Lost. Confused. Perplexed. All this is marred on my face as amazement strikes. I stare blank into the air as I pay attention to the words of my friends. They are jovial as they brag about their fathers. One says that his father is the fastest driver. He can cruise at 190 km/h while the speed-o- meter on their car can only get to 180 km/h. My second friend brags that his father could beat up every single man in the village due to his prowess in military matters. My third friend looked at the others and paused for a minute. He says that his father can sleep and drive at the same time.
It was my turn. I looked lost and confused. “What does your father do?”
Their innocence was unquestionable. They did not have a single clue about what they were doing to me. To them we all had to have fathers. But that was the problem. I was born courtesy of a man but I had no one to call father. My confidence is wearing out. Tears are peeping, waiting for a permit so that they may flow freely from my little eyes.
I cannot hold them anymore. I rise from the ground and dash straight into the house. Wet eyes, runny nose, I storm into the room. My heavy breathing mixed with my sobbing catch the attention of my mother. Quickly she comes, into her embrace I run. My head lies on her soft chest as my tiny arms try to wrap themselves around her. Her warm breath caresses my small face. Into her ear I whisper. “Where is dad? Why did he leave me?” Before I could ask another question I feel her tears fall on my shirt.
Outside my friends continue to play. Their shock to my reaction could not hold much since we were only children. Life cradled them but had sharpened her claws on me at an early age. A missing father who was not dead and a mother who wanted nothing to do with him served as my portion. When I asked her the famous question of how I came to being, she simply dismissed it by telling me I was a gift from heaven. And I believed her.
But this day was different. I knew clearly that I was not just a gift but a result of two lovers who had an encounter of which I was the manifestation.
My mother slowly whispered in my ear. “He left us and we are better off without him.” This disturbed me. What would I tell my friends my father is good at? Shall I proudly say he is a leaver? For many women, like my mother, the easy way out is to tell their children that they do not need their fathers. “I was trying to protect you!” my mother gave all these excuses but the truth will still remain. I needed my father. If my mother did not need him, then well and good. I needed him.
But life was not going to stop just because I had no father. My friends continue to play but I opt to stay in the house to avoid more stories. But deep within I knew that someday I would search for my father and find out what impossible thing he did so I could tell my friends. I had to settle that score.
Near the window I sit gazing at the horizon. I cannot go out but the voice of the horizon whispers to me “come.” Your father is here. “Just come.” And soon I will pack my bags and follow the sun over that horizon.