I hope this finds you alive. For a long time, I have always known you were knocked down by a lorry. That is the response mum always gives us when we ask her about you, our dad. It is only recently I learnt that that is the common phrase used to refer to dead beat dad’s. I have been laughing alone at this creativity from our mums. It is like they gave up, stopped caring anymore but didn’t want to hurt us with the truth that you abandoned us for bad (it can’t be for good.)
Please come back home. We have no idea why you left but we want you back. This could probably be a nice opportunity for you to explain to us. Who knows, we may understand and allow you to go back to your hiding place again. Did we as your children disgust you that much? But we were so young, we don’t even have a picture of you in our minds. Our brains hadn’t developed that much, leave alone uttering a word. Why were you that impatient? Or is it mum? We don’t know because, she doesn’t want to talk about it. All she says is, “Baba yenu aligongwa na Lorry”.
We are not complete without you, a father figure. My little sister and I are lonely. Mum tries her best to play both roles of mum and dad but we can always see and feel her. It is not a walk in the park. Maybe it is a walk in the dark. A tough one. One time you hit your leg on a stone, one time you are scared, one time you are standing still trying to figure out the right path to your destination. It is tough but you have to keep going. We understand her.
How do you think we feel when other kids in school and in the estate brag how their dads treat them well? How they spend weekends shopping, going to parks and coming back with painted faces? We feel out of place dude. You don’t wanna imagine the awkward silence we maintain as our mates catch up every Monday morning after eventful and adventurous weekends with their parents. We don’t have an iota of that experience.
What do we answer when our Sunday school teacher asks us who is good between mum and dad? We have always said mum because we have never experienced you. We have to be honest. Last week I scored 36 out of 40 in a composition we were asked to write about our fathers. I think I should have written about God (Our Father who is in Heaven). But somehow, I miraculously tried to be as creative and imaginative as I could. My composition was the best and it was read out to the rest of the class. They clapped and marveled. But deep down I knew I was lying. It was fiction. Make it real nigga.
I always admire other families. I admire the beautiful sight of a father and mother holding the hands of their children as they walk to church or take leisure walks. Sometimes I feel like joining them. But I can’t. How now? That would be rude. Nobody intrudes other people’s spaces like that. Then, even if I did, where would I leave my sister and mum? Think about it.
Manchester United Fan
I envy other kids when their dads escort them to pick prizes during prize giving day in school. You can’t imagine how those dads proudly walk and smile as they hold their children’s hands. Last term I came top of my class and when my name was called, I was all alone. Mum couldn’t make it to school because of the bad fever she had. You now see why God created two parents? Same reason football teams have substitute players Bwana. By the way I am a Manchester United fan. Lately it has been very disappointing, just like you.
Mum sometimes wishes I grow up fast and act dad to my sister. I always assure her I will. You see the trouble you are putting me through? How am I supposed to when I don’t know and have never known how to be one. People learn from others. From those close to them. You are not close. Who should I learn from? Am in class six and the burden of being the man of the house is not an easy one. On Saturday I crushed my fingers trying to drive a nail as I was repairing my sister’s toy.
We need protection. Someone to shield us from physical, emotional, real and imagined danger. Two weeks ago, my sister fell ill at night and we underwent pain getting her to hospital. Mum carried her on her back and I accompanied her in the cold darkness. I was scared. I don’t know if mum was but I know she is a genius in concealing her feelings. All I could see was strength and boldness from her. A strong woman she is.
The strong and healthy individual is one who asks for help when he needs it; whether he has an abscess on his knee or in his soul, so said someone. We need you. That is why I have asked you to come back. I don’t know if you need us, but how I wish you did. You are only able to discern that when you come back to us and experience us. Like the Lord says, ” Come taste my goodness”. Try us, at least one more time. I don’t know if you ever tried us.
We are waiting for you as Christians wait for the second coming;
Like the guards wait for the morning;
As a bride waits for her groom;
Because I know, someday, you will come.
Make it sooner!
Yours loving son.(my sister can’t write yet. So I did this for her as well).
The writer is a CPR graduate of Moi University