Day 17 of the Afrobloggers #WABC2021
Almost at the end of this! Thanks to everyone who ever read any of my posts, ever commented, ever shared. I’m truly grateful! Cheers to an amazing writing challenge! This week’s theme is storytelling. Since I’ve sort of had a story throughout the challenge, it’s been quite difficult figuring out how to make this theme work. But here goes nothing! Lol! I hope you enjoy it!
Everyone has a story… (Anonymous)
“Let me tell you a story about the most beautiful woman in the whoooooole world!”
Two very loud pitched giggles followed that. The girls were so pretty. And so completely identical, that it would have been very hard for me to tell them apart if they weren’t wearing different colors of the same dress.
“When I was a small boy, I liked going to school because there was this girl in my school who was my friend! She was so beautiful. And she liked talking to me. And she even shared her food with me! What more did I want?”
He punctuated and animated his speech, lifting his hands all over, pacing and making it look like some sort of act.
“And she could really draw! Sometimes she would send me paintings that she had done, and they made me so happy! Not only was she beautiful, but she was also smart and very artistic.”
Baby-sitting kids was definitely not high on my list of things to do on a Saturday afternoon. But here he was, so effortlessly entertaining them! His best friend had to dash out of town, and he’d volunteered to watch his four-year-old twin girls. They were a very loud bunch. Loud and naughty, but somehow, they made up for it in cuteness.
It wasn’t until two hours after this story of his that we had some peace and quiet, to actually sit down. The twins were taking a nap.
Is this what it felt like to have kids? Because then maybe it wasn’t for me. Mawuli on the other hand seemed to enjoy it. Clearly, he would be a great father!
“Let me tell you the rest of my story…” He said running his hands through my hair. I didn’t want stories. I wanted cuddles, and kisses. Maybe even more. I hadn’t seen him much during the week because of work. And considering that the last time I slept over, we were still semi-bickering, I was really looking forward to some alone time.
But I came over, and he told me about the impromptu babysitting he’d agreed to.
We’d spoken a lot though, while we cleared his place, trying to child-proof it before the kids arrived. At least we managed to catch up about our workplace shenanigans from the week.
“You probably saw most of my childhood… saw me at school, at church, wrote me constant letters in high school… so it’s easy to say, that you saw me grow up.”
I remembered the carefree boy that he was. Always running wild, always speaking his mind. Never afraid! It made me smile.
“But there’s a lot of things that went on behind the scenes that I probably never shared with you…. Never had the courage to.”
“A lot of it was because Mum’s family, didn’t consider us a part of their family. And because of that and ensuing conflict, Dad left her.”
I didn’t even know his dad had left! His mum passed away when we were in high school… I just assumed that his father had moved on after that.
“Having separated parents is a lot to handle! Especially as a child. And having your mother’s siblings show up at your boarding school in high school, accusing you of killing your own mother., is something that nobody has to deal with!”
What was he talking about?
“My story though, is that you kept me sane then. Every letter you sent, every sketch, every drawing, every painting. It helped me forget that I was the unwanted son.”
“How did I never know this?”
“The only person I’ve ever told this, was my therapist. And that was back when I started Uni. I didn’t quite process it well at the time. And I didn’t understand why Dad didn’t exactly like me. But I guess I felt it was deserved? I even remember racking my brains, trying to remember if really I had done something that may have killed her like my aunts claimed.”
I let out a deep breath that I didn’t realize I was holding.
“I’m not daddy’s favorite child. Clearly because of the things he had to go through with my mum and her family. And no, I don’t blame him. I’ve grown past blaming him.”
“Mum was bitter about him leaving. Very bitter. But she told me a few things that her cousins did to him when they were together, and maybe I would hate me too if I was him. Looking back, I realize that I suppressed so many negative things… as a coping mechanism, I either completely forgot about it, or pretended it never happened.”
I didn’t know what to say. I just lay there remembering how hard he took it when his mum died. Yet it seemed as if one minute after that he was okay, so I had assumed it wasn’t that much of a big deal.
“So I just want my story to explain to you my stance on not ‘fighting’”
“While I may love you unconditionally, and constantly push to be with you, I don’t want random family members to come and break us apart. I don’t want kids that don’t feel wanted at any point in any space. I may choose to fight for you, but I may not be able to deal with the family members. They will become the trigger that derail my mental health.”
“You have no idea how much I would give to be with you… But I don’t want any child to have the kind of childhood I had. It is damaging!”
I hadn’t told him about Mama’s email. It was one of the things I was hoping to show him today… because I wanted to see his reaction to it.
I reached over for my phone and showed him the email.
He had on some weird look; I couldn’t seem to read it. But he finished reading and kissed the top of my head.
“No fighting.” He smiled and looked at me. Clearly very happy. It warmed my heart to see him smile that way. So I kissed him.
Only to hear two little voices scream from the doorway… “Eeeeeewww!!!!!”