We were entering our teenage years when our mother decided to give love a chance. Our father had been dead over decade, just when they had been increasing their family. Our mother had said she wouldn’t find a love like that of our father’s. But we were in our teens and she had started staying out late, paying more attention to her appearance and being extra cheerful.
One day, we came back from school and a strange man was in our home. He smiled throughout our meeting and all our mother said was, “He is a very good friend.” We being older and boys, we didn’t like him. You could see our sister wanted to know him more but we had read through the lines and didn’t want any replacement for our father. We spoke to our sister and made her realize what mom having a new man friend meant.
We were mean to him. We didn’t like him and didn’t make any efforts to get to know him despite everything he did. He would come around often, with reasonable gifts for everyone, our mother included. We stressed our mother out about him till she got to the breaking point. What helped was our sister. She could be what a lot of people refer to as a “drama queen”. Being the verge of entering teenage hood, she did the absolute worst. Crying, refusing food, throwing tantrums and silent treatments and being plain evil.
We would hi-five one another and break out into laughter. This continued for two years until they got married. We couldn’t believe our mother had broken her promise to our father so we went mad on her but it didn’t change the fact that we had a new unwanted father. She asked him to discipline us because we were also his children but he never did.
Not when my brother vomited on his computer which he was working on. Not when my sister was rude to him. Not when he caught me with a girl. He tried his best to be kind towards us. Even when he had a child with our mother, he didn’t change how he acted towards us. We finally got tired and decided to open up to him. But it’s true, when you have something good, treat it well and cherish it. We had wasted all the time we could have had a good time with him and our mother.
This time, it was our mother who shut us out. I was on midterms and came home for provisions. I was in Senior High then. I came home to see my mother crying loudly. My brother was leaning on the door, also silently crying. My sister came to hug me as she cried. Our stepfather had being diagnosed with cancer and was dying.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t cry but when he entered and saw us all crying, he gathered us into his arms and comforted us. Our baby sister also begun to cry although she didn’t know what was going on. We have regretted how mean and evil we were to him but life hasn’t been fair to us. Our father passed away mysteriously. Then the only other man that our mother knew, who had been nothing but loving and kind too was about to die. Why? Why couldn’t we be given a second chance?
No matter how hard we tried to be nice to him, our mother couldn’t believe we were being honest because of past scenarios. The day we visited him in the hospital, I cried as I held my little sister. He was shocked but was trying not to show it. I remember crying and saying, “Come back home daddy” He was so shocked that it brought tears to his eyes and made him cough. Terrible coughs that hurt his body, but he asked, “What did you say?”
“Daddy” my brother said. “He called you our dad” my sister said. As he cried, he stretched for us. We all went to lie on him, praying and asking God to make him well and return to us” God listened to us but not how we wanted. He came back home to us, cold, lifeless and covered in white.