I’d never believed that one could turn a blind eye to a particular religion until I met my boyfriend Adam Haddad. Adam and I had met online—had texted him first, and he had replied. From there we began chatting, and later on, agreed to meet. It was love at first sight, though I hadn’t gotten to know him so well. The little I knew, he lived in Chicago, at his Grandpa’s, where his Mom lived, too. His Dad had died late June, may his soul rest on. Adam was the complete opposite of me—a Jewish. In 12th grade, I’d felt nervous when he asked me out. I was scared Mom and Dad wouldn’t approve of him, making me think how they’d react if they got to know their daughter was dating a Jew.
My sister Rachael got to know when he stopped over at our house one day and introduced himself in full. “Haddad?” I could see the look in her eyes as she pronounced. “Kelly, is that not…?”
“Shush!” I covered her mouth before she could talk.
“Does Mom know?” she struggled to remove her hand.
“Please don’t tell her,” I begged, pulling her away from where Adam stood.
“Oh, you’re so in trouble…”
“I love Adam, Rach. Please don’t ruin my happily ever after tale?”
“Happily ever after? Kel, can you listen to yourself?” She raised her voice.
“Just please don’t tell Mom and Dad. I’ll tell them myself,” I promised though unsure.
Mom and Dad came in and I introduced Adam as my friend. Adam kept giving me signs—one I understood as “why won’t you tell them…?”
Mom and Dad were pleased to see him. “Welcome, son,” they said. “How are your parents?”
Adam replied. “My Mom’s good. Dad’s late.”
Mom pouted. “Oh, I’m sorry,”
Adam nodded with lips tightened. We excused ourselves and went outside where the mild sun shone. “Why didn’t you tell them?” Adam was the first to talk. “Why didn’t you tell them that we’re a couple? Are you shy of me?” he asked with a worried expression and I shook my head.
“No,” I said. “I just didn’t want them knowing yet.”
“Just trust me,” I clasped his hand and looked at him.
Adam and I bid each other goodbye after the regular hugs and kisses. I went inside and found Mom and Dad already seated on the sofa. “Rachael already told us.”
My sister ratted me out, I thought, giving an angry look.
“Kelly, what did we tell you about getting a boyfriend?”
I looked at Rachael, who immediately went upstairs.
I answered to Mom. To both my parents and they couldn’t stop talking about letting me invite Adam over for dinner. “Dad, I don’t think it’s necessary,” I folded my arms.
“Oh, dear, it’s necessary. We just want to know who our baby’s dating… well.” Mom added.
I was so going to give Rachael a piece of me if I was done answering to them, this went on in my mind. I climbed up the stairs the moment they were done, vexed and ready to unleash my anger. “Why did you tell Mom and Dad Adam and I are a couple?” I didn’t wait for the door to relax from the stress I’d caused.
“They needed to know, Kelly. You can’t keep things from them…”
“Great!” I scoffed. “I have a snitch for a sister,” I couldn’t believe it. Thinking Rachael was on my side—my own sister—ended up being the complete opposite of what I thought. I’d wanted Mom and Dad to know when the right time came. Now they did, they wanted to officially meet Adam—along with his Mom.
“Why so dramatic? It’s not like hell’s gonna break loose—”
The word ‘Hell’ rang in my mind. Hell—I gulped as I remembered Adam’s religious status. “Rachael, my boyfriend is Jewish for God’s sake!”
“Yeah, that’s true,” she acknowledged. “Damn. What’d I do?” she raised her hand to her face. “Think we can convince Mom and Dad to not let him come?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe you should try solve the problem you brought about.” I gritted and left the room in anger.
Adam came the next day, having been unable to convince our parents to not let him come over for dinner. His Mom came along. “Pleasure meeting you…”
“Simpson. Rayla Simpson.” Mom introduced.
“And Melvin. Melvin Simpson.” Dad appeared from our medium-sized, finely decorated living room.
“My, what a lovely house,” Adam’s Mom complimented. “Oh, I’m Kelly…”
“No way!” I gasped. Adam never told me.
Mom and Dad’s ears stood at alert. “Ha…”
I knew where they were going.
I swallowed hard.
I knew the camel’s back had broken with the way they pronounced. “Haddad—” Mom’s lips kept moving.
“Hm. Nice name.” Dad said to my surprise.
“Well, come on in.” Mom ushered and they both came in.
Dad kept stealing glances at Adam all through the dinner. He’d make some funny sounds when Adam’s hand came on mine or when he turned to talk to me.
“The food is nice, really,”
Dad made another sound. We were done eating and after the chitter chatter, saw them off. “You’re never to see that boy again, Kelly,” Dad said at the slam of the door. “You’ll do as I say or have yourself facing the consequences for the rest of the week!”
“I understand, dad,” My whole body shook. Hurt and heaviness pierced my heart like an arrow shot. I had no choice but to break up with Adam. “We can’t be together, A. I’m sorry.” Tears welled up in my eyes as I managed to say.
I was devastated for the time being but had to move on knowing Adam and I were never meant to be.
~Inspired by a true life story