At age three, I and my twin sister were almost caught up in flames when our house got burnt. My eldest brother who was cooking got called by his friends to play ball, and without thinking straight he followed leaving the gas on and the noodles he was preparing on fire probably thinking he will be back soon. Despite there was firewood and a stove for him to use, my brother is always bent on using the gas ignoring the warnings of my parents.
I and my sister were asleep and my parents usually don’t give him that freedom to play out with his friends, seeing their absence as an opportunity he quickly took it.
I don’t know how long he stayed out, but I got chocked and began coughing when the house was covered with flames. My sister woke up also but we could not see, all we did was cough and cry and the fire began to burn.
My father built his house in an undeveloped area where we didn’t have lots of people around but was mostly surrounded by bushes.
Then I heard my father calling out my eldest brother name and shaking the door violently, but unknown to him my brother took the key with him so that we won’t go out when we wake up. No doubt my brother was very stubborn, but this time around he did too much.
“Daddy! We cried with our small voices as we heard voices outside.
“My children are in there, I can feel it! My father shouted when our neighbors wanted stopping him from running inside.
We didn’t know what to do, and I turned and saw my small ball on the floor and I took it and threw it on the window since we could not climb because of how it was built and luckily for us my father saw it.
“Patrick! He shouted keeping his head on the wall.
“Daddy help us, we replied and coughed and my father began hitting the other side of the door.
The fire was burning with great speed, but the love of a father for his children was greater. Our eyes were closing and we passed out, but we woke up in the hospital.
“Patrick! Oh Patrick! My mother shouted and hugged me in bed. I could not say anything to her because I inhaled enough smoke from the house and was very weak.
“How are you? She asked touching my cheeks in tears but I could not reply.
After two days we were getting better, but my father was burnt badly and was in the hospital with us. We had minor burns also but it was not as serious as my father, but despite his burns he was so happy to see us getting better, but as for my brother Frank they didn’t want to see him.
They were so mad with his carelessness for burning the house my parents worked hard for and almost killing the children they prayed for 8 good years after they had him.
That incident took us back to be almost poor because the hospital bills were covered by my mother who was a trader, and as for my father, the private organization he worked for laid him off because of his absence from work but they compensated him with some cash.
The compensation was kind of useless to my father knowing he will have to go back for job hunting so he can cater for his family, and without wasting time despite he was not strong enough and could not get a job, he used the compensation money he got to buy a taxi and hit the road.
Our condition was not funny and my parents worked extra hard for us but was very reluctant to forgive my brother Frank. To my father he has only two children despite my mother let go but my father was very hardened as he could not forget the hardship Frank brought upon us.
A Reverend father took Frank away at a point after so much begging and my father was so glad he did so he won’t see him anymore, that was how much he hated his own son.
Many years has gone by and we eventually returned back to our house and got it renovated. My parents sent us to an expensive private university after we passed excellently even when they were not still financially buoyant. Seeing the sacrifices of my parents for us, we vowed to make them proud.
Four years later I graduated as an accountant and my sister as an educationist. When we returned home after our service, my parents joy knew no bound. They believed its their time of rest as all parents do think, and after 3 weeks of staying with them we got to know my father will be celebrating his 60th birthday.
I and my sister planned to surprise him so we arranged a small party at home for him. When my mother returned from the market she saw what we planned and smiled,
“You know your father, he won’t be happy that you wasted money on his birthday, she said.
‘Wasted? Mommy relax, we will soon get a job and money will come, Patricia said.
“But still you can use this money to…… “Mommy don’t worry, money will come. Is it a crime that we want to celebrate our father birthday for the first time? Please don’t stop us na, I came in touching her on her shoulder and she surrendered.
‘Okay o, let me go change up then, my mother said.
“Please do, because there will be fun tonight! Patricia shouted very excited and my mother smiled and got into our room.
When we saw our father at a distance coming, Patricia suddenly initiated a prank we should play on him.
‘Oh wrong nau, your father is tired, my mother said when she heard us.
“Mommy you too like this your husband man o, Patricia said.
“Leave my husband for me please, don’t go and raise his pressure for nothing just because there’s a cake he won’t even eat because his diabetic, my mother said and we heaved.
“Don’t worry mommy, we will have a job and papa will rest so that he can take care of himself, Patricia said.
“Yes, he won’t have to go out every morning again at his age, just give us a little time and you won’t work hard anymore, I added and a knock came on our door.
