WHY HER AND NOT ME

So what’s your dad like? Strict? Harsh? Cool? Or is he freaking awesome! Lucky you. Mine is none of those.

 

As we sat there I couldn’t help but wonder what other diners in the restaurant thought when they saw us. Friends? Yeah right, probably not, the age difference was too apparent. Uncle and niece? Young naïve campus girl and her 50 year old boyfriend? HA! That’s a good one. Father and daughter?

 

“I
said I want to see her!”

 

He pulled out his phone and reluctantly started
scrolling through his gallery. Oh my goodness… it was finally going to happen,
he was going to let me see her! I can’t even begin to tell you how many years
I’d spent dreaming about what she looked like. Was she tall? Skinny? Light?
Dark?

 

“Shika”
(take)

 

He handed me his not so fancy Tecno something phone.
Old school guy that one.

 

For a minute I was scared to look. (Oh come on Hope,
cut the crap, you’ve been waiting to see her your entire life.) So I gathered
enough courage. And I looked, and could not stop looking. I stared long and
hard. It was magical. Same eyes, same nose, same forehead. Two freaking peas in
a pod. She was beautiful, beautiful… a slightly bigger beautiful version of me.
  

 

I was not sure whether to scroll for more so I gave
his phone back. Yeah turns out I actually have manners. I don’t snoop through
people’s phones. Ha-ha. He scrolled again and handed me the phone. Wow… I absofreakinglutely
wasn’t expecting that but what the hell, I didn’t mind seeing her again. I
could stare at her forever and not get tired, okay I’d definitely have to pee
and sleep at some point.

 

“She’s
in the US doing medicine.”

 

There was this thing in this voice as he said that…
pride… Exactly, that’s it, pride. It was definitely the same thing you hear in
a man’s voice when he’s talking about his brand new ride or his really hot
babe.

 

Beauty and brains. I could totally understand why he
would be so proud of her. And as incredulous as it sounds, I was actually happy
for her. Impressed yes, but mostly ecstatic over the idea of possibly getting
free consultation for the rest of my natural life! How cool would that be, like
hey my sister’s a doctor and she uses words like hichoptomiasis, yeah that’s
not even a word.  

 

My inquisitive side definitely came out. I asked a
couple more questions. Like what state she was in, what university, what year…
none of which I can remember now. But I swear to God I was paying attention.
The irony.

 

It was fun to hear all about her until it was not. He
kept going on and on about her and medicine and the US and her and medicine
and… (Dammit! I heard you the first fifty times!) My patience was running out.
I tried to keep a straight face. Smiling and nodding and fake laughing and
sipping my almost cold coffee. How could he have been so oblivious to what he
was doing? Like come on! You’re telling your daughter whom you barely provide
for about your other daughter whom you took abroad for further studies.
Literally rubbing it in. It felt like he was stabbing me right in the heart
with a steel knife and with every sentence it felt like he was yanking the knife
out and putting it back in.

 

Finally! Last photo. And as he exited his gallery,
there she was. Wallpaper. She got to be his wallpaper. I mean how do you even
compete with that? That could never be me on that wallpaper. Never.

 

It hurt, it hurt so bad, so hard, more than it was
supposed to. Way more than I thought it would. But it wasn’t my sister’s fault.
I’m not angry at her. I’m mad at him! Super mad. Picture you finding out your
partner is cheating on you with your best friend, now that anger and pain a
million times more.

 

My whole life I thought seeing my sister would be the
best thing that happened to me and for a minute it actually was until it hit me
that she had everything I didn’t. She gets to study abroad, she gets to be the
wallpaper, the one he shows off. She got to have him at every school meeting,
every birthday, Christmas, Easter, New Year’s… lucky her.

 

Ha-ha, I know I totally sound like an old bitter and
withered lady who just had sour lemons for breakfast. But am I not justified to
feel like that? Wouldn’t you feel the same way?

 

He had the choice to be in both our lives but he chose to be in hers. Then 15 freaking years later he shows up like hey, I’m now ready to be your dad. After I had struggled through preschool trying to explain to other kids why I didn’t have a father like the rest of them. Dreading every composition we had to write about my family or my father. Hating any teacher that would obliviously ask us to stand up and answer stupid questions like my father is a… I would stand up and have no answer then get called out for not speaking up.

 

 I remember this
one teacher who made a really snarky comment, “Some of you are so stupid you
don’t even know your fathers’ names.” 
Maybe she’d grown up in a perfect little tightly knit family complete
with a mom and dad and was clueless of anything different from that. Bottom
line is, it stung. No child deserves that. That little girl didn’t deserve
that. It wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t there when things went south, I was a child.
His child. Your child dad, I needed you to be there. That little girl needed
you but you were miles away playing dad to all your kids except for one.

