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Jul 2016
The first time I was ever made aware that something might just be wrong was after I watched the third movie that said so
I’ll let you in on a little secret
You see, Daddy never read to me
He never volunteered and I never asked because I didn’t know that I should have
He gave me books to read with my own eyes
And now, I ask why
But all I have are maybes
Maybe it was because he didn’t want me to hear happy endings from a man’s mouth
To believe that men are the givers and dictators of life’s ends
Maybe it was because he was never a fan of “the ends”, that if he was ever to tell me something at the end of the night, it would be “I love you” and not “goodbye”
Or maybe he knew me too well to know that I’d believe anything he said and those stories were not his messages, not the lessons he wanted to teach

I’ll let you in on a little secret
You see, Daddy never read to me
But every night, he would tuck me in and call me princess
So that I don’t have to wish to be like Cinderella or Belle and know that I already am one
He gave me books to read with my own eyes
And each were of a different genre
So, everyday, I would run and tell him that I wanted to be something different: a spy, a humble turtle, a Hardy Boy, a girl who could talk to animals
And each time he would laugh and say “You’ll find something new to be tomorrow, Princess”

Nineteen years later and here I am,
A poet, a dancer, an almost okay singer, an aspiring lawyer, and the future President of the Philippines (please vote for me one day)—none of which my father ever told me to be
Not decided by whether or not a prince came and said this was me

There’s a reason why story books are read before you sleep
Maybe it’s to help you dream of the next thing you can be
But also know that story books do not tell you who you are

You see, Daddy never read to me
But I never doubted if he loved me enough
Because I saw my Daddy slay the dragons himself and let me go to find myself
He would always remind me of who I will always be, but he let me decide what else there is for me
A piece made for Doxa's event called "Head Over Heels"
Abby Elbambo
Written by
Abby Elbambo  Qatar/Philippines
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