He's Annual | Teen Ink

He's Annual

June 9, 2022
By mariev_almond, Telford, Pennsylvania
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mariev_almond, Telford, Pennsylvania
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August 14, 2004

Worst birthday ever. Mom and Dad are fighting. I think he hit her this time. Mom deserves someone so much better. I would go downstairs to step in but it never works- and I don't want to get in even more trouble. We didn't even get through the whole happy birthday song. I know I shouldn't be so selfish, but I just wanted a normal birthday. A birthday like how it used to be, but Dad is such a jerk. With him, it's never safe. I would say have a better birthday next year, future Angelica, but you know family stuff never works. 

Happy birthday to me. 


Angelica had trouble sleeping that night. The mixture of screams and things crashing kept her tossing and turning the whole night. It was futile to try and close her eyes, but she thought that maybe- just maybe- she could make her parents' voices go away. 

It was around midnight when she saw the lights turn out. She heard her mom creep up the stairs and attempt to quietly shut the door. Her mom's crying was even louder than the door. It made angelica sick. The painful sobbing that was coming out of her mom made her feel so hopeless. Why can't I just make him go away? 

After she heard the crying cease, she made her way over to her parent's room. Her mom passed out on the bed. She sat in the bed next to her and started stroking her mom's hair. 

"I'm going to fix this," she whispered to her mom.

Angelica felt her face go hot. Please let it get better. Please, she thought. 

"I promise to.." She couldn't finish it. Hot tears started streaming down her face, and she squeezed her eyelids shut in hopes that the tears would stop. Her chopping breathing and watery eyes remained for quite some time, and she sat there unmoving. 

"I promise it's going to be okay," she finally managed to say. She kissed her mom on the head and made her way back to her room. When Angelica made it to the hallway, she saw that the lights were on downstairs. Confused, she carefully tiptoed down the stairs.


Angelica stared dumbfounded at the man she was supposed to call her father. Her dad was scurrying across the room, appearing to be looking for something. There was a madness in his eyes that she had never seen before. Whoever she was looking at was not the same person who raised her. A scared and crazed man was tearing apart their living room. He was making a mess of their house.

"What the heck are you doing!"

"I-I didn't mean to hurt your mother. I swear!"

"Stop lying to me, Dad! All you do is hurt this family." Angelica was furious at her father, but somewhere inside her, she was just in despair. This was her dad. Though she reminded herself, he never seems to act like it. She blinked back some tears and spoke very softly when she said, "Leave me and my mom alone. You make everything worse. Get away from us." At this moment, she shed a tear but quickly wiped it away. 

Her dad just stared at her. His eyes looked like he was about to cry. Angelica felt bad about hurting her father. He hurts mom and me. He deserves this. 

"I never meant to hurt your mother... I-I just do it without thinking. It eats me up inside. . I am so sorry, Angie. I swear I'm sorry." He did feel bad about the way he treats them. The guilt and shame are suffocating. "I'm trying to control myself better for you guys. It's just hard sometimes."

"You have to be joking. It's hard for you to not beat your wife?! You sound so stupid right now!" 

"Don't talk to your father like that! I know I mess up but you can't dismiss all I've done for you! You are such a disrespectful daughter. God, why did we keep you!" His words stayed in the air for a long time. 

Did he just say that?

August 14, 2005

He came back. I never expected him to but he did. It's been a whole year since he left us. That night, he and I were arguing and I kept aggravating him. Mom woke up to try and calm us, but he ended up slapping me right in front of her. Mom was furious and told him to get out of the house. I'm proud of her for standing up for us, but there are times that I do miss him. He never seemed to get along with Mom, but there were some- very few- times where he acted like a real father. What he did to Mom all those years are unforgivable, however. 

But yeah. He came back. He knocked on our door with a present in his hand. I feel like he aged so much more than the last time I saw him. 

I opened the door and he handed me the present. Just a simple "Happy Birthday, Angie. It's nice to see my little girl grow up." I felt like an idiot! I just stood there and stared at him. I can't believe he actually came back. I should've said at least something but (in my defense) what I was going to say would've made things a lot more complicated. I don't miss him, but I thought I should at least write my thoughts down.

Happy Birthday to me. You finally got a decent birthday with Mom, past Angelica.

