So, I first ever met my dad in December 2013, just a couple months after my 21st birthday.
Me and him started talking a few months earlier when my Facebook page was sent to him by his brother, who was friends with my mum on Facebook and she had uploaded a picture of me and her.
*Me and my mum, have never had the best relationship, I think when we are around each other we put on a show for others but in reality, we barely get and she often blames me for this, as she says I’m always disappearing on her, but I’ll get in to things with my mum at another time, lets focus on my dad for now*
So, after seeing the picture of me and my mum, my dad immediately messaged my mum and asked if he could call and speak to me, I’m not sure if they were friends before this moment or if they had been in contact with each other before, but honestly, I didn’t really care, I guess I was hmm… maybe excited to know I have a dad?
So, when he finally rang, he spoke to my mum a little and then she passed the phone to me,
*I’ve never been much of a talker on the phone or in person*
He said, “Hello son” sounding very American and I replied, “Hi, how are you?” sounding very British. I’ve never been the type to show emotions, so although I was very excited to be speaking to him, you would never have guessed it. Our conversation wasn’t very long, but what do I say to someone I’ve never met, claiming to be my dad, a fictional character I had long buried in my mind.
He called me again a few days later, this time our conversation was slightly longer. He introduced me to my half-brother, sister, and his wife. His wife told me about how they came to London in 2012 during the Olympics and they tried looking for me. I didn’t really know what to say, so I think my response was “Oh alright”.
*But really… what was I supposed to say? *
The phone was passed back to my dad, who then asked me if I would like to spend Christmas with them in America and I said alright, he said he would sort out the details and then let me know and that was that soon I was packing and psyching myself up to go and meet my long last father.
As I’ve said in the beginning I’m not really someone that’s emotionally there, so this day and being at Heathrow was like any other trip to the airport really. And like every other trip there’s always an unavoidable hiccup, which had the potential to stop me from flying and honestly that did start to make me a little nervous, and I started thinking the worse.
I thought my dad had sorted everything out before emailing all the information, but at the airport, I was told I needed to get this visa thing as part of the requirements to enter the states and I could only get it online and I had to do it before boarding the plane. The problem was I only had cash on me. I found myself pacing around the computer area in the lounge explaining my situation to people and then asking them if they could pay for the visa online for me and I give them cash in exchange, as expected many walked straight past me, the very few that did stop all said no. I was just literally about to give up, it was almost time to board and still nowhere close to solving my dilemma. At this point, I was frustrated and maybe upset? A little I guess, but then out of nowhere, just like the movies, this woman came and sat next to me and we began to talk, she was flying to South Africa to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela
* this was around the time Nelson Mandela sadly passed away*
but she had a very long wait at the airport and needed to get some food but there were no ATMs available or they didn’t accept her card, I don’t actually remember exactly. I explained my situation and told her about meeting my dad for the first time and how not getting this online thing could possibly ruin that and she stopped me from talking and offered to help, I couldn’t thank her enough and soon after handing her the cash I found myself running to board the plane.
The Flight, it was very long, I had to stop off in Philadelphia and wait for my connecting flight for about two hours, whilst on my second flight I must admit, I did start to feel somewhat anxious and part of me didn’t want to go through with the trip anymore.
So I finally arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, It was late, and it was cold, and I was tired. As I came down the escalators towards the exit of the arrivals, I saw all four of them standing there, my dad, my dad’s wife, my brother, and sister. I’m not really a hugger but they were, so I smiled and hugged them all, as quick as I could.
Soon we were on our way to the car, we spoke about the weather as I was cold but not much else, we got in the car and began the journey to their house. I was little disappointed, it was pitch black outside, the only light coming from the headlights of the car, so was just really forced to stare at the back of my dad’s head, trying to figure out if it resembled mine in a way, my findings were inconclusive due to lack of light.