We knew it was our father so we breathed out and got ourselves arranged while Patricia ran in to bring the cake so we can surprise him when he steps in.
My mother opened the door and we screamed a happy birthday and sang for him.
He just laughed and took off his face cap as his wife hugged him while we awwned.
The love my parents have for each other is just rare, and I pray to have such a partner when I am ready to settle down.
“Happy birthday daddy! Patricia said.
“Thank you my dear, My father said and hugged us.
“But you two are not feeling fine, instead of keeping this money so we can use it to buy better food that will last us, you wasted it on sugar, he said and we rolled our eyes.
“Ahhhh daddy even for the first time let us do something different nau, Patricia said.
“Eh I know this is your idea so that you’ll eat cake, but I appreciate thank you, my father said as we got in the sitting room and he tiredly sat down.
“Should I get you something to eat? His wife asked.
“No please, I’ll just take my bath and a hot one for that matter, he replied and a knock came on the door when Patricia wanted going in to get the boiled water ready.
“Who is it? I asked going to answer the door and when I opened up I saw Frank and the Reverend father outside.
“Brother? Welcome brother, I said very happy he showed up and they walked in.
My mother seeing her son quickly hugged him while I made the Reverend father to sit.
My father didn’t say a word but just looked at him and Frank was scared to look at him also.
“I see there’s a celebration, the Reverend father said.
“Dad is 60 years today, I replied.
“Happy birthday daddy, Frank slowly said but my father was quiet.
“Happy birthday sir, the Reverend said.
“Thank you, my father slowly replied and Patricia came out from the kitchen and welcomed Frank and I quickly signalled her to put the water down because my father won’t be using it now.
“Ermm sir, I know I have been here many years ago when I came to take Frank, He’s back now, the father said.
“So finally he’s back why? My father asked.
‘Sir please I am still begging you, you can’t have all good children and those fortunate to have all their children good they don’t know what God has done for them. My parents do say God do mix children to give to us, but then we have to forgive whenever they wrong us, the father replied.
“Have you forgotten he turned to rebel against me and even denounced me as his father? I don’t think he wants me because he can clearly do without me, besides its even too late, my father said.
“Please ignore his youthful exuberance, that’s how ignorant he was. But then he needs his family most especially his parents blessings. His path are closed and I am not surprised, how will God open ways for him when his parents has grudges against him? That’s how powerful a father blessings are and he has realized that he was wrong. Please take him back, the father said and Frank slowly went down on his knees.
“Daddy I am sorry. I don’t want to recall all the pains I put you through and how I almost killed my siblings then. Even with that I was still stubborn not minding you two were going through a lot already. Please I am asking for your forgiveness. I am not doing this because I want your blessings or any kind of inheritance but i want to come back to my family because I belong here. I’ve been away for too long thinking I can do without you, I can’t still explain the anger i had for my family that was gradually destroying me and that’s so stupid of me, please daddy forgive me, Frank said while we quietly watched and my mother stood up from where she sat and knelt down beside him.
Seeing that my father quickly held her up,
“Please, no matter what he has done, lets not forget he was our first fruit of love. Let’s not forget how we thanked God for giving him to us then, He’s still our son I beg you. For my sake please take him back, My mother said.
“Get up please, why should you kneel to beg me? He asked and turned to Frank.
“I can never say no to my wife for what she has just done. You want to come back to your family huh? Fine but I hope your intentions are pure. Let me believe that you’re changed for good, My father said and I smiled.
“Thank you so much daddy, Frank happily said and my mother happily laughed and hugged her husband while we ran and fell on our big brother.
I guess our father 60th birthday reconciled our family and the celebration took another shape.
Patricia was already seen sitting on the laps of Frank listing what he should buy for her as a big brother. It was funny to me when she complained to Frank that I don’t buy things for her when I came out first, but I will always claim that we are twins and there’s no need for that.
“Is that so? Don’t worry big brother is here and we’ll go shopping tomorrow, Frank said.
“Yesss!!!! Say that again so that Patrick will hear, Patricia said and I laughed loud.
Ever since Frank left us, I and Patricia became more close than ever before. We do everything together and was so inseparable. You dare not hurt my sister because you’ll be facing me, and I never thought a time will come that i will be so against her because of a woman. I never imagined a time will come where I will turn my back on my family and forget all the love and sacrifices of my parents.
To Be Continued… . . .
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