As I would get home from school each day I would come home to my dad waiting for me on the couch sitting down watching old movies that where still black and white. “Eric ponte hacer la tarea,” he would tell me as he saw me walking in. He made me do my homework every day after school. Without a look to his face I walked into my room and began my homework but I wouldn’t always understand it but I would never ask for help when he was around. I asked him for help one time and as I bothered him from his daily movie watching he turned off the television looked at me with his eyes getting smaller the more he frowned. Then with his angry face he yelled “Necesitas ayuda!” As I began to regret asking him for help he stood up walked to me and grabbed me by my hair dragged me to the door of my room then pushed my head against the door while I felt a cold wood feeling on my cheek I would felt a much stronger feeling on my back that was from his belt that made a smacking sound every time it hit me. As I cried “Apa por favor no me peges nadamas necesitava ayuda con mi tarea!” He would yell at me “No te poertes como un menso con migo tu vas a la escuela pa que aprendas no pa pedir me ayuda!”
After yelling that at me he hit me more and harder every time. As I fell to the ground not being able to breath I would scream for my mom to please come home to protect me “Please mom come for me please help me!” I was nine years old when this happened and till this day I remember the pain that was making my back and ass throb so much that I could not move without my body aching for almost an hour I remained on that same spot with tears coming out of my eyes slowing after every blink I had staining the rug with a puddle of tears that gently rolled off my cheek. Once I was able to struggle onto my bed my back was so bad that I wasn’t able to attend school the next day and my homework was due the next day but my dad was sure to let the school know that I wasn’t going to make it because of illness issues.
This is just one of the many bad experiences I had as a little kid with my dad. I don’t have that many good memories with my dad as a child. The good memories where all the same. Whenever we went out to a party or to someone else’s house he would tell people how masculine I was and how much of a man I was, even as a little kid always trying to show me off. That was the only time he would talk good about me even though none of it was true. I would always pretend that he would say I love him in one of his remarks about me. It made me feel like what he said was true that I am the boy that he always wanted.
Over the years my dad began to realize how bad he treated me so one day out of the blue he tells me to get dressed, “Eric ya vistete te voy ah llevar a la escuela.” Thought it was weird because my mom always took me to school. “Ok ya voy,” I replied. I put on my blue shirt that had a car in the front and racing flags on the back. My pants were black Dickies that were a little loose so I grabbed my black belt that had a rolling dice pattern all around it.
As we headed out I was still in shock that my dad was taking me to school. That morning was grey and gloomy that actually put me into a lazy mood. Once I saw that we headed towards the freeway I knew I wasn’t going to school because my school was literally down the street about five blocks away. I had the curiosity to ask him where we were going. All he told me was “It’s a good thing there is a car on your shirt.” I still didn’t know what he was planning, then we arrived to my cousin’s house and picked him and his dad up. My cousin and I looked at each other with surprised faces.
It wasn’t too long before we knew we were going somewhere far because we bought McDonalds and every time we buy McDonalds we travel far. So eventually we arrived to L.A. and ended up getting lost so we stopped for directions. Our dads took us to the annual Los Angeles Car Show. My cousin and I were stoked and we began to get hyper in our seats. My dad gave me his signature look that meant if I was getting out of hand something bad was going to happen to me. So I calmed myself fast because I didn’t want to ruin the day by getting hit by my dad.
The Made Memory
We arrived to the location of the car show and as excited as I was I jumped out of the car and onto the not so empty parking lot just around the corner of the building we were heading to. As we got closer to the entrance I couldn’t help but run to it and yell, “Here’s my ticket can I go in now?!” The nice lady smiled and said, “Why sure, I just need to stamp your hand and you will be on your way.” My dad told me, “Calm down your making us look like rookies.”
As we wondered around I was collecting posters and free items at stands from each manufacturer. Eventually we entered the Underground Zone as they called it. The underground floor was full of custom cars and really beautiful girls that modeled for nice looking cars. That’s where I came across the poster that caught both my eyes and my dad’s. It was the poster with the old road and white bold lines. As we picked ours up a lady passed right by me and smiled at me then said, “You like that poster? Let me sign that for you,” then gave me a kiss on my cheek with her bright red lipstick and beautiful long eyelashes closing as she approached my cheek. I was in total shock, I saw all the guys around me looking at me with envy and my dad with the biggest smile I have ever seen him show. As she left walking with her long tan soft looking legs into a tent she was followed by a lot of paparazzi’s. I was going to ask my dad who she was before he grabbed me and said with an excited face, “That’s Natasha from the movie!”
It turned out that she was the main actress in the racing movie “REDLINE.” And I always look at my poster and remember how lucky I was to meet a famous person because of the attraction my poster gave me.
The Moral of the Story
My dad and I actually made a memory that day. I was so happy but not because I met the actress but because my dad gave me the biggest smile from the joy he had with me. We had fun that day and after that he never treated the same, he gave me the respect I deserved for always putting up with his anger issues towards me and now till this day he still cries every time we talk about the past. He regrets doing the thing he did to me. He tells me “No puedo dsirte que me perdones por que lo que hice no se puede perdonar,” so he told me he can’t ask me for forgiveness because his actions were so bad that he cannot be forgiven.
Well I am proud to say that I forgive him because it takes a man to say I’m sorry but takes a bigger man to say its ok. Especially after what he put me through as a child. So I became the big man he always told people I was in the end. I love my dad I forgave him for all he has done though I will never forget the things he did to me but what can I do, at the end of the day he is my dad and the person that is most important to me in my life.
“Eric why do you still have that poster it’s so old and lifeless,” my mom say. “If only you knew,” I tell her.
Eric Salgado and i had a hard childhood but never changed the person i am because of it. I am recently joining a soccer team in my town.