It was a Friday morning, my Dad came to my room to wake me up for school after a late night of waiting for his arrival from the trip he went. Peacekeeping in Mali.
I was surprised to see him back home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with us, which was coming up next week. My Dad has been away for eight months.his job, as a soldier, US Marine. Keeps him away from his family, but for a good purpose. Although, that didn't separate our bond because he was always sending gifts to me. He got me a video game on my eighth birthday and a scooter on my eleventh birthday.
"Daddy…" I shouted with joy as I embraced him tightly. And I smelt the Amber floral fragrance on him.
"Oh! Tommy, Did you miss me?" He tickled me.
"Ye… yes Daddy." I laughed uncontrollably because of the ticklish effect.
Then he carried me and placed me on his shoulder, as he walked to the kitchen dodging the door frames and kissed my mother on her lips. Mom was making pancakes for me.
I quickly brushed my teeth, prepared myself for school and my breakfast. Then he drove me to school. As my Dad was driving, he got a text message on his phone that was fixed to the phone hanger. He swiped the phone and read the message. Immediately his mood changed.
I noticed that something was wrong. So I asked him.
"Dad, is everything okay?"
"Oh! What? Yes, everything is okay Tommy." He smiled at me.
"Okay. But Dad, can I ask you something?"
"Yes, my boy. Ask anything."
"Will you be home for dinner?"
"Dinner?" He asked, with a pause in his tone.
"Yes, Daddy. Dinner."
"Uhmmm," he halted. "Yes, Tommy I'll be there. But do you want me to get you anything?"
"Hmmm, nothing Dad. Just you."
He looked into my eyes and smiled at me, as he placed his palm on my head and rubbed it softly.
"Okay, Tommy. We're here now. Be a good boy and make your teacher feel your smart brains. I love you so much." He kissed my forehead
I got down from the car and waved at him, as he smiled and drove off.
That night I got home late, after spending so much time at my friend's place playing video games.
I opened the door leading to the living room, only to see my mother on the couch, holding a letter and crying. I rushed to be with her to calm her and know the reason why she's crying. It was difficult to calm her but I did my best. Then I asked her, "where is Daddy?"
Immediately I dropped that question. She started crying again, with tears rolling down from her eyes. She said to me, "Your Dad is gone and won't be coming home till next Christmas."
"No… that can't be true." I stood up in anger. "He promised to be for dinner."
"Tommy, please sit down."
I ran outside in anger and took my scooter as I rode out of the house to my special spot.
I stopped the scooter at the Park gate and walked into the park in the middle of the night. I sat near the riverbank, staring at the river, quiet, peaceful, no turbulence. Then I looked up to the sky and saw stars shining in the black sky.
I laid down close to the river bank, looking at the stars in the black sky and not minding it was midnight. As I remembered my Dad's promise.
Then I said, "Dad, why? Why do you have to go?" As tears rolled down from my eyes? "I miss you, Daddy." As I let the cold breeze and quiet atmosphere calm my anger.