by Kenechi Uzochukwu
All my preparations and quivering anticipation was to have ended in bliss, the kind only my father could give me… I was my father’s lover and he was mine. Everything was perfect.
I didn’t cry. It was painful what he did, but I didn’t cry. He said it was ok.
I didn’t cry the second time either. I liked it. He was gentler. He told me it was our secret, our special thing, and no one should know about it.
I went to him the third time it happened, it was raining and the thunders scared me. We did it again, I enjoyed it. We began to do it more often, and each time I enjoyed it more.
I was twelve that first time, and a happy child, happier than any other child I knew. I doubt if any other child had so much love. I was my father’s lover and he was mine. Everything was perfect.
And then, on my twentieth birthday, the unthinkable happened.
My father broke up with me. Just like that. He said it wasn’t right, what we do, and that we must stop. End of matter. It felt like a full stop at the end of an epitaph. It was too sudden.
I had no warning, no premonition. The break up was like death. I had taken the week off from school just to be with the only man in my life, the best man I ever knew, or so I thought. I thought my birthday would have ended sensually, like all the others. It was usually the best birthday present he gives me, a passionate night of love making right out of a romance novel.
It had been a while. My higher education had taken me away. And I sorely missed my beloved father. I went home that day with thoughts of my father obscuring all other thoughts. I arrived late in the evening. He wasn’t home yet. I made myself as adorable as he liked. It was not hard. My allure had never needed much artificial furnishings; a touch here and a touch there, and I would be set to win any beauty contest. That evening I was at my best.
All my preparations and quivering anticipation was to have ended in bliss, the kind only my father could give me.
Instead, I got the shock of my life. That terrible day, I knew exactly how the deer must feel when the hunter’s bullet crashes through its heart. I learnt how it must feel to be shot out of the sky.
I had hoped he didn’t mean it, that this was just another punishment, but the way he said it convinced me it was final. I knew my father; I knew the look on his face. It was the same look he had when he shot Dragon our Alsatian. This was not like before when he would refuse to touch me because I misbehaved. My father had never hit me or scolded me; his punishments were usually more severe and silent. He would simply refuse to touch me for days on end. Such days were hell for me. I could barely survive without him. When he was pleased with me, he really would take his time and give me much pleasure that I never knew was possible.
I was a very well behaved child; I had all the proper manners for a proper lady. Thanks to my father.
But this was no punishment. This was a cessation. This was my death. I tried to make him see reason, to convince him that we were to be forever. I told him of our joys, our laughs and how love couldn’t be any better. I begged him not to kill his beloved and only child.
The man was like a stone.
It is true what they say. Men are beasts; unfeeling beasts.
How could he end something so wonderful, something so perfect? He said he still loved me, but I didn’t believe him, I couldn’t believe that. He couldn’t even look me in the eye when he said it. There must have been a reason, but I didn’t care for whatever it was. I knew it wasn’t about right or wrong, there is no love that can be wrong, especially the kind we had. It was beautiful; we were one, my father and I. Our love transcended that of a father and his daughter. It was the stuff of heaven. No, His reason wasn’t religious, not at all, my father wasn’t that sentimental. I was his sole religion, he worshiped me.
There was no one else either, I knew that much. My mother died while birthing me. Ever since, I had been my father’s heartbeat. And he was my breath. I never missed my mother. I never knew her, never would meet her. I would, perhaps, have liked to know her, but somehow I thank God she wasn’t with us. It would have been awkward. I don’t think I could have shared my father with any one.
My father gave no reason for killing me. He couldn’t explain why we could no longer have what we had. There was nothing I didn’t think, there was no thought I didn’t wish to explain his decision by. Something, perhaps, must have happened to his hormones. I couldn’t believe this was my perfect father. I couldn’t believe my day could ever become so dark.
He only said he was doing it for me, that it was for the best, my best. How could I have ever believed the man loved me? He even looked sad that day, so sorrowful and tired. In better times and in our previous world, I would have taken him in my arms as I was wont, and work my magic on him. Over the years I had learnt his special recipe. I was the only one who knew his mix. I had never asked him, but I sensed that even my mother didn’t take him to the heights I took him.
