My Dad Stole All The Money I Earned During The Summer
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Hi. I’m Tessa and I’m in a total panic. I’ve never been in such a complicated situation in my life! I have literally no idea how to process this. I need somebody to help me out, but first I guess you’ll have to hear the whole story.
Three months ago I realized that I badly needed a laptop. I live with my parents (I’m an only child) and we have an old desktop computer. It’s like… ancient. It takes me hours to do simple homework, and that’s just one of the problems. So I really needed my own computer. And I was determined to get it.
I chose a relatively inexpensive model, and I didn’t have any other expectations from the very start. I knew my family was going through hard times, my father was currently between jobs, and what my mom made was enough to just buy food and the necessities. My only option was getting a summer job and buying it myself.
It turned out that it’s not that easy for a fifteen-year-old to find a job in my hometown. From the very beginning I had a backup option. I have a friend named Laura. Her Mom works as a cleaning lady. She is self-employed: people hire her for a day or two and then come back to find that their place looks better than when it was brand new. During the summer she works together with Laura. And they told me I was welcome to join them.
Until the beginning of June, I didn’t give them my answer because I was hoping to find something easier and… cleaner. And after I was unsuccessful… I finally said yes.
And then the summer that every high school girl dreams of started. There were four of us working: Laura, her mom, her mom’s assistant, and me. We walked into a house or an office in the morning and when we left late in the evening, everything was shining. I guess this was not the best choice for my first job ever: first of all, it was exhausting. All I could do afterward was go home and fall asleep, sometimes even before I reached the bed. But I was determined to achieve my goal. And after all, I learned A LOT. If someone at school asks me where I spent my summer, I might say that I spent it outside of my comfort zone.
Laura’s mom would pay everyone at the end of the month, so the plan was to get the money (which was about half of the amount I needed) and estimate how much I had to work the next month to get what I wanted. And when I got the cash, which was even a little more than I expected, I was so happy and proud of myself. It turns out that it feels so good when your hard work pays off.
So it was the end of June, and by that time my dad still had not found a job. He had spent these weeks at home, sometimes drinking, sometimes just watching TV and browsing through vacancies online, saying there were no decent jobs in our whole town. My mom was not happy with this, of course, so they would fight every other day. And that’s what was happening the day I got my first paycheck.
I got home, so eager to share this feeling with someone. I saw my parents in the living room and, not even thinking about what was going on, I told them about the money I had earned. My dad was a little drunk and furious about their fight, which was obviously about him not making any money, so he argued with me in a pretty aggressive way, saying that for all these years they fed me and payed for me, and that it was probably time to get some of it back. I could not believe that he was saying that, neither could my mom, but… he was always able to be so convincing. He started talking to my mom about the things our family could buy with this money that we could not afford over the last few months, and he was not aggressive with me anymore, he just asked me to “help out the family” with tears in his eyes, and of course… I could not say no.
Did I regret it? Yes, every single day of July. In June I only volunteered to work on the big gigs, but now I had to earn almost twice as much. So I started to work with Laura and her mom every time they went on a shift. And it was twice as exhausting. At night I would cry because I felt like I was betrayed. Dad tried to be nice to me, but he never said he was sorry.
Just like everything else in life, that July was over too. My hard earned money still brought me satisfaction, but this time I tried to contain my emotions and… I did not tell my parents, well, just in case.
The amount was just enough to buy the laptop I wanted, and I would even have some left over! I put the money into a drawer in my room and was finally ready to go buy my laptop the following day. Lying in bed, I was imagining how awesome my last month of summer would be.
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