When our Daddy gets back from his work, the ambiance is usually as though the sun had just risen to lighten up the day. Today, the sun rose too early. Daddy came back too early. Quinet, our biggest dog led her puppies, in what seems like a choreographed display of dance artistry. They wiggled their tails enthusiastically, while, I and my siblings waved and smiled out our excitement from the platform of the veranda of our almost elegant castle. However, today seems unusual, the sun did not rise with its ray-like smile. Today feels unusual, the sun rose too early because Dad came home too early. The sun was also not ushered in by the twilight- dad would usually blast his horn when he is at the gate of our mansion as a herald to inform us of his arrival.
Dad alighted from his car, sorry I don’t know the brand of his car. He was a different person today though because he didn’t smile. He snubbed our eager smile and vehement wave. The sun,obviously, woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
“Something is wrong!” I whispered to my siblings, they had also noticed Daddy gloominess.
“I think he is sick”. My younger sister said with the look of a flower that has been deprived of the warming ray of the morning sun. The only cloudy days when daddy reserves his celestial charm is when daddy is sick. Even when he had a bad day at work, he had a ray-like smile to spare.
Daddy didn’t pat our dogs on their backs, he didn’t bid us his stars to come hug him, I intuitionally knew something was wrong when he did not flash chocolate snack at us. He looked weary to me.
Dinner tonight was as quiet as grandma’s church funeral. Dad eat absentmindedly, he didn’t ask for a prove that I read something new today, he did ask if I wrote a new poem today- about the Sun off-course. My sisters tried to get his attention, they called him Sun’s Prince, for him to show his supernatural prowess.
“Please, girls, not now” Daddy said after a long time. His face seems like a cloudy day- a day without fun. Daddy makes this statement when he is at work in his study.
I had earlier asked mommy why dad is behaving the way he did when he lost grandpa on that haunting cloudy day, to that hard to describe journey. I wondered if grandma had embarked on that same journey too.
“Bola dear, you dad is fine, there is nothing wrong with him or your grandpa” mother gave a crescent smile. Her smile was like that assurance the moon gives when the night is haunted. Just like the star who wants to outshine the moon. I wanted not just a reassuring reply, I wanted a reply that gave a solution to the problem.
After Dinner, I went to bed, I prayed for daddy, I prayed that he resumes his special dad role as soon as it is dawn. I and my siblings are waiting on this. Unfortunately, we waited forever, dad lost the grace of the sun, and his gloominess overwhelmed his solar charisma.
While my mates were pondering on why it was impossible for Nicholas and the other hottest guys in class to notice their pancaked face and gleam lips. I grew up pondering on the reason why dad had left his old self behind, why things changed so abruptly, why our childhood bliss experience a tempest it could not survive.
I wondered and wondered, most especially, why the sun kept shining from billions of miles away. I was especially curious as to why we had to leave our celestial castle in Crown Royal Estate in Lekki, for a three-bedroom in Ikorodu. I thought as to the reasons we left St Benedetta School for a Public school whose name is mentally crippling enough to cause a child to fail. I thought really hard.
I asked grandma whenever he comes visiting. “Well, dear, things change, this is life for you.” Grandma would say, his answers were as blurry as her thick glasses. “See, it might be Sunny a minute ago, in the next minute, it may begin to rain, that life”
My aunties had their own theories, they said the curse of grace to grass was at work. They recommended prayer houses for mommy most especially. Mommy was also hit by the effect of this peripheries, as time went by she was as sober and humble as a peacock, which has been starved of the sunlight. Not too long after this change of fortune, I noticed my parents’ relations deteriorate. It was as though the sun and the moon were warring. Life became rough when dad left the house, the space in my universe became endless.
I went to the university, wondering why the sun decided to set without rising, and why the moon was too scared of the sun. I decided I wanted to know, I weighted mother down, with time she dispersed the fog in our family with the breath of her words.
“I caused all that we are going through today, it is all my fault”. My mother had said after narrating how her jealousy and hatred for the philanderer nature of my father had made her send an incriminating picture of my father and his mistress in his office to my father’s boss, which led to his being fired from his workplace. Her mother had tried to make things work between herself and my father, but he was reluctant to blossom like of old.
“It’s ok, it is not totally your fault,” I had assured my mother. I had guessed my father had issues with being faithful, I understand, he was the sun, ladies wanted to feel his heat. I didn’t know his nature caused our family the climate change that is currently experiencing. “I will talk to dad,” I had added. I had missed the sun, no doubt, but I knew I may just have to continue to live with the gloominess of the moon if the sun decides to go on strike forever.