Father’s Love

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He loved me so much that he could offer is life for me. He was an avuncular, quietly spoken man. Because he is my father and I’m his teen daughter, you would conclude that he was simply discharging his duty as a loving father. Yes! You are correct.

The parent-child relationship I had witness in my neighborhood sends wrong messages to me; message of fear, war, horror, brutal, hatred, secrecy, malice, bitterness, rivalry, terror, tyranny and slavery. Because I was hatched and groomed in this sickly stricken type of neighborhood, I grew to embrace such practices; I grew to see my father as a threat, I saw him as an enemy, I saw him as a joy killer, I saw him as stumbling block. The reason why we still see face to face is because I’m yet to become financially independent. The only time he gets to have my attention is when I need anything important from him. Once I get it, I mask my face back to its usual state.

One evening when he came back from work, I barely greeted him and went back to the book that was in my hand. I could have taken his bag from him, prepare for his shower, serve his dinner, and all sort of such dictates of decorum, but I cared less.

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‘My daughter, what is going on between us,’ he asked and sat beside me.

I gave him a stern look momentarily and fixed back my attention to the book in my hands, but this time tilted away from his side.

‘Your sudden change of behavior baffles me. If there is anything I have done wrong please kindly tell me and stop punishing me unnecessarily.’ He launched into a furious tirade of how he was unfairly treated. As I could no longer condone his sermon, I belted him on the face with the book in my hand and shuffled into the room, flung myself on the bed and covered myself with the thick blanket he bought for me yesterday. I heard him murmured something. His sonorous voice rented the air and filtered into my room and drummed in my ears. He was praying this time, because I could hear him prayed for divine restoration over me, I could her him asked God for divine healing of broken wounds in me, I could her him asked God to put in me the spirit of repentance.

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Eventually, I and father were walking on a lonely path. It was a narrow path that had tall trees lined up along both sides. The cold wind was howling and pushing the greenish leaves and they fluttered. The leaves that littered on the pathway were gray and dried, making screeching noises as we squelched them underfoot. At one side of the path was a great river. I devilish idea sprang its ugly face within me. I made father walked in front while I trailed behind. When he had gone farther away and still didn’t notice I was not following him, I threw I big stone into the deepest part of the water with a sharp squeak that followed from the back of one of the trees where I had hidden. He turned, when he could not find me, he looked over the water and saw the ripples and remembered the noise. He dove into the water believing I had jumped into the water.
I watched him drown as he struggle to swim. Father is devoid of any swimming skills and so I watched him flailed his hands in the air, seeking for any straw to catch unto, groping aimlessly in the air. He told me not to come closer and still professing his usual love for me.


‘Here is my loving father, drowning because I had tricked him and still professing his usual love for me,’ I thought.

I could see it clearly now, I could see it in his face, his love for me was real and true. I was altruistically moved. I searched for a straw, and found it but by the time I could throw it out at him, he has made his way down into the water. Down he goes into the depth of the water. I cried and wailed because the only person that truly loved me is gone.

‘Ifeoma! It’s getting late. Wake up and prepare for school,’ he said as he tapped me.

‘So it was all in a dream?’

‘You had a dream?’ he asked me.

I sat up and embraced him warmly, cried and asked for his forgiveness.
Could this be the divine restoration?
We lived happily thereafter.???


Aninze Chukwuebuka Harrison ©

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