“So,” my mom began, clearing her throat and looking ahead at the road in front of her, “your nino and Flor broke up.” In that immediate moment, I instantly thought of three things. 1) My past relationship 2), my mom and dad’s relationship when I was younger, and 3) my little cousin, Alex, who is my nino and his now ex-girlfriend’s five-year-old son. They were together since my family and I moved to Montclair, which was five to six years ago. They were dating for a year or so and they told us that Flor was pregnant. Now that I think about, they didn’t really tell us. They were both looking at each other nervously and there were beads of sweat on their foreheads. So that’s when I asked “You’re going to have a baby?” and they nodded, so technically I was the one that told my parents. Five to six years later, now they are separating. I kept thinking to myself, “Why didn’t they just work things out,” “They’re adults and they have a son together. How are they going to tell their son what’s going on,” and “Relationships are fixable,” but then I remembered that I wasn’t to able to work things out with my partner in my last relationship.

 Sophomore year was coming to its end until around the second to last week of school, I just so happened to post an aesthetically pleasing picture, hinting that it was meant for someone, which was my soon-to-be-boyfriend, but he had no idea that I liked him in that way. After I posted the picture, a notification popped up on my phone. It was from Facebook. Someone commented on the photo. A few taps and swipes, I was in the comment section of the picture I posted and sure enough, it was him. He commented, “Who are you talking to?” I was squealing so uncontrollably that I couldn’t even remember what I replied back to him, but all I knew was that he and I ended up being my boyfriend after talking for hours on Messenger. Although he and I would hang out at school, we didn’t tell either of my parents about the other. I thought it would be best since summer vacation was coming and in my head, I believed that our relationship would end as soon as summer started. We wouldn’t see each other like we would in school anyway. I was completely wrong about that.

 Three weeks in and I still haven’t told my parents about him, but I knew it was about time that I had to. So he and I agreed to tell our parents. It went really well with my mom, but when I broke it out to my dad, I knew that I might be looking at him through bulletproof glass, wondering when he got the tattoo of a tear under his eye, but eventually my mom helped me explain what happened, but he wasn’t so pleased with that. Finally, he and I were going on as many dates as we could before summer ended. Things were going out really well, but then on the Friday of the first week back to school, he decided to play the “We need to talk” card and he broke up with me. And mind you, this was all over text, even though he said that he wanted to talk to me in person. He made a very good excuse, but I didn’t buy it after some loud-mouth friend of ours told me that he broke up with me to ask one of our other friends to go out with him, which he got rejected from. Karma is really something, but that still didn’t hide the fact that I was insanely heart broken.

 At this point in time, my parents decided that they were going to sell the house. My dad didn’t really take note of my expression when I came home from school that day. I trudged upstairs to my room and didn’t leave until my dad came up hours later, telling me to put my dog, Tokyo, in her crate because some family was going to come see the house. I walked outside, put her in her crate and stayed outside with her while the family was looking around the house. They came outside to see the backyard and my dad caught one look at me, looking into my red, puffy eyes. The family left as I took Tokyo back out. I sat on one of the patio wicker chairs we had and held Tokyo close to me, petting her so I could calm down. When I heard the front door close and footsteps behind me, I knew my dad was going to talk to me. He sat down in front of me in the wicker chairs and asked, “What’s wrong?”

 “Everything.” I blurted in between sobs. I explained to him what I found out earlier that day. He chuckled and looked at me.

 “He’s a dumbass and you know that, Charizma. Look at it this way. This was the 0.001% thing that happened in your life. You have the 99.999% of it to go. You girls are tough as nails. You guys do crazy things to yourselves that scare the absolute crap out of some guys. You come out like nothing fazed you. So then why are you letting this stupid thing faze you now?” My dad and I have never really had this type of conversation, let alone one being about relationships. I always assumed that these types of conversations were meant to be between my mom and me, but I knew that my mom would have told me something that wouldn’t have made me feel any better about the situation at hand, but my dad did because he proved a point.

 I know that I wasn’t able to resolve my relationship with him, but I believed that it could have been for the best than the worst. Without these life events, I never would have had a better relationship with my dad. I wouldn’t have also ever learned what I wanted. I knew that I wanted commitment, not just a relationship that is tied together by loose knots. This also taught me not to lie, because I would lose all respect from the people I have lied to in the past. And I also wouldn’t have been able to appreciate what I have. I have been blessed by two weird, yet loving parents who have always thought of me and my happiness. They showed me what others might not get to go home to. They have taught me not to quit when I have barely started on something. I have grown from this by always telling myself that when I have children, they are never going to have to say that they only get to see their dad on the weekends. And the conversation that I had with my dad proved to me that life is not short. I am in charge of the way I want my life to be. I have such a long way to go and it may never end. Who knows? All of these lessons made me find myself as a human being.