Because of his new wife, our father sent me and my brother to boarding school. And when we were young adults, we went to see him, and something unexpected happened.

He required perfection in everything, and my brother and I were going through our adolescent years, frequently clashing with him. Then our father brought home a stepmother who didn’t like us from the start and never tried to hide it. Later, our stepmother began convincing our father to place my brother and me in an orphanage.

We hoped it wouldn’t happen until the very end. Our father, on the other hand, was tenacious, and we relocated. He used to come to see us twice a year, but eventually, he forgot about us. We were upset at first because our father had abandoned us for the sake of his stepmother, but we soon discovered that life in the orphanage was much better than life at home.

Our lives have gone well; we’re now grownups with our own families and children, and we’re still as close as we were when we were kids. Our father is now looking for us. A father who had not communicated with us in decades. A father who sent his own sons to an orphanage because of a lady. But not because he discovered how much he cares for us. His wife abandoned him after his hand had to be removed due to gangrene. He can’t take care of himself anymore, and he suddenly needs us.

Only to have a conversation with our father did my brother and I agree to meet him. We were curious to hear how our father, who once abandoned us and now somehow expects help from us, would explain his actions.

But instead of explanations or apologies, we heard a new list of instructions. After carefully listening, we made it clear to our father that no one intends to follow them, and we permanently removed him from our lives.

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