When Dad Came Back....

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Story of a girl whose Dad came to meet her after sixteen years.....

Submitted: January 11, 2018

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Submitted: January 11, 2018



Dad left sixteen years ago. An artery carrying blood to his brain had burst open, unable to withstand the pressure exerted by his heart. A large blood clot had formed as revealed by the CT scan and Dad had lost sensation on the left side of his body. But then, all this was said by the doctor; on the outside, Dad looked fine- not even a single scratch anywhere, how could he be dying? The doctors were lying, I knew Dad was feigning illness to teach me a lesson because maybe he was angry with me. I’d have to find out the reason behind his anger once he woke up. But he didn’t wake up. Ever. The doctors were right and I wrong. Dad died in a day. He died without saying goodbye to me, without giving me a last chance to say I loved him, without waiting to see what happened of his daughter and his wife in the future. But the child that I was, I waited for him to come back.

Years added to my age did not lessen or obliterate my wait. I waited still. And one day Dad put an end to my wait- he came back! It was a clear winter morning and as I woke up my ears were greeted with laughter, a lot of it, and an excited medley of voices. I got out of bed and hurried to the living room. There, seated on the couch and surrounded by my mother, aunt, uncle and cousins was Dad! He hadn’t changed a bit and looked exactly the same even after sixteen long years; but his face had acquired a new glow and he had grown a few days’ stubble that made him look cool. Tears came to my eyes as I saw him after so long an interval of time but at the same time the smile on my lips was widening by the second. I ran to him and threw my arms around him. “You’re back”, I said. He looked at me and nodded with a smile. I wrapped my fingers around his forefinger, much the same way I would as a child and led him to the balcony. The rest of the family protested, saying he should eat something first and get some rest as he had been a part of a long journey but I didn’t listen. It wasn’t everyday that Dad came back after a span of sixteen years! Excited, I showed him the plants at the balcony, the shade of the curtains that I loved, the view of the surroundings from our fifth floor apartment that was new to him. I almost ran from one part of the house to another, showing him around and keeping up my excited chatter. He laughed at my child- like glee and told me he was here to stay, so I might as well take my time to breathe.

Lunch was splendid with all the dishes Dad loved. Mom had cooked everything and I had helped. After lunch I suggested Dad and I should go for a walk. I wanted to show the neighbourhood that we were not an incomplete family anymore, that Dad was back and he would stay and I would get to spend a normal life from then on. We were enjoying the walk, talking about my studies when we came across a shop. Dad went in and bought me chocolate bars and candies that had been my favourites so many years ago and were still available in the market. I was beside myself with joy and we had walked a few steps away from the shop when a woman called me names for being unemployed and useless. This woman had made my mother’s and my life very bitter because we lacked a male member in the house and would insult us almost every day, picking random issues of her choice, to the point where I had started contemplating suicide. The other people of the neighbourhood, personnel of governing bodies and local committees had also not helped because the husband of this lady would visit all the people and influence them to be in his favour, which was not possible for my working mother or my socially awkward self to do.  This was causing me to go further down the whirlpool of depression and it was around this time that Dad came back. I started telling him about this woman but he already knew. “Don’t worry. She’ll not be able to speak those words to your mother and you ever again”, he said to me, smiling. And sure enough, the woman’s tongue detached and fell to the ground. I was amazed at what had happened and the horror and pain the woman’s face registered did some good to the burning in my heart. As for Dad, he continued smiling and led me away. He then asked me to check my phone. I could not understand what purpose my phone would serve now but the twinkle in his eyes made me check it anyway. And there was a text message. From the guy I was in love with! I was obsessed with him and all I wanted was to be able to talk to him just once. And here he was, sending me a message, asking me to call him. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Not only was Dad back but he was back with powers. I asked him how he got his powers and he said simply, “ I was at a place called Happiness and when you spend fifteen years there you get gifted with certain powers. Since I spent my fifteen years very well and also stayed an extra year, I got stronger powers than most others. And I knew I had to use the powers of that world to protect you from the vices of this world, hence I came as soon as my sixteenth year was over. I’ll take care of what is not in your control but whatever is, you’ll have to work on it and I’ll teach you how to do that.” I was in awe of what he had said and silently followed him back home.

