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Dear Deadbeat Dad

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I searched within the corners of my soul and you, are a dead beat dad; someone who brings death to a beat. It is similar to listening to music with no rhythm, no beat. There is no dancing to the string of words, no vigor and no joy derived from listening to a chain of lyrics with no beat.

 

I woke up and I found mom had already left for her usual business trips. That is what she has been up to since you left. You must have rubbed off on her. She is exceptional because she returns from her trips unlike you who left for Wonderland and left our hearts in utter despair, longing for the day you will return.

 

I find notes on the fridge. Sticky notes with messages like “Darling, use the milk sparingly”. Oh, she calls me “darling”. I now possess the names she once cosseted your ego with. She labels foods in the fridge. She is slightly old school. I mean, she could just text me these guidelines. I open the fridge and I see dishes packed with food written on them “Rita” (your youngest daughter, in case it slipped your mind).

 

Speaking of Rita, she is such a bundle of joy. She is full of energy, talkative, beautiful, smart, and confident. She is not interested in exploring with Dora; she prefers rolling with Batman or Superman. She calls herself Super Woman. You would love her. At only five years of age, she can play chess better than I can.

 

She is eager to learn and very inquisitive. She asks “why the sky is blue”, “why men don’t have big chests like women”, she asks about God and where he lives, she asks mom why she has some scars on her back and a question we all love to evade is “why doesn’t daddy pick me up like the other kids?” That question has me wondering what to tell her. One day, I will tell her the truth, that you are a deadbeat dad.  It will cripple her with sadness and sorrow will engulf her heart. I, love her too much to break her heart.

 

I recently met this boy. He listens to me and cheers me on to be the best version of myself. He sometimes sings for me and takes me out for random dates. We have our bad days. We argue sometimes. My face, however, does not have his handprints and neither does my back.  His hands don’t whirl around like a tornado set out to destroy me with a bottle of liquor on one hand and a whip in the other. He has promise and ambition. Sometimes I’m unsure.If you were here, I would probably get nuggets of wisdom on how to deal with a man. I try to open up to mom. But she shuns me. For Mother, it is like reading a book and having to refer back to the previous pages to remind yourself of agony that you worked too hard to detach yourself from. She is definitely still affected by the mess you left behind.

 

I checked my grades last night. I have a C in one course. Mother doesn’t work this hard for me to reap anything less than A’s. I wonder how I will talk my way out of this one. There are days we argue and after there is pin drop silence in the house. Only Rita’s laughs and joy dawn on us like the sun in those cold nights. However, I love her. She works hard. People at work call her an “iron lady”. Who would have thought? You made her weak and feeble but she drew strength from her past hurt.After you left,  she bravely took on both the role of father and mother. Can I tell you something weird? I give her a gift both on Father’s and Mother’s Day. My friends find it weird, but she deserves it. I appreciate what she has been through to keep us happy.

 

I don’t know if you died, or started another family. My wish, for my future sons is that they will have a father to look up to, who will teach them what real men are about, including how to treat their women with respect. As for my future daughter, she will be daddy’s little girl. Running to him to tell her f**k boy chronicles. I just want my future children to have a father worthy of the title. Are there men like this daddy?

 

 

This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Hope Wambui.

 

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