A Sleepless Daughter

Growing-up without a father…
I fear my children someday growing-up with a single mother and having a visitor for a father. There were those nights my father would promise to come visit; always at night, like a secret love affair. I’d stay up in the living room, lights off, TV muted, listening to the glass clock in the room tick away, watching it closely, silently, unconsciously, praying that he’d show-up. I’d been anticipating this the whole day, he simply had to show-up. Listening to every sound in the street, waiting to hear his car park outside and the single sound of the hooter (that’s my cue, to jump up from the sofa and run through our kitchen door, through the small gate and hop into the car).
Waiting for him gave me time to come-up with something interesting to talk about, so what was it today? School, something my mom had bought me, what I wanted to be when I grew-up… It was never about him. I didn’t know anything about his life or his other family. It was the idea of having a father that kept me waiting for him for those long hours. Not him, I didn’t know him. Only that he and my mom were soul-mates, as expressed by both, but somehow he’d ended-up married to someone else. Then there were those nights I’d stay up on the couch waiting for him till my eyes gave in to sleep. I’d dose-off and my mom would carry me to bed, switch the lights off and lock-up. I fear that for my children someday, that waiting, wondering and the wishing…
2001, Christmas day… This visit was different, he’d come during the day - maybe he was secretly there to say goodbye. That was the last time he came to visit. I’d try to envision what he looked like, without anything as tangible as a photo, just blurred memories of a handsome man I supposedly looked like. Till the memories of a stranger weren’t enough anymore and time erased his existence. Then 2010 when my mother passed away, he came to the funeral, maybe to bid goodbye to the “love of his life”. Never again did I see him. I’ve finally forgotten how to wait for him…

LB