Tayo got to the office on Monday morning feeling less than refreshed and ready for work. For the first time in months, he truly pitied his wife, Ibimina. He had not realised that Tami, his daughter had become more than a hand’s full. It seemed it was easier to love from afar instead of involving himself emotionally. Once again, he wondered why Tami was different from other children.
Once upon a time, he had appreciated that she was different from most babies in the sense that she was way more prettier. She had been his pride and Joy. He enjoyed the attention he got whenever he carried her around, everyone wanted to carry her and mothers booked her as their future daughter in-law. She was extremely fair like a tanned albino but without spot, her hazel eyes never failing in capturing his heart each time she stared at him. Tami had been a playful adorable baby who gave and enjoyed attention, never selective of anyone carrying her. But now, what could he say about his supposed little Jewel?
Tayo suddenly felt overwhelmed by everything going on his life. “How can I stop myself from hating my own daughter” He cried out. For the first time in years he burst out in genuine tears when he thought about his family. Even though he was married, he felt as if he wasn’t, even though he was a father, he felt as if he did not have a child. Ibimina’s full attention was on Tami and Tami’s attention was on something unknown while he stood alone with nobody to care for him.
He began to weep like a child, lost in thoughts, grief and tears. In his tears he watched as bubbles of joy, laughter and happy ever after ending that he had envisaged when he got married burst into the nothingness of space.
“Tayo come over here”. He heard a female voice call his name with so much familiarity and boldness. Surprised that anyone but his wife or mother would call him like that, he raised his head quickly, forgetting to wipe the tears off his face. His gaze eventually fell on Munachi from the Branding and Marketing department. He had not heard her come into his office but he knew she had probably come to give an update on a project. He became self conscious and then embarassed that a younger colleague had seen him cry like a child. He was going to tell her to return later but her warm smile and open arms encouraged him to move his feet towards her. He was pleasantly surprised when he wrapped his large frame around her. He had not imagined he would derive so much comfort from her small frame. He cried some more as she whispered calm words to his ears till he was finally able to control the tears.
When he finally un-squeezed her from his fierce embrace, he felt more foolishly embarrassed for taking comfort from a colleague who happened to be a junior staff. He felt too embarassed to look into her eyes, so he backed her. “Please leave. I’ll return the document directly to your line manager”. He said stiffly
She laughed. “Sir. You don’t have to be embarrassed, sooner or later we’ll have to face each other again. For work sake please let’s just deal with this embarrassment once and for all, not that I think you should be embarassed. Anyways, I’ll leave now to come back in 10 mins”.
He heard the sound of her shoe move towards the door then pause. She spoke again “By the way it is not a big deal to cry, we’ll not be human if we are unable to express our hurts through tears. In my opinion it is better to cry out than to bottle it up only to drive ourselves to the brink of madness”.
He didn’t turn away from the wall until he heard the door close behind her. He could not help but smile. “I like her.
Ibimina had been that way before they got married and definitely before Tami came into the picture. It was one of the major things that had attracted him to her in the first place; her boldness and wittiness. But these days all she did was cry, nag and kill him with complaints.
Tami liked the receptionist in her school, her name was Ms.Zara. Tami liked her because she had stars in her eyes and a peaceful breeze around her. Tami tried to smile when she saw Ms.Zara enter into her class but ended up biting herself and running to the back of the class.
“Tami Tami Tami” Ms. Zara squealed on sighting Tami before she began to chase her round the small class.
Tami laughed. She liked when Ms.Zara ran after her.
“Okay Tami enough of the running, I have a new song for you, come closer”. She beckoned to her,
Hey, diddle, diddle,The cat and the fiddle,The cow jumped over the moon;The little dog laughedTo see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon.
Tami liked Ms.Zara fruity voice. She liked when Ms.Zara sang to her, so she sang along.