to forgive a stranger for the actions they took thirty plus years ago. Does that sound harsh? Neh, maybe. To me you are a stranger. The idea that you are my father is one which doesn’t ring true with me. After all, what kind of father doesn’t bother to contact his son for thirty years?
I do not know what you look like. I know some details but nothing that would allow me to spot you in a crowd. Even your voice, which I heard a week ago, has faded from my memory. You know what? I am fine with that,
You mention my half-brothers Calvin, Wilhelm and Dickon like you are holding them up as examples of how they cherish you. That amused me given the fact that you did to them what you did to me. Perhaps they are more easily impressed by your words. Not surprising really since at least two of them are druggies. I suspect that addicts have poor common sense. I remember reading in the local paper how Calvin was busted for his cannabis farm. How proud you must be.
I have met all my step-brothers over the last few years. They did not know me to be their sibling because I gave a false name. I very quickly learnt that these weren’t people I wish to know or associate with.
You then ask why I haven’t got in contact with you. Was I meant to? You were the adult, it was your responsibility. Plus, pray tell, how was I meant to keep in contact after you vanished like a fart in a wind tunnel? Telepathy? Smoke signals? Jungle drums?
As it is, I did find you online five or six years ago. Closer to seven I think. I took one look at your account, quickly withdrew and deleted my own account. Just like my step-siblings, I realised you were not someone I would wish to know. In case you are wondering, I was checking out people with the same name as me and you popped up. Curiosity and dead cats and all that.
Anyway the long and the tall of it is this:
No second chances.
Try again in another thirty years. By then I might be senile enough to want to talk to you. You never know. I doubt it though.
You had your chance and you blew it. I hope it was worth it.