Mon. Feb 19th, 2024

November 21st, 2019. 10:10PM 28

 

“The person who hurt you will get married, have a family and be successful whilst you wait for karma. Move on. Heal. For you.”

 

Looking at Mulife and his family, I realized one thing. Each family has a black sheep but no one wants to be entirely alone, my father hurt me. He sent my mother to her early grave, gave me a disease that I will have to live with for the rest of my life and mentally and emotionally destroyed me for most of my childhood but I don’t want to die with an unforgiving heart so I am going to forgive him. Not for him but for me.

 

I sigh deeply as I park in front of his house, I have had this address for years but never used it, well because I didn’t have a reason to.

 

After leaving Mulife’s place I tell myself I am not going to go home, I am not going to shed another tear for things that I don’t have control over. I am done trying to make him treat me like I deserve. I am not going to ask him to treat me right, he is a man and the last thing I will do is teach him how to be a good one. I

 

am done being bob the builder. I am done being the rehabilitation center for a broken man when I have my own brokenness to fix, I will leave him to heal and to repair but I won’t stop living my life as he does that neither will I stop my heart from loving if the chance comes by.

 

‘Can I help you madam?’ the guard asks

 

I tell him I am here to see the former minister and he is asking all these funny questions of whether I have an appointment and honestly I am drained that I don’t have much to say to him.

 

‘Ma’am this is protocol.’ He insists

 

‘Please call him and tell him that Antoinette is here to see him.’ I say

 

He gets his phone and makes a phone call; I see him nod his head a few times before he finally opens the gate and tells me where to park.

 

I don’t know how to feel, I haven’t seen my father in a very long time and honestly, I am not sure if I am ready to face him but here I am and there is no going back.

 

I stay in the car a few extra minutes before I get out, the house is different from the way I have always imagined it to be. The surrounding is set up in a welcoming way, from where I am, I can see the pool in the backyard and there is a nicely done lawn everywhere with grass and only the parking lot has concrete.

 

‘Hey.’ A jovial lady says

 

I recognize her, she is my father’s new wife. She is a little older than me, I always imagined we were the same age.

 

She is dressed in a yellow dress with gold slippers, her hair is nicely done and she has this beautiful smile that is so welcoming.

 

‘Good morning ma’am.’ I say

 

‘Oh silly you Thelma, call me Connie.’ She says pulling me into an embrace

 

‘You have no idea how long me and your father have waited and prayed for this day to happen.’ She says still holding me

 

‘I am sorry.’ She says letting me go when I clear my throat, I notice tears are rolling down hereyes

 

‘Are you okay?’ Iask

 

‘I am sorry, I am just so happy to see you.’ She says wiping her eyes ‘Thelma.’ Two boys say running towards me

They hug my legs tightly and I don’t know how to respond

 

‘Joel, Jericho let go of the poor girl.’ Connie says and I can see even though they are loosening there grip they still want to hold me

 

‘Pardon my sons.’

 

‘This is Joel.’ She says pointing at the one wearing a yellow shirt ‘And this is Jericho.’

The one in a red shirt smiles.

 

‘Nice to meet you.’ I say smiling at them

 

‘We have heard so much about you Thelma.’ They chorus and from then on, they can’t stop talking

 

‘Welcome home.’ Connie says looking at her boys who won’t stop talking

 

We walk into the house; it is one of the most beautiful places I have entered. There is a warm touch to everything in the room and one can tell that it is one happy family. But what catches my attention are photos of my mother and I as a child.

 

 

‘I asked him to put those up.’ Connie says

 

I look around and they are more photos of my mother in the house and some of me as an adult, which I didn’t even know existed. The lump on my throat is huge, my tears are almost pouring and I feel a jelly weakness in my legs until hands hold me from the back on the shoulders.

 

The same hands that once touched me with love as a child, the same hands that hit my mother every night. The same hands that touched prostitutes and brought them in the house. The same hands that carried my mother’s body a day after her death and buried her. Those filthy hands.

 

‘Thelma.’ He says his voice almost breaking

 

I turn around to look at him, this is not the man that I saw six years ago. The man standing before me looks transformed. The man standing before me looks like he has done well with changing his ways. The man standing before me looks like he is far much better than everything I remember him to be.

 

He knees before me tears falling ‘I am sorry.’ He says

I look at him angry tears falling, those are words I longed to hear all those years. Those are words my mother would have loved to hear before she died. Now what am I supposed to do with all this anger that I have had for years? What am I supposed to do with all the pain that I have battled with? How is it even possible that all along I was mad and angry at him whilst he was here transforming and being a better man to his new wife and his children? I look at him, I don’t care what will hit him, I don’t want him close to me or mine. I don’t and have never wished for the best for him and yet here he is with life’s goodness on his side. I hurt that I was still living in fear of having my own kids because of how my husband would treat them considering what kind of man I had as a father and yet he was being the best father for his boys. I hurt that my mother is lying in the cold grave because of his hands whilst he was here loving his wife.

 

Wordlessly with tears falling I walk away from them and run out of the house.

 

Winnie

 

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