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Grade
11

October 15, 2017

Hey Jorge,

It’s Pedro, remember me? Lazy faggot, waste of sperm?

Or at least, that’s what you used to call me. I wonder what you call me now.

 

Do you--call me anything now, that is? Do you tell people about the bastard son you abandoned with his single mom?

Who, by the way, isn’t the crazy bitch you make her out to seem.

Mom’s great. She’s gotten better at cooking. You’d like it, if you ever had the balls to show up here again.

Which we wouldn’t be too happy with.

Fuck you.

 

You know, I thought about you today.

The first time in a while. We had career day at school, and everyone’s fancy parents got up to talk about their fancy jobs. Scientists and brokers and whatever. Mom didn’t go-- she probably didn’t know which job to talk about. You probably wouldn’t have gone anyway, but it would’ve been cool to see you talk about your new marketing job or something. Congrats on that. I guess.

- Pedro

 

 

December 27, 2017

Jorge,

The first Christmas I remember, you were there. You made me hot chocolate. Thanks for that. It was nice to have some kind of sweetness in my mouth to balance the bitterness of the atmosphere that night.

We were late to church that year, remember? Cause you and mom fought. Loud enough for ripples to be visible in my hot chocolate.

 

I wonder what God thinks of you.

He probably hates you more than mom does.

 

Mom still drags me to church every Sunday. I remember you used to hate that. I guess you didn’t like good people telling you about just how sinful you were.

- Pedro

 

 

January 23, 2017

Hey Jorge,

I’ve picked up smoking. Aren’t you proud?

It’s like back when you used to take me to the park--you know, the one where you taught me to ride my bike--and you’d pick up the cigarettes littered on the ground and light them. You were practical like that.

Anyway, I don’t like it very much.

Your son,

Pedro

 

 

February 2, 2017

You thought I was asleep, the first night you hit her, didn’t you?

I wasn’t. I heard everything. Mom didn’t even fucking do anything.

But the liquor and the temerity of mom to talk back to you was enough for your clenched fist to find its home in mom’s jaw. I heard the clash of your knuckles against her skin, the slap deafening, even with pillows covering my ears.

I remember the excuse mom gave me the next morning, when I asked her about the purple spreading across the left side of her face. She told me she fell down.

I guess she fell into your fist, then, huh?

 

Anyway, mom was wearing one of the t shirts your cigarettes burned holes through. I don’t know why she bothers.

 

This is Pedro, by the way, obviously.

 

 

March 6, 2018

Dear Jorge,

Do you still like soccer?

You know, watching the World Cup with you are some of my favorite memories. I didn’t really get soccer, nor did I like it a lot back then. But you talked to me when you mentioned how shitty Messi was doing, or when we jumped up from our chairs whenever Chile made a goal.

I thought we’d share that same connection when I started playing soccer. I thought you’d jump up whenever I’d make a goal.

But I never saw you in the stands.

I still play soccer, though, if you were wondering.

Pedro

 

 

April 18, 2018

Dear Dad,

Remember the first time you hit me?

I guess I deserved it. Coming home late and all. That’s how most kids are punished, right?

You said I thought I was better than you, a hotshot or some shit.

 

I do think I’m better than you, though, if you were wondering.

I wouldn’t leave my family. I wouldn’t hit my wife, hit my kid, even if I didn’t like them or whatever your reason was.

And I know you didn’t want me. I know mom probably refused aborting me--killing me--or something, and you were stuck. But you didn’t have to pretend like you were willing to stick around at first.

 

I still remember the sound of the door closing behind you the next night.

Honestly, we were better off without you.

Love,

Pedro

 

 

May 16, 2017

Dad,

I had empanadas last night, with Mom. I thought of you.

I remember you used to help Mom make them. Those were some of the few times you guys got along.

I’d come into the kitchen and I’d fold some of them myself. They didn’t turn out very good, but you helped.

You would eat my deformed dough and praise me for how good they were, even though they definitely couldn’t have tasted any different.

 

Thanks for that.

Pedro

 

June 13, 2018

Hey Jorge,

I remember the first time you taught me to ride a bike. I fell down and skinned my knees and walked around with nasty scabs for like weeks afterwards, but you helped me up that time. I remember you weren’t all that bad.

I still love riding Slater-- that’s my bike by the way. Whenever I have to get away from my friends, from mom, from my problems, from myself, Slater’s there for me.

I get your urge to run away, I do. Life is shitty. You may have made mine shitty but I made yours shitty too so I guess it’s all just a shit cycle. Sometimes I want to get on Slater and escape that shit cycle, never come back, ride until our--my-- house gets smaller and smaller and smaller…

 

But I don’t do it. That’s the difference between you and I.

 

 

July 12, 2018

You know, I still think about you sometimes.

It isn’t often, but my facial hair is starting to come in, and I think Mom is resenting how much I’m starting to look like you.

It isn’t her fault. You suck.

 

But still, I think about you.

And I hate myself for it--it was your decision to leave us. If you didn’t need us, I shouldn’t need you.

But I think about you when I eat mom’s food, when I help her make empanadas like you used to.

I think about you when I play soccer, when I ride on Slater, or when life takes another shitty turn.

Sometimes I start to wonder if you left because of me.

But it was your decision to leave us.

 

Was it me, by the way, who made you leave?

 

I am sorry, for whatever I did.

 

And I know you haven’t gotten any of these letters. But if I do decide to send them, as much as I hate you, as much as I wish I never even fucking knew you, I do hope you’ll answer.

 

This is Pedro, by the way.

Obviously.

 

State
NJ
Zip Code
07024