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Hey guys! I’m Stanley. And this is my dad. He has been a little bit sad since recently, ‘cause he is no longer allowed to challenge me. This might sound a little strange to you, but once, I almost lost my dad and got i scared to death. Here’s the story. When I was born my dad was already 50 years old. I was kind of a long-hoped-for baby for him. That’s probably why he has always been kind of overenthusiastic about things connected with me. For example, when I was a kid, my dad spent much more time with me than my mom did. He was the one who taught me to walk, to read, to ride a bike, and everything else. And I was happy to have my dad nearby. But as I grew older, his attention had become really irritating. When my friends would come over to play video games, for instance, my dad would join us. Or when we all got together to get ready to take part in a skateboarding contest, dad bought a skateboard for himself and insisted that I teach him how to ride it. At first, my friends said they felt awkward about my dad always hanging out with us. But when started wearing the exact same clothes that I did, everybody at school began mocking me, calling me the son of a weirdo. Of course, I felt embarrassed. Once, I’d tried explain to my dad that I don't want him to behave like that, but I probably chose bad time to do this. It was late in the evening and I was already late to go meet my friends, so I was really in a hurry when I came across my dad with a basketball in the back yard of our house. I wanted to borrow his car so that I could get to my friends faster, but he’d said I could only borrow it if I won, you know, the short game. I really needed his car, so I had to agree. And because I was in a hurry, I was down two points to him in the first minute. Dad said he was sorry, but since I hadn’t won I couldn’t take the car. Honestly, I didn’t want to yell at him. But this stuff with his overwhelming need to be my pal and his untimely stupid jokes had finally just driven me nuts. I can’t actually remember exactly what came out of my mouth, but I’d definitely said a lot of offensive things to him and then I just left to go see my friends. I was really angry and somehow managed to avoid talking with my dad for the next couple of days. From time to time I thought that I should probably apologize, but at the same time I felt like I was right. Whatever happens happens for the best, right? But one night mom knocked on my door and said we needed to talk. After that talk I felt like I was the worst person ever, because my mom had actually explained to me why my dad was being so annoying. She told me he had cancer and he knew he was going to die very soon, like in less than a year probably, so he really wanted to spend as much time with me as he could. He didn’t want me to know about his health condition because he didn’t want me to miss my teenage life by being with just him, because of his illness. Mom told me that they had been aware of dad’s diagnosis for a couple of months and he had already been under the treatment for it several times. But the prospects unfortunately were still disappointing. That’s why dad so badly wanted me to remember him as an active and cool old guy. That was the worst news I’d ever gotten. Of course, I promised mom that I would keep the fact that I knew everything a secret and be more kind to dad, but, you know it was kind of unnecessary. I would be nice to him even if she hadn’t asked me. I had the whole night to think over that situation and the next day my apology to my dad was literally the first thing I did. Since then I have become more patient with his quirks, but it had gotten really hard to do because now, I’d met a girl. Her name was Jess. We had met at a coffee shop and when I saw her I thought that she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. It took me four days to find the courage to talk to her and I felt like I was the happiest guy in the city when she’d actually agreed to go out with me. But, you know, I screwed up our first date, and the second one too, and I’d completely missed the third one. I don’t want to blame my dad for everything, but he had actually played a part in this. You see, he needed something from me right at the same time that I was going on these dates. And, taking his condition into consideration, I just couldn’t refuse to spend time with him. So, because I consistently let her down, Jess had gotten tired of me being late all the time and she dumped me. I was devastated. I was mad at the situation as it was and mad at myself for being so incapable of managing my relationships with people.
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