The letter didn’t go over well. The campus slut never called. He never reciprocated or expressed any love for me, or my pepa. I was devastated. Saying, ‘I love you’, even in writing, was the hardest thing I had done in all my life. At 18, and with serious abandonment issues (thanks Papi), I had grown into a tough girl who never expressed vulnerability. I was uncomfortable with the L word, even when friends told me how much they cared. I didn’t know how else to be because I was never shown anything else. Growing up, I never heard ‘I love you’ from anyone but Papi. However, his words didn’t mean much. My father would always disappear and then come back, only to disappear again. Maybe he said it because he was never there.