But his words belied the sorrow on his features. He had said the break up words so casually, as if he had thought it through and found it a simple matter. There should be a special kind of voice and words for pronouncements of that nature, something equal and suitably terrible. The normalcy and casualness of his words were a negation. It was like mockery. I didn’t know I could ever stop being what I was to him; I had never thought our relationship would end. But end it did, and in so shocking a manner. Good things shouldn’t end that abruptly. Relationships don’t die at once. Death is not a casual occurrence.
The most painful part of it was that I didn’t die. I felt like dying. I wanted to die. But I didn’t know how to go about it. I should have killed him too; I should have hurt him too. He looked like he was hurting, but I should have made sure. It is too painful to feel the pain of death and yet be alive. There is no pain worse than the pain of death.
And then, the man wanted us to be Father and Daughter, just father and daughter. I couldn’t understand why he would want to reduce our love to something merely biological and normal. Why on earth couldn’t he see that I could never be happy as just his daughter, and that I could never be remotely happy with any other arrangement? We were happy, I made him happy. Why do some people reject their own happiness?
For a long time I had believed my father loved me. On my twentiethbirthday, I knew the truth. That day was my awakening to the heartlessness of men, and the absurdity of love. That day, I grew up, I grew old and I died.
It was the last day I spoke or saw my father. He killed me, so I made sure I remained dead to him. I became a living dead, dead inside and alive only in looks.
As I left him that evening, I looked back a lot of times. He didn’t recant, he didn’t rethink. He watched me leave. The tears were streaming from both our eyelids. I could feel his sorrow; it was thick enough to touch. The feeling was apt; death had occurred.
The man came for me twice, later. But he came as a father coming for his daughter. He should have come for me as a soul for its soul mate, like breath for air, like the dying for life. That was what we were; romance and its love.
He came, just that twice. I waited for him too, but he never came again. I gave up.
I made a new resolve. Men would learn from me, the very hard way. I have what they want. My beauty is the glaring kind that every body agrees with. But my heart would be a different matter. I knew most men wouldn’t resist me; they can’t be as tough as my father, my looks were not enough for that man to change his mind and do the right thing, the best thing.
It wasn’t easy. It took a while before I could stand the touch of any other man, but vengeance helped me detach my body from myself.
I would forever be grateful for my looks; it was my ultimate shield. It helped me survive and helped my resolve. I set off on a mission, to hurt as I had been hurt. I soon became very successful. I brought both boys and men to their knees. I killed them and still left them alive. I remember the families that fought themselves over me, the brothers that would never forgive each other, the scandalized churches and governments, the suicides, the bankruptcies. There is a lot a body can do when it is rightly motivated.
My father didn’t know what he unleashed.
Payback is a beautiful side of nature. There is no payback as sweet and profound as when it’s total and final, like death. No man recovered that encountered me.
But vengeance was not so much fun. I didn’t feel any lasting relief. Hurting men didn’t make me feel much better; it was a constant reminder to my own heartbreak. But I couldn’t stop. Sometimes I wondered what the whole point was. I could never lose the pangs I had for my father’s touch. Payback did not completely fill the chasm that my father dug in me. I doubt if anything ever would.
I would have easily given everything up for things to get back to what it was.
I lived like someone on a mission, and I wanted to be free from the service, but I just couldn’t. In moments of weakness, I would always think about what my father and I had. Thinking about our perfect love brought me tears and gave me joy. At such moments, I would really try to feel and have fun, I would let my guard down to see if I would be alive again. It was no use. No other man was like my father. No one even came close. No one was able to get me right, something was always missing. With my dad it was perfect, he knew just what I wanted, and how. No two people were ever in sync as my father and I was. No other man could bring me alive.
The last time I had pleasure was with my father.
This many years have passed, since I lost my beloved father. And more recently the world lost him too. I just left his grave side. I have never been able to understand why I keep visiting his grave, despite the distance, despite all. And each time, I always leave with an exhausting longing, a fiery desire, and an intense craving.
I would do anything; anything, just to have sex with my father again.
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