Things became easier when I began praying for dad. I figured that since I couldn’t judge him, and since I couldn’t confront him, I could pray for him. I would wake up every morning at 5 and begin praying for him. I would pray for mum, Joke and I. and then for Kingsley, and other family members.
Kingsley and I began to set boundaries in our relationship. I requested that we stopped being alone in secluded places. He requested that I stopped touching his hair or his moustache as that would turn him on. We decided that he would meet mum in six months, and I would meet his parents after. Things seemed peaceful between us. I was glad Kingsley and I were good.
I got home one evening. Mum had gone to the market, and Joke was not back from GRE classes. Dad’s car was parked outside though. As I opened the gate, I began to have this uneasy feeling. I couldn’t explain it, and so I decided to just say a prayer. I walked into the house and met dad watching television.
“E kurole, daddy”
He didn’t answer, as usual.
I walked past him and was thinking of what to have for dinner.
He called my name. I turned back as he signaled me to sit.
“How old are you now?”
I laughed. “21, dad”
Oh, that’s good. I married your mum when she was 26. We couldn’t conceive till she was 29. Although there were serious complications, we ended up having you…”
I wondered what he was driving at. I was running out of patience already.
….love, joy, peace, patience
…..love, joy, peace, patience
“Anike, I want things to work between your mum and I”
My mouth was open in shock. That didn’t sound like my dad. He was never mushy mushy
“I love your mum, and I know I have messed up. But I want to make things right between your mum and I.…”
His eyes were filled with tears now. I wasn’t sure if he was pretending or if he was real. I just sat aloof looking at him, and thinking of everything he did to hurt everyone including me.
How he missed my recitals.
How he didn’t show up at my first basketball game
How he referred to me constantly as “ugly”.
How he tirelessly compared me with Joke.
How he beat mum.
How he flogged me whenever I made a little mistake.
How he never tucked us into bed.
How he never showed concern for issues in my life.
Why was he apologizing now? Why now?
I began to cry again. This time I cried because I couldn’t express my anger in a better way. He was never there when I needed him.
I was there…I am here
He called me ugly several times
…Created in My image and likeness…Fearfully and wonderfully made…
I just wanted him to feel pain!!!!
….forgive those who have hurt you…pray for your enemies…
It was just so hard to let go. I held on to the bitterness for so long… but deep inside, I knew it was time to let go. I continued to cry as he put his arms around me.
“Anike”, he began as he cleaned my tears. “You are my first seed, and the first sign of my manliness. You are my precious pearl. I am sorry I have neglected you. I see how God has changed you in the past few months, and I believe God can use you to unite this family in love again…”
I was amazed and shocked at the same time of how God could help me see things about myself that I couldn’t see before, I was amazed I had so much bitterness rooted in me. I thought I was a free spirited babe with not a care in the world. Now, I know better. God has shown me, and I am grateful.
We hugged each other again, and we began to discuss my plans for the future almost immediately. We seemed like old friends who had lost contact since forever. We talked till Joke arrived and joined us. When mum got back, she seemed surprised to see dad gisting with us.
“Welcome home, Baby”, he said as he stood up and gave mum a long, hard kiss. At that point, I and Joke decided to genuinely excuse them. We went to my room immediately.
“Do you think they’ll sort things out, Sis?” Joke asked as I tried to switch on my laptop so we could watch Scandal.
I looked at her and smiled.
“God will definitely see us through. He’s too faithful to fail. Even if they don’t, God will always be God…but I have absolute faith they will…”
We began watching Scandal.
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…to be continued, Wed 15th Oct
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Written by Oyinkansola Ige
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