by Saint Rote
Photo by Debbie Hudson c/o unsplash
A warning drum crescendoed with every tap of your fingertips, preparing me for a battle I’ve already fought too many times before. Because you mistook my pigtails and baby teeth as a sign of child but failed to realize that I was a veteran of the war that ran rampant through my mind, a mental martyr to myself.
By Simamkele Mchako
Photo by Rasaan B. c/o nappy.co
“Your father is dead;” my mother told me, with a false casual tone that she uses when trying to avoid an intense and possibly emotional conversation with me. She gave me this only moments before she went to work. She was working the night shift, and as she said goodbye I could see the worry in her eyes. The thought of leaving me alone after such news was a burden that was weighing heavily on her. The year was 2015; I was 18 years old and in Matric. I had only met my father once in my life, in 2004. We never had a relationship that went passed a couple of occasional phone calls. My father’s absence used to bother me a great deal, yet by the time I was 16 I accepted it. I spent a large portion of my adolescents resenting and loathing the man I was told was my father, and the other portion wishing that he could be a prominent figure in my everyday life. I was stuck between trying to convince myself I did not need him, and asking myself if I was to blame for his absence.
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