I had always painted my relationship with my father as this beautiful perfect picture.
I remember when my little brother was born, the excitement on his face was so visible and contagious. I was just excited that I had someone to play with. My dad had always wanted boys and from what I was told, when my mother was pregnant with me they thought I was going to be a boy but things turned out differently, that is why he was so excited when my little brother was born. It made sense because he only had one son. My older brother and two girls, my older sister, and myself.
My father would always come visit us every weekend and I always looked forward to Friday nights that is when he would arrive. I would literally stay up until he got home. Saturday mornings were the best, we would wake up early in the morning and get ready for our usual Saturday family outings where my dad would spoil us. I was daddy’s little girl. I always asked him why he didn’t live with us because I wanted him to drop us off at school and pick us up like all the other cool daddies my friends had, but he told me he was a busy man I understood until one holiday when I was 13 and I was waiting for my dad to come and pick us up as he had promised to spend the holidays with us. He never pitched, my mom sat us down and told us we were never going to see him again. I could see the hurt in her eyes, it turned out my dad was married to two other women of which none of them knew and that is why we only saw him during the weekends as he split his time and days so that he spent it with everyone.
I don’t know how my mom found out but I remember seeing him again for the first time in 4 years, I was 17 and had gone through my teenage years, the most important years of a child’s life where you need both parents and he wasn’t there. It killed me knowing he was out there but he didn’t reach out, my brother looked for him because it hit him the most and when he found him we were reunited again. When I saw him then, i didn’t know how to react, I felt like I didn’t know the man I was seeing and I definitely knew he didn’t know me. Daddy’s little girl didn’t exist anymore so instead of jumping to hug him, we shook hands. When we got to his house, I got the shock of my life as i was introduced to my ‘sisters’ I didn’t know how to react but after a few months, I got used to the idea. I learned the type of person he was. He didn’t really show emotion and didn’t ask how we were, to me I felt like he didn’t care. For him showing love was buying us food and providing us with shelter. On weekends he would still disappear. We later discovered he has a lot of partners. We live in the same house but we hardly speak, there is no relationship everyone does their own thing. He leaves in the morning when I am still asleep and when I come back he is asleep weekends he is never home. We just bump into each other sometimes.
I have accepted that sometimes I just wonder how this will turn out. Would it be better if I had continued life without him because to this day he is still a stranger to me?
Writer: Natasha May