By KEZIA LUBANSZKY
We’ve never had a typical relationship. I’ve only known you for a few years. And since the day I first saw your face there’s been something on my mind. I remember that day. I was fourteen, full of teenage angst and craving to know where I came from. I’d convinced my mum it was a good thing to do, so we tracked you down. Your father was hosting a family reunion, so we decided to meet you there. The reunion of a lifetime.
I stood there and waited. I can’t explain the feelings pulsing through me that day. Such a large aspect of my life, that I lacked a significant relative, was about to be swept away. So I waited and waited. Each man that walked through the door caused my heart to jolt at the thought that it could be you. I had fantasies about who you were. Valiant, charming, educated. And then you walked through the door.
Seven years on and I wish we’d never met. I’m sorry to say it, but I’m ashamed to be your daughter. You should have stayed away. You should have known.
You cried and apologised and told me you loved me. You said the drugs kept you away, that it wasn’t your fault. That night you swore to me that you would never touch heroin again. I found some in your drawer the next day.
I went to your court case and I cried when they took you away. I hated the thought of you in pain. But you’d never care if that were me.
I went to visit you, to introduce you to my boyfriend. You were slurring and falling over. You had that sickly glaze over your eyes and I knew you’d done it again. What a lovely first impression for the man I loved.
I waited up all night on my 21st birthday. I knew you’d call. You had to. I cried into my pillow when it dawned on me that you never truly cared.