She misses him.
She remembers how hard it was to learn the word divorce from experience.
She couldn’t believe mum was with another child’s dad, someone else was having her all to themselves across the ocean.
A few years later
It’s on her burial ceremony
It can’t be open casket because the drunk driver panicked and hit the accelerator instead of the breaks.
She couldn’t be cremated because they wanted a place they could visit.
The other family her mum got married to didn’t even show up.
All they did was send the body with a note saying, “sorry, it will be okay.”
Later in that day she gets into a pub and drowns herself.
If the pain won’t go away, she will be absent for as long as it stays.
The liquor can have her body.
A few weeks later…
The ex calls.
Says he is sorry and if there is anything he can do for her, he will.
They spend the night together.
A one night stand turns into weeks of meaningless sex, booze, and weed.
For a moment she is happy, her methods of drowning the pain are perfect.
After a month…he hits her!
She is stunned.
She thought he had changed.
She thought she knew him.
“He hit me over a text, over a text, over a text….. “
The thought kept replaying in her mind over and over.
Over and over.
She hasn’t spoken to her dad in months and now, especially now, she misses him more than anything.
She reaches for her phone and the text that annoyed Christian is still on the screen.
It says “I miss you, my love, since my wife of 20 years passed, I thought I would at least have you close to me.
We could go to the park we loved and play in your favorite swing.
Swim in the restricted water tanks like we used to.
Fish in the lake and I would gut the fish while you make the fire……Dad“
Tears roll back after she finishes reading the text. She is confused “do I call my dad or does he already hate me for leaving him like I did?”
She calls filled with doubt and tears welling in her eyes.
The moment she hears his voice she breaks down and wails so loudly her body shakes.
Upon hearing the love of his life cry he breaks down and tries to hide it but the emotions are too strong and neither of them cried when her mum, his wife died.
Father and daughter cry to each other for a whole 15 minutes.
They didn’t even share a word other than “hi dad?”…..”hi love?”
She hangs up.
He doesn’t call back but instead, he sends her money and a follow-up text saying “Come home please”
Claudia doesn’t even bother to pack or change, all she takes are her ID and phone. Withdraws the money at Christian’s M-Pesa shop and she tells his mom she is going to buy a few things for the house.
Four long hours later she is hugging her dad so tight and they are both crying uncontrollably.
She needs to sleep, she hasn’t had a good night sleep since a week before the burial.
He needs rest. He has been fatigued since the minute he got the call that a drunk driver hit his wife and she died on the spot.
The house was full of pain and joy the previous evening and the maids had been with the family long enough, they knew the next morning needed to be one of the good ones.
They made Angeline’s favorite breakfast…
Sweet potatoes, eggs, sausages and warm milk.
Breakfast was good. They didn’t say much but Dad said he needed a drink and his daughter knew she needed one too.
He poured himself a Johnny Walker blue, she joined him and poured a glass for herself.
They drank quietly.
They both knew alcohol had kept them going for the past few months.
They also knew they are together now and they need to quit.
After the drink, they take a walk in the garden.
During their walk, she notices her dad was having difficulties walking and breathing and she made a joke “you need to hit the gym old man”
When he looked at her she knew, from deep down in her heart she knew!!
She fought back the tears and asked, “how long?”
He smiled, a smile that was half fear and half sad.
Two weeks before your mom……” he could finish that sentence. “a few days, maybe a week”
They sat down, none of them cried or said a word. They just sat in silence in the middle of their manicured garden until dark.
Later in the evening, they watched their favorites movie. She loved The Titanic and he loved it too. She thought maybe it’s because mom loved it that’s why he loved it too.
They went to bed a few minutes past midnight.
She tossed and turned for two hours looking for sleep but none came, so she went downstairs to look for something in the fridge.
Halfway through the ice scream jar, she heard her dads phone ringing but he didn’t answer. It rang again and she decided she will put it on silent so he can sleep in peace.
She didn’t even turn the light on, she just muted the call and flipped the mute button.
The next morning she woke up at around 8 and went straight to his dad’s room to wake him up but the moment she opened the door, she knew.
The same way she knew the previous day that something was terribly wrong.
His dad was cold to the touch and his face was blank. The blank kind of pure peace and nothingness.
The doctor said he died at two in the morning and all she could think about was the moment she was switching his phone into silent, the reason he couldn’t answer was that he COULDN’T!!