I love my dad, but I don’t trust him.
I used to. When I was a little girl, dad’s words were gold to me. Back then I was so naïve and innocent.
If dad said the earth was made of cheese, I’d believe him. When Dad told me that mango seed was the yummiest while the juicy, meaty part of the fruit was the yuckiest, I gave him all the meaty part of the mango and happily sucked on the seed like a lollipop. Dad would tell me that eating fish eggs would make me bad at maths so I stayed away from fish eggs like the plague. When I came home from school excited with a 98% score on an exam, dad would scoff that he used to get 110% in his exams. I’d retreat to my room to study harder, but I could never beat dad’s score.
I believed everything dad said. He was my superman after all. He was the smartest person I knew. He knew so much about the world, about the stars, about eating like a king. I hung on to his every word.
That all changed when I was about eight-years-old.
That day, dad hurt me so badly that all his lies unravelled before him. I looked at him with disgust. My little heart tore apart when it all came to me: the earth does not taste like cheese; mango seed is the worst part of the fruit; dad is a wizard at maths even though he eats all the fish eggs; and there is no such thing as 110% score!
I remember the incident that changed me clearly.
It was a hot afternoon, the weather had been so heaty that painful ulcers had broken out on the inside of my mouth.
I complained to mom about it in the kitchen when dad overhead the conversation. He walked over with a newspaper in his hand. I watched his fatherly walk that always make he want to run and attack him with a hug.
I opened my small mouth as wide as possible, showing dad the ulcer. My pitiful eyes pleading him to make me feel better.
“I have something that will make it go away,” Dad’s comforting voice boomed. From the side of the refrigerator door, he pulled out a blue tube of ointment. The white words on it spelled ‘B-O-N-J-E-L-A’.
“We put a little bit of Bonjela on your ulcer, and it will go away like that,” he snapped his fingers.
“But… will it hurt? Is it painful?”
“NOOOOOOOOO. Not painful at all.” Dad said confidently with smile. For some reason, mom was stifling a chuckle in the back.
“Really. Come,” he already squeezed on a small dollop of whitish-gel out from the tube.
If you’ve ever used Bonjela gel, you’d know what happens next. Pain. Furious, earth-shattering, heart-wrenching, excruciating pain. It felt like a million match sticks strike against that open wound on mouth and set it ablaze; it felt like a gazillion giant red ants biting my ulcer; like someone took a hot needle and stab it again and again and again. It was the most painful thing in the whole wide universe for an eight-year-old.
But it didn’t compare to the pain from being lied to by dad.
“OUCCHHH!! YOU SAID IT’S NOT PAINFUL!!!!!!!” I screamed in pain.
I ran to mom and hugged her tight, my angry eyes giving dad the death stare. How could he just stand there laughing while I cried in pain! Why does he want me to suffer!
“DADDY YOU LIE!!!!”
My world came crashing down upon me. Betrayed by my own dad. My emotions bounced between the pain of the stupid gel and my anger at stupid head daddy.
From then on, I grew skeptic at dad’s words. Especially when he says those three little words – “It won’t hurt”.
At least there was one thing dad didn’t lie about, the ulcer did go away just like that. Maybe there is some truth in his words after all.