Nothing excites me more than my father’s voice on the other end of the line in the morning. It just rubbishes everything and whatever doubts I have about affection. It is most assuring. Making me not depend on the ‘good morning beautiful’ from seasonal people because that one guy always assures me of one thing, he has thought of me enough times already (and prayed for me).
I do not believe that men forget or do not value birthdays, they just choose to ignore. I count myself lucky because my father is one big fan of birthdays. He has never missed any of mine or my mothers. I remember all those toffee sweets and cakes and goody goody chocolates I got on my birthday without forgetting the orange quencher juice coloring everyone’s lips on Tracy Day; 9th of March.
There was one particular birthday I remember crying. Partly out of being homesick and because I was so mad that the teacher didn’t let me talk to my father. I had gone to boarding school when I was still quite young, but I was doing better than those who had lost keys and no longer had locks to their boxes and lockers but mine still hang on my neck. C’mon don’t laugh, it was the safest. Keys fall out of pockets and in to pit latrines, someone can pickpocket you *jK* but somehow if you do not hang em on your neck chances of losing them was quite high. I couldn’t take chances so I took control. Lol. Don’t feel woishe for me, it made me who I am today. I couldn’t have chosen otherwise, maybe an option of showering with warm water and better food.
Where were we again? Uh, crying on my birthday. I was turning 9. Imagine. And the teacher wouldn’t let me see my daddy. How cruel? First term in boarding school, no mid-term just visiting day and no food or snacks was allowed. Cruel again. But I didn’t die. So I remember it was around 6:15ish, we had already had supper and I was walking to the class block because prep was about to begin. A friend of mine told me that my dad was in the administration block and I thought she was teasing probably because she had heard me talk about my past birthdays and how I wished I could get goody goody. I partly believed her and waited outside the class. I couldn’t miss. I didn’t want to be told; I wanted to see him with my own eyes at least.
6:25. the bell went off and we all huddled to our various classes like we always did before we got canned. Very barbaric. I sat close to the window looking outside. 6:35, the one time I took a break, he had already passed my class almost at the gate. The class block faced the sun and the gate, so it was as if I watched him walking to the sunset and I watched his steady steps, blue paper bag in his hand; I could smell the sweets and chocolates and all those confectioneries, until the long shadow aligned with his silhouette and I wanted to call him out.
Love can make you do crazy things; I was about to prison break out of that class. I didn’t think twice, I rose and ran out the door, and towards the washrooms which was near the fence. I knew a spot so I called out “daddy” and he looked to my direction. I waved frantically as if to make up for the hug and he smiled and waved back with a huge consoling smile as if to say “the sweets will be waiting at home darling, I will make sure nobody touches them”. He didn’t risk coming to the fence.
Tears started rolling, I couldn’t stop. They gushed out like fountains. I wanted to go home. To my daddy. To sit on his lap and play brick game together. To have my sweets. I felt sick and just stood there as he signaled me to go back to class, I think he imagined the number of canes I could be served and he didn’t want to be the cause of such a harsh birthday present. Luckily, no one saw me do my little illegal business and I walked into class sniffing. The nosy ones who asked what was wrong I told them it was just a terrible stomach ache and they left. At least I got a card delivered though.
Bottom line, dear men, do not deceive us you forgot our birthday and ladies if he honestly doesn’t remember it, you probably don’t mean much to him but they are not my dad. *and that’s none of my business*