There he goes again. Yes, banging as hard as he could at the door. The weary, weary wooden door, that only stood miraculously by the remaining hinge that was strategically placed in the middle. And as he continued banging and banging, the screws slowly undid themselves. A false move would send this door to the ground but his drunken self knew nothing about this, all he wanted was to get into his bed.
Whenever the clock struck midnight, she knew her father would come back home from the local joint after having one too many of the traditional brew, that was not so traditional anymore. The same brew that was known for making people go blind, and worse still, death. But since all her efforts to stop him from a premature death fell on deaf ears, all she could do was watch him recklessly waste his life away.
She had gotten so used to the time of his arrival, that she no longer bothered to look him in the face. And each time he staggered in, he wouldn’t say a word, and just like a trained dog, he would trace his own way to his bed. Though being a primary school candidate, she had to step up and double up roles. As much as she was still a student, this situation made her also into a mother of his own father.
And so, this particular night, the banging was harder than usual, but still, she rushed and opened the door. Something seemed out of place this time since he fell face first into the floor rather than the usual stagger into bed. All she heard was a loud thump. And as she wondered why things were out of place, she tried pulling him to his bed, but she couldn’t even move an inch of him.
The drizzling rain that had started an hour before, started pouring heavily, hitting hard on the mabati roof and what followed was a blackout. So she quickly rushed to light their paraffin lamp that she was so sure wouldn’t last even an hour, since the paraffin was not so promising. Looking at his father who lay face down, she started reminiscing the old times, before her mum ran away. Then his father started having fits on end. He had never had these before and she became confused on what to do.
Panicking, she rushed out, shouting for help. And as she came back to the house, he had his last fit just as the lamp went off. She knew she had lost him. Where was she going to start from? And as she lay besides her father’s cold lifeless body till dawn, a knock on the door woke her. With swollen eyes, she rushed to open the door. To her dismay, her father stood right in front of her eyes, and for the first time in forever he was actually sober. And the stranger that lay there must have been a lost drunk. Sighing in relief, she embraced him with tears in her eyes and thanked God for a second chance.