24 years later and I am all grown up, through murky waters and bitter nightmares I have emerged, with the love of an uncle and aunt who took me as their own, watching over me and never giving, for 24 years they gently chipped away the anger and hate, their love, patience and prayers was just what the doctor ordered.
A family to call my own is what I now possess, a loving wife and wonderful kids is my silver lining, the fear of not being able to measure up was always there, I never wanted to hear after all he is his father’s son, but thankfully that sentence has never been uttered.
Father came back after 24years, now happily married or so I wanted to believe, with new kids of his own. The man decided to make amends, reached out and said let us forget the past, and suddenly the dark cloud came back, apparently it never left, it just hid or migrated somewhere biding its time, the angry lines on my fore head reappeared, the rage and the anger began to bubble to the surface.
I had so many bitter words for him, in my head I had replayed how much I was going to hurt him with my words, I had resolved to hate his new family, because I tried to convince myself it was their fault what had happened to us, but wisdom they say plays a very important role, in the decisions we make.
I sought counsel with my uncle, I don’t think there in anything he would ask me to do that I would refuse, I expected him to be angry, to tell me “tear him apart, he deserves nothing from you”, but to my surprise he got all preachy, throwing words like forgiveness at me, and as if that was not enough, the dreaded words came out, “after all you are your father’s son”, without warning I flew into a rage, for the first time since I was 16, I raised my voice and said so much, but my uncle just stared at me and waited for it to end, that angered me the more, in my mind I thought how could he ask me to do the impossible, surely he must not be himself or I was in a trance, I even dared to believe there was something diabolical amiss, but that was me just talking crazy.
While I was in a rage my aunt walked in, I stopped for a moment and stared at her, she walked straight up to me and stood for a second, in my mind I thought she would yell at me or probably hit me, but to my surprise she hugged me, whispered “just let it go, we loved her too”, kissed me on the forehead and pulled back, I immediately fell to my knees and apologized to my uncle, he came up to me and placed his hand on my head and said a prayer, he smiled down at me and told me he would never be angry at me, “you will always be my son, but now you have to be a man, you have been on the run from this for far too long, now it’s time to end it”.
I stood up and left without another word, I went home and remained quiet for the rest of that day, and gradually the depression began to set in, accompanied by anger and spite, my fuse was short and I was quick to anger, trivial things like my kids laughing made me go over the edge, why should anyone smile when I was hurting, to me it felt like the ultimate betrayal. This went on for days on end, until one morning I walked in on my wife praying, “God give him the strength to overcome, we want him back just like he was before”, the prayer moved me and I knelt beside her, I wept as she cradled me and told me I needed to let go.
This time I decided I was going to listen, everybody could not be saying the same thing and wrong at the same time, so I decided to go and visit father, it was time to get this over with once and for all.
I got to this home on a Sunday afternoon, I met with his wife and his daughters, to say the whole experience was surreal would be an understatement, because it was like being born, only this time it was backwards, we had lunch and made idle conversation, he asked for pictures of my family and I showed him, and after lunch we had a private conversion.
He attempted to apologize and explain his own side of what happened, I stopped him right there and reminded him I was there, look I came here just so we could move on, there is no love lost between us and I am sure we can agree on that, lets agree the past is behind us, but honestly I won’t be your friend and this will not be a story of overcoming adversity , my children will not know you, maybe in time they will, there won’t be family picnics or holding hands, or daily phone calls, I am only here for those that I love, and you are not included in that list.
He stared at me speechless and slowly nodded, thank you for accepting to see me was all he could say, I shook his hand and left him alone, told his family I had to leave and I walked out. On my drive back home I felt some relief; finally this was over, no more grief.
We didn’t speak much after that, maybe a call or two, the last time we spoke though, he had a flu, told him to get himself checked and he assured me he would, a few days ago I got a call from his daughter saying her father had passed, he had suffered a stroke and didn’t survive it.
I felt nothing when she told me, how was I to feel, I barely knew this man, so don’t judge me. I called his wife to tell her I was sorry for her loss, told his children to be strong, I didn’t give any speeches, just headed to the morgue to see for myself.
I saw him lay there, lifeless and still, finally it was over, he was gone forever, now he had to opportunity to face mother, and tell his own side of the story and seek forgiveness from her.
I will try my best to do my duty, as a son and as a man, honor the dead and respect society and tradition, but that it as far as I go, I have my own family now and that’s all that matters.
“The smell of cupcakes will always be a sweet reminder for me, but if i had my way, a staircase is something i would never want to see”
Read The Beginning HERE
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)