I felt very sad that our Daddy had not been able to see anything since his return from the hospital. Now he needed our assistance every time he wanted to move around the house. Sometimes Oyigwe would hold him by the hand and show him the way to the sitting room, at other times it would be my turn to lead him back into the bedroom or onto the armchair in the veranda. His Oyibo friends came to visit him at home, and I overheard them discussed that they may take him out of Nigeria for further treatment if his condition did not improve. I didn’t want anyone to take our Daddy away for a second time; I preferred him to be around with us always, to play with us and take us to the parks, and to buy ice cream for us on our way from the state library on weekends. I felt pity for him because I thought that he must be suffering very much. But Daddy always smiled and told us he would be okay.
Few days after Daddy’s return from the hospital, I caught a very colourful butterfly which couldn’t fly away because one of the wings was broken. I didn’t know how it hurt its wing. I only met it fluttering round and round on the veranda floor. Carefully, I put it inside an empty glass bottle and wanted to go and show Daddy. But then I remembered he couldn’t see anything. In disappointment, I opened the bottle and freed the butterfly. A lizard scrambled from nowhere and snatched it from the floor. The lizard carried it in its mouth and ran away. I shambled to the foot of the mango tree and sat on the protruding root. I thought sadly about our Daddy’s problem until tears started to come out of my eyes. I cried and cried; I wanted to help him but I didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I rested my back on the tree’s trunk and dozed off…
Somehow, a man had materialised inside our compound, and I realised he had been watching me intently. This strange man wasn’t dressed like the policemen that came to our house the day Daddy had the accident; he wore a very neat blue shirt with flowery patterns all over it. He was as tall as our Daddy, and I told myself that I’ve never seen him before. I quickly wiped my tears with the back of my palm. The strange man then started to walk towards me, and that got me really scared. I wanted to jump up and scream for Daddy to hurry to my aid. But the stranger raised his hand gently and said I shouldn’t be afraid of him.
“I am your friend. I am not your enemy. I am here to bring good news to your family,” he said to me. His words calmed me in a way I could not explain. He reached out his hand and I accepted as he helped me to my feet. He smiled very kindly at me and said he knew my name.
“If you say you know my name then what’s my name?” I asked him. I was suddenly comfortable in his presence; as if I’ve known him for a long time, though I couldn’t explain how.
“You are Otseme. And your Daddy is also fond of calling you Penguin, right?”
“Who told you my name?” I asked excitedly. I was surprised how he got my name right.
“I know because I watch over you all the time,” he said.
“Are you a magician like Auntie Rose too?” I asked him.
“I am not a magician, but I can make good things happen to people who trust and obey Jesus,” he said and smile gently at me.
“Are you an angel from Jesus, then? Our Sunday school teacher told us that there are plenty angels in heaven. But he said we cannot see them?” I asked him.
“Your Sunday school teacher is right. There are angels sent from God to always watch over his children here on earth, and to protect them from harm’s way.”
“Do angels do magic too?”
“Nothing is too much when you ask God, my dear friend.”
“Please can you help me to talk to God to make our Daddy to regain his sight? Somebody knocked him down with a car and now he can’t see anything,” I pleaded.
“I’m going to go over and see what I can do for your Daddy now,” the stranger said to me. He let go of my hand and started to walk in the direction of our parlour where Daddy was seated and listening to music.
“Please wait for me. I want to come along,” I called after him…
I woke up at once and only then did I realised it was all just a dream. My heart sank in disappointment. Suddenly, I heard Daddy shouting that our Mummy should come immediately. Mummy left what she was doing in the kitchen and hurried to the parlour. I jumped to my feet and rushed after her, my heart beating very fast because I didn’t know what had happened to Daddy.
“I can see!” Daddy shouted when we all got to him.
“Are you serious, dear?” Mummy asked in excitement.
“Here I was, sitting down and trying to sort things inside my head while I listened to a melodious music and all of a sudden, I could see the pictures on the wall!” Daddy said and started to laugh happily.
I thought of the strange man in my dream. “He must be and angel from God,” I told myself as I went to give our Daddy the biggest hug I ever gave him.