Until next year,


August 14, 2007

He came back, again. He came last year too! Mom said I should forgive him. She says "forgiveness can be great for me to move on." I can't believe she already forgave him! I'm trying to...I swear. But, it is taking me a while. He doesn't deserve it.

Back to what we came here for-, he came back. Last year he showed up with a present again, and said "Happy Birthday, Angie." And left. I AM PROUD OF MYSELF, however. I smiled at him. and he smiled back. It's small, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, I can finally start to forgive him. 

And this year, the same. Present, "Happy Birthday, Angie," and leaving. But! I did say thank you.... so progress? I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this.

Happy Birthday to me. I'm getting so old!

Until next year,


August 14, 2008

I'm 18! Time has flown very quickly. It's safe to say that I'm an adult! Mom and I have done really well on our own. I'm really proud of how strong mom is becoming. I'm really grateful to her.

And, once again, my dad came to visit. It's been weird to see him once a year but I'm really grateful that I've been able to see him at least a few times these past years. Mom invited him inside to have cake with us. It felt like old times. Well, times before my dad started to become more aggressive with us. It felt like we were a real family. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see him again more this year (I told him that too!) 

Mom says she's proud that I've finally been able to forgive him. I'm proud of myself too.

Happy Birthday to me. Thank you, past Angelica, for staying strong. I would definitely not be the person I am today without your hard work.

Until next year,



He walked up to the door, nervous, as he is every year. It's been 4 years since I left, he thought. Paul knocked on the door. He put on a big smile and tightened his grip on his gift. 

"I'll get it!"

He recognized that voice. It was her.

Faye stopped once she saw who was at the door.  

It was 1990. It was near the end of the summer, August. Paul was pacing around the room. Walking in straight lines- and in circles too. Biting away at his cuticles, fingernails, and the hem of his shirt. He was nervous alright. But, he had every right to be. His girlfriend, his first love, was giving birth. And it was a girl. Even more, reasons to be nervous, he thought. 

He was mainly nervous to become a father, as it wasn't really his sort of scene. Paul had been a man of many names: womanizer, player, lady's man. Anything that involved dating girls- he was called it. Paul saw women as a game, a grasp of spontaneity in his teenage years. He knew that most fun would end as an adult, so now was his time. He didn't have much care for school or anything important. He enjoyed hanging out with his friends and hanging out with-well of course- women. 

Faye was different though. She wasn't someone that would allow herself to be played with, and he didn't even want to play with her. But, it was that stupid smile that she had. The dumb way how she always looked so put together even when it was just 7:20 in the morning. The stupid-and emphasis on the stupid- lip gloss. When Paul first saw Faye, she was putting on lip gloss, which forced him to look at her lips. And that was it, after that, he fell in love. He hated the feeling of settling(which is dumb since it was just having a girlfriend, but he still hated it). It was his very first time, but he did really like her. And it wasn't long before they were dating.

And now she's in the hospital giving birth to their baby girl. Quite a big jump, yet a year goes by fast when you're young and in love. But! There were many problems (besides the obvious ones) with this scenario. Both of them were only 16 at the time that they fell in love. And now, Faye was pushing out a result of their stupid-and emphasis on the stupid- teenage mistakes. Her parents were livid to see their baby girl with an actual baby girl at just 17. But Faye did love him. And though their baby wasn't expected, she started to dream about this new chapter in her life. A new chapter with Paul, and their baby girl, Angelica.

They just stared at each other. Like strangers. After everything they've been through, just like strangers. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. It had been 4 years. 


"Wait, Paul. Just come in," she spoke softly and ended her words with a smile. "It's a big day for Angelica. I want you here with us."

"I'm sorry, Faye." He looked down at his shoes, unable to look at her when he spoke, "I never wanted to hurt you." His voice broke and he started rubbing at his eyes, but he would not allow himself to cry. 

She smiled and grabbed his eye contact. 

"I forgive you."

He smiled back at her, and then they made it inside the house. Angelica smiled when he saw the 2 of them. 

They sang and celebrated her birthday. 

"Thank you guys," said Angelica. 

"Our baby is all grown up!" They both said while fake crying and using a baby voice.

The three of them laughed.

"Hey, dad?"

"What's up?" He replied

"Welcome home."

After this day, he no longer only came once a year. August 14 was the day of new beginnings.

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