Short Story by Adepeju Alice Ayoade
There was something about that day; the day she finally realized he was never coming back. She woke up that morning, feeling electrified; how could she not? It was the start of the sixth year of life, little did she know, it was to be the beginning of the end…
With tears streaming down both cheeks, she asked her mother again; are you sure, are you sure he isn’t coming? “He’s never coming back darling”, she said it with such coldness, her bag of lies and excuses had finally run empty. Ebby couldn’t understand it, she hadn’t seen her father in three years, he was meant to be here today, he was meant to come, he would finally make it up to her with endless sweets and kisses… but he wasn’t coming, not now, not ever. Her first disappointment.
Going forward, life became an endless stream of disappointments. But she found her escape; books were good, people hurt but not books. People, she now knew, always broke her heart. Yet her books always embraced her.
Unfortunately, books couldn’t avert her next disappointment; it arrived nine years later. Her father was never coming back and she knew that now. She was fatherless and it was a long and bitter road to accept this, she battled depression, anger, hatred, detest for the world and she overcame it all. Or did she? Was it because of her new-found father, he was jovial: always listened, offered advice, never scolded and was forever encouraging. He was to be her next disappointment…
Unlike her first disappointment, she didn’t see this one coming. She remembers it so well now, that summer day that shattered the hope of a new father. It was past midnight and he held her in an embrace, she was glad at first but then he wouldn’t let go. He hugged her so tight, at first that she was glad and felt safe. But she realized quickly that something was wrong, his hands were wandering. No, she must be dreaming! But it was all too real, she screamed and cried for help, no one came. Though in the end, somebody did help, she screamed ‘Jesus’ and he heard her; he loosened his grip and she ran away.
Now she’s running, she’s still running, but she has a new father now. The One who helped her; with him she is safe, though chained by life she is free..