Sunday, 25 November 2012
What do I have to lose? If I have done this, much and I’ve agreed I cannot go further, who is anyone to judge? Fathers they say are close to their daughters... why must mine be different?
Whoever saw Walter as his friends called him will see an impeccable man. Clean cut, always prim and proper. With well-manicured nails, cars to his name along with a beautiful wife and two children. However, I, can speak from experience, he has a dark heart. Each night I think of the letters my mum left behind for me, I shed tears because she never told me. I also did not ask. Whenever the subject of a father came to the fore, tears welled up in her eyes.
My past is blurry yet remains significant. I know I have fought tooth and nail wit mum to stay alive. The coffee smelling room in the boarding house we shared with over twenty other women remains fresh in my mind.
Each morning, we clambered upstairs to a breakfast of bean cake and pap. Needless to say, we were almost begging.
Among my mother’s cherished belongings was a photo of my father. Yes the prim and proper Walter.
She did not have to tell me. It was all there. In those days pictures did not lie. The same eyes, my very own lips. I could have been looking at the male version of me. Damn him! Why did he have to go away?
Tears drop from my eyes in remembrance of the pain he put us through. Going through my mum’s box of treasures now mine, the only tangible thing she left behind, I pick up the letters one by one.
There they were, in her little writing;
Daniella, my very own Dani,
I wish I could have stayed to watch you grow up and finally get married. To listen and watch the pitter-patter of my grandchildren playing across the room. Dani dearest, I have always looked forward to the day you will become a woman of your own. I must confess to you, my happiest moment was the moment you were given to me for the first time. Your little fingers grabbing mine and dancing fireflies of love reflecting in your eyes. I know you have a thousand questions and I know the very first one. You deserve to know before I die.
The man in the picture, which I am sure you will have access to when I am gone, is your father.
His name is Walter....... Walter Essien.......
- Egume (Melting Heart)