By Noluvuyo Bacela

I have not thought about this person in a while, which is very odd of me because of the way I idolized him.

Once upon a time I watched all the light exit my body, through any means that it could do so. My eyes grew dark, like a deep hole; and my ears… I could barely hear a thing past the noise ringing in my head. I never fought it. I just thought to myself “Why not?”, as I let go of the dreams that he longed for.

Saying no as a means to punish whatever innocence was in me. Innocence that he loved.

I hardly want to talk, afraid of him seeing my heart…the bruises. Do you also see the stretch marks? My heart is growing bigger. I loved him with every fibre of my being; I would hope just for the touch of his beard to prick my innocent skin awake again.

I am still a child. I wonder about child birth. I wonder about loving someone else more than I loved him, but I can barely remember him. I wonder about our mother and how much she must miss him yet she will never say.

I watched my younger brother bear his cross while I fell in love with the book he read each and every night, even when his sight began to fail him. Now, many miles from home, I am holding hands that I never thought I could have. Sowing dreams together with the words from the book he left behind.

Utter silence, not even a whisper in the wind. Maybe that is why I have not thought of him in a long while. I am hopeful that I am becoming what he envisioned; his firm hands pressing my cheeks together, urging me to smile. I wear dresses now and girly shoes, but I can still fix a broken toilet sink.

How could I ever forget him?

His long face I see etched on my brother’s, and his quiet confidence; he was, you were, our father.