Not so long ago, I had a huge argument with my Dad. It was something I was struggling with for a pretty long time - since I flew here to work, even until after I started working, even after I turned 21, even after I had gotten married. I was so pissed at the fact that he doesn't seem to trust me and believe that I can handle things on my own.

I was out with my friends one night last month, and I had been updating my Dad, texting through my friend Peepo's phone, which lasted until up to 10:00 P.M. I informed him that one of my friends would be off from work and would be able to come at around 11:30 P.M., because my friend Pepet would be dropping me home (we were at Hooters, and I didn't want to have to commute at that time of the day, so I was really glad that my friends were driving me all the way to Global City), I was quite confident that he wouldn't mind if I went home a bit later than usual (when I'm out, I'd usually be home at 10:00 P.M., 11:00 P.M. tops).

To sum things up, I got to the main gate at around 2:00 A.M., and I found my Dad there standing with the guards. The first thing he told me was "Why so late?" and I tried to charm him with my smile, telling him the same thing I said through text, that my friend got off work late and we had to wait. The conversation continued until we got to the lift, in, and out, until we reached our main door, and that's where almost of all hell broke loose. He brought ONE thing that happened in the past that he wasn't able to forgive me for, then he started accusing me of doing things he thought I did but didn't do that night, like drinking.

Occasionally, I would drink with friends back in College (and God knows, I'm never the type to go all wild and dirty when I'm tipsy or boozed out - but I can be very talkative. WAY talkative), and during my recent vacation back in 2008. When my Mom was alive, I would tell her everything. EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING, and she won't judge me. We have this understanding, that its all good as long as I'm honest with her, as long as I know what I'm doing, as long as I know my limits. My mom never lost her faith in me, or her trust, no matter how many times I broke her heart, she would put the pieces back together and love me unconditionally. Which made me feel good because I knew I could trust myself not to screw up because she trusts me SO much, its ridiculous (I mean this in a really good way. I love Mama so much).

But that night, I was vice-free. We had clean fun. I knew I would be toast if I did anything that would make Papa really disappointed at me, and I know he was already dealing with so much. I didn't drink a single bottle or glass of beer or alcohol, the entire 2 months (all in all) that I spent in the Philippines. God knows I'm not lying about that. Which is why I was really hurt because he doesn't know how good I've been whenever I'm out with my friends. I'm not trying to wash my hands, but honestly. I was hurt because those past issues he brought up, I thought he had forgiven me. And then all of a sudden he tells me I should earn his trust again, all I could think of was, "WHAT?"

Frankly I pretty much hated him a little. I felt like he took a knife and carved out a pretty huge piece off of my heart and threw it on the ground and stomped on it. It won't leave a scar - because it was going to remain wounded until I breathe my last breath. That's how I felt at that time.

Until today.

Andrew gets off of work at 6:00 P.M., and would be at home by 6:30 P.M., 6:45 P.M. the most. Once, he arrived at 8:00 P.M. because his boss had asked him to do an errand out of the office. He didn't really inform me then, but I started to worry when he didn't show up at the usual time so I called him. He picked up and explained, and I understood.

Today is a different story. He and Papa already had plans last night that they were going jogging today at 7:00 P.M., which I re-confirmed with Andrew in the morning. It was nearly 8:00 P.M. and Andrew wasn't home yet. To make things worse, his phone was off. I kept trying several times before I texted him, then texted one of his office mates, texted his boss' assistant, phoned the office, two of the three responded saying he left ahead of Andrew but still saw him at work, and that Andrew had already left. Whether his boss asked him to do another errand, or that he went home, he had no idea.

I tried to calm myself down for a few minutes and then that's when I couldn't take it anymore. Made several more attempts to reach him, then I ended up phoning the office again. The operator told me to get back to him after 5 minutes, which I did - but he didn't pick up, then for some reason, I peeped through the main door's peep hole and saw Andrew there, getting his key off his pocket. My mood shifted from worry to anger in a split second.

Andrew and I had just made up from a petty argument we had last night, and I haven't even really recovered from it yet. I couldn't help but feel like maybe this was his way of getting back at me too, I don't know. I was just so mad.

Turns out, on his way home, he met two male filipinos who were new in the country and needed help, they wanted to find a place to live in. Because they were looking for a place which was in the same vicinity as where we lived, he thought it would be kind to help them out.

And I just couldn't stop thinking how stupid that was.

Seriously, at the age of 5, my Mom told me countless of times not to talk to strangers. She had briefed me, like a trainee. "This is situation A, this is situation B, this is situation C. If this happens, go look for the guard. Do you know what a guard's uniform looks like? And if this happens, don't get in the car. They could be fooling you. And if this happens, just kick him in his privates. Do you know where a man's privates are?" Which I still keep in my head until now. I couldn't believe someone as grown up as Andrew could actually be so irrational. Yes, I get he's trying to be nice. And you could say I'm over-reacting but what if they tricked him? What if they're actually kidnappers, or rapists? Its not impossible.

Kung sa Pilipinas nga, ang dami nang nangyayari, dito pa kaya sa hindi namin bansa? And even if they are Filipinos, that doesn't change anything - they're still strangers. Ang daming pwedeng mangyari! And then he tells me he's NOT friendly. Please.

I was talking to him in a very high-pitched tone and I was just letting it all out, how angry I was, asking him things like why wasn't he thinking of me, that I would be worried sick, that his phone was off this time and I wouldn't know who else to ask about where he was. I asked him to try to put himself in my shoes, wouldn't he be worried?

I spoke to him in almost the same way as my Dad did to me. Then I turned my back at him and started crying. I begged him to have pity on me because I just lost my Mom. And if anything happened to him, I wouldn't know what else to do. I sobbed so hard. I was very tired.

And then I said something I never thought I would say.

"I understand Papa now."

And then I cried some more. He was hugging me from behind, comforting me, saying sorry. But it wasn't enough for me. I love him so much, and I was so scared, at the same time I was really mad. Mad because he wasn't using his head, mad because he didn't seem to care. Mad because he doesn't seem to understand what it's like to be in my shoes.

Now I know why my Dad ended up saying all those words to me. Why he brought up past issues. Now I know why my Dad still treats me like a child, or scolds me like I'm 15. Grounds me like I'm in High school.

Papa is just scared to lose me, EVEN MORE. Now that Mama's gone. I get it now. Knowing my Papa, he just expresses himself in a different way.

I didn't mean for this to be a Father's Day post, but I just thought I should share it with you anyway.

After they left to jog, I got one of the harder throwpillows from my room and went all Ryan Atwood on it. I just punched it until I got tired, until I drowned the room in saltwater again.

Its true that if you let God, He will work His way into your life. I've just begun committing myself to His house, and all these things are dawning on me. They're painful, yes. And there will always be times when I want to give up.

I'm not trying to go holy on everyone. I'd just like to share what I know, and how I feel right now.

Apologies for the blurry photo - I haven't scanned photos I brought from the Philippines yet, just thought I'd put up one of me and Papa - which was taken after my 18th birthday celebration outside Don Henrico's in Alabang. Mama took this shot.

I love you so much Papa. Happy Father's Day.
I'm sorry.

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