Blood Ties, But The Branch Still Dies

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Sometimes, people turn out to be not what they seem to be or who we would like or need them to be. For Kaleb Chase, that person was his father.

I used to think that family always stuck together. However, the evidence against that drove my father away from me right before my eyes.

On May 20th, 2011, I was at a friend’s birthday party. I walked home after having a great time, and I was ready to tell my parents how much fun I had. As I approached my house, I saw my Dad walking down the driveway and getting into his truck. I tried waving at him but he never looked back at me. He drove off so quickly I had no time to call out to him a second time. When I walked into my house I saw my mom, hysterically crying on the floor. That was the last day I ever saw my father.

Even after this, I still believed that he was somehow a good person. I made many excuses for him. For many years, I tried to lessen the heartbreak by saying that he still loves me and cares for me because “He’s my father, he has to love me.” When I was told that if I didn't cry all the time, he would still be here right now, I believed it; because I grew up thinking my Father could do no wrong.

However, I learned many things about him over the years. My parents both did a good job of hiding what he did to protect the image I had of him. He stole a relative’s jewelry to sell for drugs. He burned all my mom's personal pictures of us because he wanted her to only have pictures of him, which is why I don't have any baby photos of myself, and he stole from my personal savings account my mom had been investing in for years.


“The majority of the money was mine anyways”, he said as he took $1000 to help pay for his truck. These are just a few of the things that he did over the first 10 years of my life.

All of the things I learned were eye opening. I now know that my Father wasn't the hero I once thought he was. He lied, manipulated, and broke apart the family without me even knowing. Learning how all this happened behind the scenes flipped my entire world view. I used to constantly wish that he would come back, but now I hope that he stays gone.

Despite the initial heartbreak, it turned out that leaving was one of the best acts that he could have done. He is a complete stranger to me now and that's for the best.

With a Perspective, I’m Kaleb Chase.

Kaleb Chase is a student at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale.