As some of you may remember, I mentioned a while back in a day log
that I was meeting my father for the first time in 14years. I was working in a youth hostel in Snowdonia when he found me on facebook, having messaged everyone with the same name as me in the hope one of them was me.
He also messaged my brother, and was told, not quite so politely, to take a long walk of a short plank. He has no memory of him, and calls our stepfather dad, who claims us and his own, and has always been there for us, so I understand and respect that.
I, on the other hand, has never truly got on with our stepfather, and was curious when my father messaged; I wanted answers to questions, mostly whys; why had he not contacted before, why did he refuse to pay CSA payments, why he had beaten my mother when I was young (I read the legal documents for the divorce when I was younger, I had asked when I was 15 and was quite surprised when I was presented with them the following day).
He told me he was living near Ben Nevis, running an outdoors shop in Fort William, and as we began to exchange messages, and eventually numbers, I began to warm to him. We arranged to meet up, and he drove down from Scotland to north Wales to see me, stay a few days in a campsite a few miles away, and get together as often as I wish. He consistently repeated that I was in charge, moving as fast or as slow as I wanted to go.
I cannot describe our first meeting, but we got on like a house on fire. We drove into town to get coffee and breakfast, as I hadn’t eaten yet, and we spent hours sat in the Morrison’s café in Caernarfon getting to know each other. We even went out for a meal that night, and I meet his wife Miranda, and we got so well I was really surprised. We had similar tastes in music, he was an outdoors person, more of a climber than me, but we both shared a connection with the outdoors. We promised to keep in touch when they travelled back to Scotland.
However, I felt guilty, as his name has always been a by-word for bastards at home, and I knew any knowledge of our meeting or burgeoning relationship would ruin an already fragile bond between myself and my family. We kept it a secret, although grudgingly on his part. He wanted to meet my brother, and rebuild a civil relationship with my family, especially my mother. I knew it would never happen; my mother hates him, understandingly, and my brother doesn’t want to know.
We’ve meet once more, at a service station between Stratford and Bristol, when I was travelling back to Snowdonia from an interview and him from a wedding in Bristol, and the three of us had a happy couple of hours drinking bad coffee, talking, and exchanging photos (I’d brought my baby album] with me), and promised again to keep in touch.
Having not got the job I went for, I moved back in with my family, and our relationship broke down completely, not being able to carry on having the phone conversations without drawing suspicions to me, whilst I was fighting to rebuild any sort of relationship with my family, and the long hours I was working as a chef left little time for anything other than sleep and the occasional night out with my friends.
After nearly 9months of that original meeting, our relationship has withered down to the occasional text message, but other than that its almost as if we had never met. The good thing that has come from our reunion is that he seems to have remembered that there are two people who share at least half his genetic code, and he has resumed CSA payments for my brother. I want to have a relationship with him, perhaps not the father-son relationship who could have possibly had had history passed differently, but at least a friendship. And perhaps I will tell my family what I have written here. But not for a while.