I Hate You, Dad

By: Light-Eco-Sage

Rated: Teen for anti-Father, anti-Hakoda. No pairing.

Summary: Katara releases her feelings about her father. Very short one-shot.

Disclaimer: "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is owned by Bryke, not me.

LES: This story, more than any other story I've ever written, is a pure expression of my own feelings. I don't mean to bash Hakoda. Like I've said, the only A: TLA character that I hate is Hahn. It's just that I'm feeling very… angry at my own father, and I use writing as a constructive outlet to get these negative feelings out. Katara, and her feelings for her father, is a perfect outlet. This story is very personal to me (which is why it's written in the First Person), and I honestly don't care if everyone hates it, because I'm not writing this for my fans. I'm writing it for myself.

I hate my father.

I know what you're thinking. How could someone possibly hate their father? A man who helped give you life… raised you… and cared for you to the best of his abilities.

Well… how would you feel in the man who gave you life also took it away?

I didn't notice at first. When you are a little girl, how could you imagine your father as anything but right and just and strong? But, even back then, when my mother was alive, it had begun.

It was just a small thing. My brother and I didn't notice. My mom was good at hiding her worry and fear for her warrior husband. Every hunting trip, every raid by the Fire Nation was just another chance for her husband to never come back to her.

I guess what Mom didn't know was that she would be the one not coming back.

My mother died in a Fire Nation raid, leaving my father to take care of Sokka and myself. I guess he did try, but in our culture, the women look after the children, and the men provide for their families. Sokka and I were still children, and Dad had no idea how to handle us. So he left us to our own devices most days.

I suppose I should thank him for my independence. I had to learn how to take care of myself and my brother. But I was only eight years old. I didn't need independence. I needed my dad to take care of me.

And then, the worst thing yet happened. Four years later, my Dad packed up one day without any warning, and left to fight the Fire Nation in the Earth Kingdom.

He had some noble reason: protecting the tribe. Protecting his family. Stupid, noble reasons.

When you get right down to it, he abandoned us.

I was only twelve years old. An adult living in a child's body. He left me to become the matriarch of our tribe.

It was worse for Sokka.

Boys always strive to impress their fathers. It was encoded into them as deeply as breathing. Sokka was thirteen then, and training very hard to become a good warrior. He worked himself into exhaustion nearly every day… all to please his father. To make his father look at him with pride.

Sokka had begged and cried to leave with Dad, to go fight the Fire Nation in the Earth Kingdom too. But he refused to listen to Sokka. Dad left, leaving behind a broken-hearted teenager who thought his father was ashamed of him.

Sokka will never tell you, but some part of him died that day. He became obsessed with warrior training. Perhaps he's still trying to get his father to notice him.

Perhaps, in a way, I am too.

When I was young, it seemed that the only time my father paid me attention was when I was Waterbending, even if I was flooding the house, collapsing Sokka's watchtower, or causing some form of mayhem.

I'm a Master Waterbender now. I thought I did it for me, but perhaps I did it for him after all. Maybe he'll notice a Master Waterbender powerful enough to fight even the Avatar himself into submission.

But he doesn't notice me. He has never noticed me, and he never will notice me. It's as inevitable as the sun rising and setting.

It has become abundantly clear. My father doesn't care. My father is a disappointment. I sometimes wish I were like Aang, I wish I never knew my father and could have a suitable father figure.

I'm sorry my mother married a man who made her cry at night.

I'm sorry that my brother works with every waking moment to please a man who doesn't seem to care.

And, mostly, I'm sorry that I feel this way at all.

I hate my father.

So why do I still care?

LES: This is probably the most personal story I've ever written in my life. Once again, all apologies to Hakoda's character. This is not so much about him as it is about my own father.