My Father Skipped My Graduation to Take His Stepson to the Zoo – I Taught Him a Good Lesson

When Michael’s father misses his graduation to take his stepson, Tommy, to the zoo, Michael wants to teach him a lesson. After years of being sidelined, Michael finally retaliates. He plans a graduation dinner with the intention to expose his father, but then, things take a turn…

As I watched my classmates hug their families on graduation day, the absence of my father, Henry, cast a long shadow on what should have been one of the happiest days of my life.

Ever since my parents’ divorce when I was ten, Dad had built a new life with Sandra and her young son, Tommy.

It was good—I wanted my father to be happy. He deserved it. Because as much as he and Mom tried, they just weren’t compatible anymore. I needed them to be apart so that they could co-exist for me.

But then, when Dad and Sandra got together, he entered a new chapter—one that seemed to include everyone but me.

Initially, things weren’t so bad, but as my father grew closer to Tommy, he began to play a bigger role in his life. He consistently missed the milestones that marked my childhood journey—my science fair victories, my soccer finals, even several birthdays.


Each absence was attributed to something involving Tommy—a school play, a baseball game, or just a day out—leaving me to celebrate or commiserate without him.

I met with my father a week before the graduation—we were having lunch at a diner, something that he still tried to keep going, even when his life got busy.

“I’ll be at your graduation, Michael,” my father said. “I’ll wear a suit and tie and be there, in the front row with your mom. This is a big moment in your life and I love you. Of course, I’ll be there.”

“Are you sure, Dad?” I asked him, and although I had tried to be reserved, the truth was that I was excited to have him there. I slurped my milkshake.

“Yes, Mike,” he said. “I’ll be there!”

So, when he dropped me off after lunch, I dared to hope that this might signal a change in our relationship. I sat in my room hoping for the best.

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