A FATHER’S PAIN:
I was virtually choking on my anger as I listened to the tone of my phone indicating that the call had gone through and her phone was ringing. It rang and ended. Nora would however not answer my call.
I tried again and again but she refused to answer it. When I tried the fifth time, I found, to my chagrin, that she had switched off the phone.
I was sweating. I reminded myself on the need to calm down; I had on many occasions advised others on the need to control their anger. Now, I was the physician who must heal himself. I took in deep breathes and turned to other issues.
At about 4:30pm, I closed from work. I realized I had developed a migraine. I chastised myself for getting so worked up; getting my children back was not about being angry.
The sound of my son’s voice as I spoke to him earlier on kept coming back to me. I yearned to have him and his sister in my arms. I longed to cuddle them. I longed to have my daughter, sitting on my shoulders, holding on to my head and giggling. I longed to engage in the pillow fight I sometimes had with Peter in the evenings after I had supervised him to do his homework.
As I drove home that evening, tears began to stream out of my eyes and meander their way down my cheeks before dropping on my shirt. My grief was deepened by the fact that coincidentally, the radio station I had tuned in to was playing UB40’s “Tears from my eyes.” I knew the words very much but they had much more meaning to me at that particular time. I sang along with the reggae band,
🎼“Tears from eyes keep on falling
Because you are leaving, leaving with another.
Things that we’ve done together.
I’ll always remember though you are with another”🎼
I did not make any attempt to dry my tears though I realized I was not only singing for my children but also because of the way my wife had betrayed me. She had been the centre of my life but had killed my spirit by cheating on me.
Suddenly, I felt the urge to take in something strong. I felt I needed something that will ease the pain I was going through. And, this brought another UB40 song to mind. I lowered the volume of the car’s radio and sung UB40’s ‘Red Wine’.
In fact, I virtually screamed the word out as tears continued to trickle down my cheeks. I looked out for a place where I could buy some hard liquor that will kill the pain I was experiencing.
Finally, I found a drinking spot. I parked the car, got down and entered. There were people in, all men except two women. I could tell that many of the men were already tipsy or drunk. Since I was going to drive home, I resisted the urge to drink there. So, I bought a bottle of brandy and returned to my car.
My head was still aching as I drove home. Finally, I arrived safely. The gate man opened the gate for me. I drove through the gates, parked and got out with my bottle of brandy. There was light in the kitchen. I checked to find Efe, the house-help there.
She had taken a week off and was back. I guessed she was unaware of what was going on. I was glad though to see her.
“Daddy, welcome,” she said.
“Thank you. When did you come?” I asked.
“At about 5 o’clock, sir” she replied.
She asked about my wife and the children. It must have been weird for her to come meet an empty house.
“They are not around. Let’s talk about them tomorrow,” I said, anxious to get to my room so I could drink myself to stupor.
“I have prepared yam with corned beef stew. Can I serve you, sir?” she asked me.
I shook my head and lied that I had already eaten. I said I was tired so I was going to have my bath and then go to bed. With that, I left her and headed for the bedroom.
As soon as I entered the bedroom, I locked the door, opened the bottle of brandy and holding it to my mouth, gulped down a mouthful.
The drink stung my stomach as it hit my system. I grimaced.
This was my second time of taking an alcoholic drink. I took some deep breath as I felt what I had taken began to have an effect on me.
I took another mouthful and grimaced again. The drink was really strong. I found nothing sweet about it and wondered why people take it. Yet, I took a third swing as I sat on the bed. Soon, I felt the room spinning. I tried to get up but my legs were not sturdy. I told myself I was drunk. I took the bottle to have another swing but the bottle dropped from my grip. I sighed and slumped on the bed.
A few minutes later, I was fast asleep.
To be continued