At home, Dad did not let Mom work. He asked her to enjoy her favourite shows on television while he and I cooked a nice dinner. Our home became a storehouse of energy after Dad’s arrival. He would wake me early in the morning and take me jogging with him. He’d make the three of us a healthy breakfast while whistling to himself. I had never heard him whistle before. He would read the newspaper after breakfast and do the household chores when Mom was at work and I at college. We’d come home to cleanliness and neatness every day. In the evening he would talk to me about my studies and teach me various things I would require for my career. Over weekends, we would go for long drives, to the movies, to restaurants and malls. I would ask him why we should drive to the mall, we could fly instead as he had powers. I asked him why I needed to study for a job, he could get me one. I was also shocked upon discovering that the bad woman in the neighbourhood had got her tongue back and was arguing with the fruit seller over the price of fruits. Dad smiled his usual smile and told me something I’ll never forget, “That woman hasn’t said anything to you or your mother since the incident with her tongue and I know she won’t ever. I taught her a lesson and she learnt it. Hence, she had to get her tongue back. We don’t have the right to permanently alter or damage what God has created. We can, however, make temporary modifications if we ourselves are threatened or harmed. We need to fight for ourselves but never be unjust. And that is the reason you need to study to get a job and we need to drive to the mall instead of flying. Even the house can be clean with a snap of my fingers and food cooked with a simple wish uttered, but had I done so, I’d have missed the joy of cooking and cleaning. Besides, if my powers were to abandon me suddenly, would I not have to do everything manually? Then why not prepare for it now itself? Do what you can, do how much you should and the rest will be taken care of by powers you don’t fathom in their entirety.” From that day, I started giving my best to my studies, my ties with Mom, my bonds with Uncle, Aunt and my cousins, caring for myself and my relationship with the guy I loved. Yes, I was now in a relationship with him which was running smooth and happy. Dad had changed my life into a dream and unlike many other dreams this one wasn’t going to break.

One day I found Dad talking rather angrily over his phone. It was a sleek star-shaped device that he called the Happytalkie and with which he used to speak to members of Happiness everyday at a particular hour. But today he sounded unusually angry. I didn’t know what he was angry about, for it was a language I did not understand. Upon seeing me he hung up and a smile replaced his frown. I asked him why he was angry. He said there had been a new entry into Happiness and the man wasn’t abiding by any of the rules there. But everything would be taken care of in a day or two, so there was nothing to worry about. But worry I did, for I knew he was being called back to resolve the matter. And once he was gone, again, would he come back? Or would he make me wait another sixteen years? Or would he never come back? Tears of insecurity rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t lose him again. To get everything back just to lose it again would be a harder blow than the first one. I couldn’t let him go, I wouldn’t let him go. I hugged him and in between sobs, managed to say, “Please don’t leave again, Dad. You said you would stay. Please don’t leave.” He took my hand in his and whispered, “ I’m not going anywhere. I am here to stay. But if I do leave, which one day everybody has to, why should you feel alone? You now know how to live a life of fulfilment and gratification. I’ve taught you things and I know you will always remember them. I’ll be there in everything you say, everything you do and in every moment that you smile. How then, will you be alone? And if you still get lonely, you can have my Happytalkie. I’ll leave it with you when I have to go and get a new one at Happiness. We could talk whenever you wanted to. Does that work for you?” he gave me the device and I was surprised at the weight of the object and the shine it emanated. Dad pushed a button at the head of it and now it was light enough to carry and matte enough to look at. He then left the room and told me he’d be back in sometime. I watched Dad go as I held the Happytalkie tightly in my hands- a device that would keep me connected to him when he physically wasn’t with me anymore.

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