My story 1 here
I looked at the lifeless body of the only man that brought me much mixed feelings. So much joy and equal bitterness. He was a friend, brother, mother, father and husband all rolled into one in the real sense of it. I grew up knowing he was always there as my pillar, my rock of Gibraltar. Resolute and dependable. I don’t know how he was able to manage all through these years but he was a real man, a thoroughbred.
My mother died when giving birth to me. I believe you already know that from reading what my daughter really mentioned that in her side of the story here (http://t.co/Qp7U4cYCc4).
Looking back to how my life was shaped, and how much of my life’s decisions were taken by this man is amazing. He never missed any of my PTA meetings. No matter how inconvenient, he was always there and I was teased repeatedly as daddy’s little girl. Some others called me “Daddy’s wife”.
All through my growing days, I never for once saw him with another woman. He kept no secret from me all through. I knew the password combination to his entire safe and had access to all his checkbooks. He actually signed them and all I had to do was date and write the amount I wanted to cash.
I equally had no reason to hide anything from him. I still can’t decipher how he was able to manage my teenage tantrums and how he was able to answer all my girly question especially when I crossed puberty with no mother figure around. He guided me with the patience and understanding that was rare in this age. Most men I have seen are just always in hurry to do anything. He’ll always tell me not to be like the typical Lagosian tha he calls LaRushian – always rushing. He’ll say “Sweetheart, there’s no reason to rush for anything. Even if you want to die, don’t rush to do so because death will still find you”.
He was different and that alone kept drawing me close to him the more. He was my personal encyclopedia, my Wikipedia and my Google all rolled into one.
Then it happened that I passed my O’Levels in flying colours. I had straight A’s in all my seven subjects. I had never seen my dad so happy like that day. He held me in a warm, almost too tight embrace and I could see a giant tear drop gliding down from his left eye.
I saw a part of him I had never seen that day. He was mightily emotional and I am sure he was trying so hard to contain the whirlwind of emotion going through his mind. He promised to take me out a few days later which was going to be a double celebration: celebration of my success in the exams and my eighteenth birthday. He always said my first date would be with him, on my eighteenth birthday.
It was later that I remembered that my birthday held bitter-sweet memories for him. A day his daughter was born, a day he lost the only woman he ever loved to the icy hands of death.
That was my first date and I wanted to create an impression for my dad and to please him. I put on a purplish chiffon gown, a strapless bra and a new thong to go with the colour of my gown. I was well made-up like a bride ready for the taking by the groom. As a strict person when it came to time, Dad was ready by seven in the evening. I took a fleeting glance at the mirror on my way out to the living room and I nodded appreciatively at how well my curvaceous body looked in my outfit. I was sure going to make people drool.
I was preoccupied with pleasing myself and enjoying the dinner that I didn’t notice my dad was downing vodka in a way I had never seen him do. He always had his drinks at home, taking his red wines and spirits, and talking a lot about my mother. His drinking this particular evening was somewhat beyond normal.
He was going off tangent after a while and I knew it was time to call it quits if we would get home safely that day. He drove us home, how there was no mishap remains a miracle to me as all he did was face me and talk about mother, my late mother.
I went straight into my room after helping him into his room but not before I helped him remove all his clothes except for the boxer short and his inner wear. It was no new thing to me as I had done that countless times.
I crashed into my bed totally knackered, and within minutes, I was in another land. I woke up in the middle of the night to see dad on me. I was confused but I could not scream. We were all alone in the house as the cleaners had gone for the weekend.
I looked at him pleadingly but he was not my Daddy again. This person I saw was different, and he was all over me doing different things to my body. It was no use struggling so I surrendered to him and submitted to my fate. He was of course more powerful than anything I can imagine especially with the thing that possessed him.
After a few ‘long’ minutes, minutes I will always pray for God to erase from my life, he collapsed in a heap beside me and started snoring almost immediately. I cried myself to a fitful sleep.
He woke at four in the morning, as he always did. Something had changed however, he was not in the right bed. I was seated, with my knees up to my chest, still sobbing when he stirred. His confused look, especially when he saw me in the partially dressed state made me whimper again.
“Why am I here? What’s going on? What happened? Did I…”, he tailed off and stood up to cover himself. Seeing my virginal blood stain on the sheets, he burst into tears. It was a black Saturday, we both cried ourselves to stupor.
I did not notice my ‘visitor’ did not knock till I started feeling ill. Dad was however not his usual boisterous self around me again. He tried but could not just be himself. He took me to a different clinic where I was confirmed pregnant.
With the news of my pregnancy, he drank a lot more, and became my bed companion. We continued from where we left off few months back. That was how I had my daughter. He was getting over his initial guilt but things were not totally the same. Initially I found it hard to talk to him talk less of forgiving him, but I later discovered he had suffered enough for me to be heaping more misery on his life. Moreover the unforgiveness was weighing me down, eating the fabric of my soul. I knew I needed to make peace with him to be sane within me.
I did, and started a new life for myself. I am better off for that decision today. I do know bitter people are never better people. We later reconciled and that was when he told me that that was the first time he was meeting a woman after almost two decades of forced celibacy. I forgave him unconditionally and I picked it up from there, I live in total celibacy after that and I never regretted it.
I later built a business empire after graduating from school and I married my business and my daughter. I left grumbling, laid all blames aside and I can tell you of a truth, I will miss my dad. I am however happy my daughter made peace with him partially because he died in his sleep with a smile on his face.
Friends, you might have been hurt by the people you love the most but until you forgive, you are not living but dying. I love you all.