The inkwell prompt #18 | "Father"


I cried when I saw my father for the first time acting like a clown. I had no idea that's how a clown handles their job. Letting people mock them because what's important is to make them happy. I was not aware but because no one could watch me over while my father was performing a job.

I love my father very much because he's the only one I have in this world. I didn't want him to laugh at and to be mocked. Father saw me crying and he took a pause. He came to me and explained the details. He just smiled at me and said he would buy me a burger after. I replaced the tears with a smiling face because the burger was my favorite and it's not all the time I can have one to eat.

"Jericho, is your father gay?"

I was in high school when my father was called by the principal. I punched my classmate Ryan when he called me father gay. He bad-mouthed my father because he's been seeing him in a comedy bar together with gays. I couldn't blame him but I couldn't accept bullying because my father didn't have a decent job. He couldn't have a proper job because of his educational background. Even so, he raised me no matter what people discriminate against him.

I couldn't bear the shame anymore. The papa's boy who loved his father so much was gone. I took my distance to my father and he knew from the way I treated him. He showed me a smile but his eyes were sad staring at me. I didn't know how I turned like that but I chose to ignore what my father felt.


One night, I arrived home drunk. We're celebrating with my classmates because we graduated from college. When I entered the house I saw my father sitting in front of the table with food on it. He didn't say a word and kept his eyes straight. He refused to look at me, maybe because his tears were falling.

"How was your night with friends?"

Shaking words full of sadness. I could tell how he felt being left alone and wanted to celebrate my accomplishment.

I didn't know how to answer his question. It pierced my heart to see my father like that.

"It wa--," he interrupted me and said it by himself.

"I know it was fun. It's friends night after all."

I had no idea what to say to my father anymore. The happy memories we had back then kept on flashing in my thoughts. How loving, sweet, and kind father to me when I was young. I just forgot it when time passed by because I took my distance from him.

"I know you're not proud of me. I know you're ashamed of me. I know you're tired of hearing bad humor about me. I know I'm not the ideal father you wish you could have."

I prevented myself from talking or else I couldn't control the tears anymore. I prevented myself but I decided to let it go when I heard my father crying so hard. He started sobbing and belittled himself.

"Who am I anyway? I'm just a poor father who will do any job as long as I can earn."

I looked to the other side and kept on crying. My father continued talking as if he's releasing it all he kept inside.

"It's not that I didn't hear how people talked behind my back. It's not that my heart didn't feel anything seeing people discriminate against me through their looks. I'm not numb but I acted one. If I let myself drown in their words did you think we could have this food on the table? Did you think I could send you to school?"

I could feel how painful my father felt. I was stupid to think he didn't feel anything about it and ignored my feelings.

"It's painful Jericho especially when I noticed you became embarrassed of having me as your father. During the times when it was not me who put that medal in your graduation. It's painful but I endured it all. I love you so much and I didn't want your classmates to mock you because of me. I endured it all even though it hurts seeing my sweet child slowly forgetting me."

I couldn't control my emotions anymore. I immediately hugged my father on his back. He was still sitting on the chair. I cried so much as I leaned on his shoulder.

"I'm so sorry, father. I should have known how painful it was to you. I love you too and I hate to see people talk bad about you. You are the best father of all and I don't want you to feel so much pain because of me. I'm so sorry for being a stubborn son."

My father touched my hand and started smiling while wiping his tears.

"It's fine, son. I'm glad that you voiced out what you're thinking."

I'm happy to see my father smiling again like how he was before.

"Oh, let's eat the food, son. Let's eat this together."

Somehow, my heart was telling me that we can go back to the old times. I could see my father straight into his eyes with no guilt and shame. That should be the feeling I have because without my father I would be nothing.




Sometimes writers entertain readers. However, the greatest thing a writer can hope for is to move readers, to leave a lasting impression. Your story has intrinsic value because it addresses a universal human behavior.

As children grow, they separate from their parents. It's necessary. Sometimes that separation has the effect you describe: rejection. You are skilled at describing emotion and motivation. You bring the narrator full circle, from love and respect to disdain and then once again to love and acceptance.

Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community, and thank you for engaging with your fellow writers. We are urging everyone who posts in The Ink Well to take this step, going forward, to ensure our community members are supporting one another. (We also have this in The Ink Well community rules on our home page and in our weekly writing prompts.)

Keep writing!

Thank you for the kind words. I'm not that good in writing and I have no idea how to catch my readers. I just write sincerely that let my emotions play.

Very true, we didn't know because sometimes we ignore the feelings and focused on other things.

The relationship between fathers and sons is a complex issue. sons need to distance themselves in order to grow up independent, but they need to know that their father will always be there for them. This son was able to put his father's value above social views. Well done,

Very true and I wrote because I wish I have this kind of situation when my father still lives. I just wrote to make me feel better and let other people understand how important it is.

It's very important what you say,
Sometimes we expect others to act as we would like, but no one has that power over another. All we can do is decide how we want to act in the relationship and do it (without expecting some kind of response, so we don't let ourselves down). Good luck to you!


Often, when I finish reading your stories I reflect for a few moments. This happened again, with this story.

When children are very young, they have an idealized view of their parents. At some point, children become aware of a more realistic perspective, of how others see their parents. It takes maturity to form a true view of a parent. That comes with experience and understanding.

In this case, the world made harsh judgments about a loving man. The child became aware of those judgments and was affected by them. But in the end, the shallow judgment was rejected and the more substantial, true worth of the father was appreciated.

A great story. Thank you.

You flattered me with compliments and I'm ashamed to credit it all. I know for myself that I'm not better in writing especially in formatting. Anyway, I still appreciate your words. Thank you again.

Family relationships are so tangled, and emotions run deep. You have captured the intensity of those emotions in this story, I really enjoyed this story and the restoration of their trust in each other.

Yes, because that's what I thought as well.

Thank you as always.

I found this a touching story about father son relationship with a resolution of hope.

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it even though the used of words were different compared to native english speaker.

Thank you, yes there isn't because some are focused on how to raise their children.