My dad and I were never friends. I don’t know where it began, or how it did, but we just never clicked. When I was 10 years old, he broke his leg running round the house to get me and whoop my ass. I don’t even remember what I did that made him mad because almost everything I did made him livid.
It wasn’t such a big deal to me until I entered the university. In primary and secondary school, I guess it was alright. All these kids and their loving parents never fazed me because I never cared about that kind of love. I was a loner and kept it that way. I wasn’t very talkative as well.
In the University, I had roommates who had at least a deep connection with a male person – a brother, a boyfriend, a lover, a father. I had none. Rien. I thought, ‘Well, a father is the least I can ask for actually.’ Unable to deal with the internal pressure, I began unconsciously doing things that would seek out his attention; but they were the wrong things.
I started smoking, going to viewing centers to watch football matches and coming back home tipsy, gambling even. At first, my father never said a word to me – he’ll only look at me in scorn. Some days, he’ll just laugh his annoying laughter and flip the opened newspaper in his hand repeatedly.
My mother couldn’t handle my troubled soul. She had other daughters to worry about and she would focus her energy on promising ventures; not on this girl turned boy wannabe smoker pretend drinker lost soul haunted past girl.
But my father had had enough in the last years of his life and started to discipline me. He would call me to his room and proceed to flog life out of me but stop just when I was about to die. He embarrassed me in public and said he was ashamed of me and of what I was becoming. His friends called me and asked me whether I wanted to send my father to his grave.
And in the very last year of his life, he told me more than 20 times that he hated me.
He died three weeks ago and I felt nothing. But then yesterday, I got a call from the family lawyer who said that he was to read my father’s last Will and Testament and that I needed to be there.
‘He put my name in his Will?‘ I asked shocked
‘Yes. Your name is in it‘ he replied.
I spent the whole of last night crying because I didn’t think my father loved me enough to even think of me in his afterlife. I begged him for forgiveness and promised to live a good life. It wasn’t about the money… It was about the gesture. You don’t put someone in your will if you don’t care about them, I reasoned.
The will reading is still going on I suppose, but I have stormed out of that dingy room. Here’s what my dad had to say to me in his will:
‘Here is to the one who God has given me to test every modicum of patience within me; Mowale. It is my will that you receive the following facts that I will now present to you.
1. I believe that you are a mistake to the family. This is a little harsh but since you’re so tough , I reckon you can handle the truth.
2. You are the least likely child to make it – so don’t waste your time trying.
3. Finally, I hope your children don’t give you as much bitterness and unrest as you have given me. But sowers reapers, right?
What’s in my Will for you? Well, it is my will that you receive nothing from me in the instance that I die before you’
Those were his words. I do not know which is sadder; that one can no longer hurt a dead man once he’s dead or that a dead man cannot quite know how indifferent you are to his death.
You want to know my will?
I will rise above my father’s will and his Will.