The Saturday Tale

Dear Father,

Time ran out, as it was fated to.

I joined the last expedition to the Helipdos Galaxy to find Dark Crystals to save earth, but our ship…it got destroyed. The Lipad was in the ship and it got badly damaged, too damaged to take grown men and women through the Time-Space Stream, but it’s working just enough to take something smaller.

Like a letter. Much like this one you’re holding.

In five days, we’ll run out of food, in seven, we’ll run out of water. And in thirteen, well, you know what happens in thirteen

The end comes to all of us in time, and we have to face the darkness with dignity and our chins held high. You told me that when I was ten and grandfather died. Do you remember?

I remember peeking in your study, seeing you hunched over your desk, your back heaving.

I know you’re going to have a lot of questions, a lot of thoughts running through your mind. I have those too. I had them too, a lot of them. But now that I’m staring at Death in the face, I only have one:

I forgive you.

I know it was hard without mom around. I know it was hard watching her leave. And I know it was hard when you got that phone call. You lost your love, and I lost a mother.

But you didn’t have to become the man you became. You didn’t have to turn that anger on me. You didn’t have to hit me all the time, when your own heart was breaking. Or cage me in the house like a little bird, or say all those things. You didn’t have to treat me like I was some castaway.

And for so long, I hated you.

Day by day would pass, and I would allow myself a little more anger, a little more hate, a little more everyday. Until one day, I looked at the mirror, and all I saw, all I could see every day from then, was a little bit of you.

I swore I would never drink, seeing what alcohol did to you. But the night I came home drunk, not even able to see my keys, was the day I knew that your demons follow you, whether you like it or not.

And that’s why I’m adjusting the settings on the Lipad, just a little bit, and so the person reading this is the you from the past. Twenty years before everything.

Hello, you must be…confused, to say the least.

And that’s fine, life is murky and messy and you get confused every once in a while. It’s fine, it’s normal. I don’t know what hurt made you who you’ll become, but I know you can heal from it. I know you’re strong, but I need you to be kind.

It’s hard to change the past, but the future is in your hands.

I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be easy. It’s not.

And I won’t say you won’t get hurt. You will.

But all of that pain and anger, if you don’t let it go…it changes you.

And everyone close to you. Until one day you’re a drunk father, lost, and confused, unable to see the keys right in front of him as his house goes up in flames, with his baby son inside.

Find your peace, old man.

I love you, always.

Your son,

Thaddeus.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.

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