If I was a singer, I’d wrote a song for you. If I was a writer, I’d wrote a book about you. I used to think that I wanted the answers. There were thousands of questions just spinning in my tiny little head, I was 5. I never quite understood why you were gone. Why you left.
When I was in primary school, I dreamt that perhaps one day, just once, I’d come back from school with you waiting at the school gate. UPSR ended, I got 5As, I wanted to tell you I scored and wanted you to be proud of me, but you were never there. Not even a voice at the end of the telephone. No, it never rang. So I thought maybe you were too busy, or maybe you’d forgotten about me. I still remember the day you first took me to the beach. I was a year or two and I was scared of the water. I remembered how I tried waking you from your sleep, I needed to go to the loo. But you were so deep in your slumber I had to climb down the bed myself. I was 3, I think. It was amazing how I could recall things that occured when I was a year. Such strong memory I had. But the downside of it was that I remembered when you were here. I remembered having you. But now, you’re nowhere to be found. I guess it would be better if I couldn’t remember you at all.
As I entered my teenage years, those questions and queries turned into complex emotions I could never shake off; I was angry & betrayal and felt betrayed. How did it feel knowing a part of you exists thousands of miles away? Breathing, living. Maybe laughing maybe crying. Or did you not think of me at all? PMR ended, again I scored. And again, you weren’t there.
School was soon over and I entered my young adult, still not having you. But it didn’t matter anymore. I stopped hoping, I stopped expecting. And slowly, I stopped thinking about you. Just as you did to me many years ago. Come to think of it, I didn’t need you. I was blessed with a better one.
You know what sucked? I was with your daughter, having dinner. Finally seeing a face I’ve missed for decades. And you phoned her, asking her to come home. As if I was some random stranger she was on a date with. It broke my heart to pieces. As Eminem put it in his song Headlights, “I guess we are who we are.” I’m 23 now. And I only have this to say to you; Don’t come back. Stay there, wherever you are. Know that when I have a family of my own, beautiful sons and daughters of mine, I’ll be the man you never were. I’ll never spend a moment away from them. Happy or sad, sunny or rainy, we’ll face them together. I’ll be there for their first smiles, first words, first laughs, and even first tears. The day they make their first steps, it’ll be towards me. One step they make and I’ll come running towards them. My little precious babies, how can I ever spend a second away? And maybe one day the telephone will finally ring, a soft, shaken voice at the end of the line saying,”he’s gone.” I’ll know the telephone will never ring with your voice, there will never be that knock on the door I kept dreaming of, I can finally move on, and I’ll forgive you, father.