I was six years old when I found out my father had another family. I knew he didn't live with my mom and me, but that wasn't so unusual in my neighborhood. He came by a few times a week and always got me presents on my birthday and Christmas. Whenever he visited, he gave me money for ice cream at the corner store. I was too young to understand he just wanted me out of the apartment.
That one time, though, I was taking a nap when he arrived. I woke up and heard him in the bedroom with my mom, so I thought I'd fetch the ice cream money from the wallet myself. His wallet had pictures in it. Pictures of him and a blonde woman and a little blonde girl about my age. There weren't any pictures of Mom and me.
There were rules I knew I had to follow. Like how I wasn't supposed to say "that's my daddy" if I ever saw him outside of the apartment or if his picture appeared in the newspaper. When I had my appendix out at eight, he didn't come to visit, though the wing of the hospital I stay...