 

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to talk myself
out of getting really angry or sad because of something he failed to do or
something he did. “At least he’s trying” that’s what I tell myself, at least
he’s trying. But maybe he’s not and I’m just trying to justify his actions
because he’s half of me. It makes no sense that he could be a perfect dad to
one daughter and a horrible disaster to the other. He can afford to pay for med
school abroad but can’t afford to write one lousy cheque for a public uni here?
Wow! Beats me too.

 

Oh well… Enough of that depressing story. I’m a big
girl. And this big girl wants to talk to all her male friends and their other
male friends, the friends of their other male friends… Don’t be that guy. The
guy who runs and shows up years later ready to take up responsibility after the
damage is already done. My father was not there for me when I needed him, he
still is not. I would hate to see another little girl go through what I went through.
That stuff scars you for life.

 

There’s no excuse for leaving your child so don’t you
dare walk away. Don’t be a coward. Stay and be a man. Be a father to your child.
Be there physically, emotionally… be present, don’t just dish out cheques. That
little boy/girl needs you more than you could ever imagine

 

And hey, if you’re like me. Let down by the one man
that wasn’t supposed to let you down. I want you to know that none of that is
your fault, he’s the one with a problem. Keep your head up honey. Chase those
dreams. One day he’ll regret ever walking out on you.

 

My coffee had gone completely cold and I couldn’t
bring myself to finish the samosa I had ordered. There was this big lump in my
throat that made it so hard to swallow. I was on the verge of tears. I couldn’t
sit there anymore. I was not about to humiliate myself by breaking down in
public.

 

I have to go
home now, I have dishes to do.”

 

Yeah I know… I could have come up with a better excuse
for having to leave but my head was a mess. I just wanted to get the hell out
of that restaurant. Frankly speaking, I didn’t feel like he was worth anything
more than a lame excuse. God! I regretted pushing for that meeting.

 

I fought the tears back on the matatu back home. That Super Metro driver couldn’t have picked a better time to play sad music. Celine Dion had never sounded so depressing in my entire life. That night I cried my eyeballs out, trying to muffle my sobs with a pillow so that my mom wouldn’t hear me. In that moment the only question running through my mind was, “WHY HER, AND NOT ME.”

 

Wow looks like we actually did go back to that depressing story after all. Ha-ha. Hey, don’t be afraid to leave a comment. I want to hear all about your Dad-beat stories and feature some of them on the blog. DM me if you’d like to share yours and inspire someone. Also please share this with your friends who might be in the same situation and of course all the potential fathers out there. We need them to think twice before walking away. Stay safe my beautiful people!!!

48 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Denise Kighombereply
September 9, 2019 at 3:40 pm

This piece is so heartfelt😿 I’ve read it over and over again and I still can’t have enough. You’re an amazing writer Nyaruai. Thankyou for putting so many of our thoughts and emotions into words

Wanjiru Kinuthiareply
September 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm
– In reply to: Denise Kighombe

Saying this blog is beautiful would be an understatement. You brought all the feels to life 😭 You’re an amazing writer and a strong person for sure !

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm
– In reply to: Wanjiru Kinuthia

Thank you so much love!!!

Ashleyreply
September 9, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Hey girl, first of all, I’m loving this blog!!!!! Another thing I’m a victim of a dad-beat too except that upto today he’s never come back for me so I still haven’t seen him, I don’t know anything about him either. But I totally understand what you went through, when all your friends are talking about their dads and you’re just there like, wow where is my dad? Why can’t I be a daddy’s girl like everyone else? It’s so depressing but I learnt to live with it plus I have afamily that loves and supports me so I focus on appreciating them instead of complaining about my absent dad.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 6:28 pm
– In reply to: Ashley

So nice to hear from you Ashley. Thank you so much for being honest and brave enough to share your dad-beat story. And yes, a support system is very important, glad you have a wonderful family. I have an awesome mom too.You sound very optimistic, don’t lose that. Keep your head up girl.

Mary Njerireply
September 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm

My Goooosh! Such a nice read.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 6:35 pm
– In reply to: Mary Njeri

Thank you girl!!!

Viviannereply
September 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm

😭😭my heart was crying while reading this …keep at it girllll🔥🔥

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm
– In reply to: Vivianne

Thank you Vivianne. Always happy to spark up emotions.

Nikkireply
September 9, 2019 at 9:39 pm
– In reply to: Hope Nyaruai

😭😭 Hope your work’s amazing!!! I love it…honestly. Reading through this piece has stirred up so many emotions inside me. The most outstanding one being disappointment. Throughout the piece I felt like that little girl was me😢. I’m so good at moving on but as I read through, the sudden realization that I’ve got a deadbeat dad hit me so hard, it actually hurt. I’m a grown woman now n I’ll probably never get to experience that feeling kids with dads experience. It’s painful but it’s ok. I can handle it. I just hope guys out there could actually read this n learn sth from it.
Keep it going girl!!! I love your works😊.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 10:18 pm
– In reply to: Nikki

Hey Nikki!!! I hear you and I totally understand you. It’s so easy to ignore those feelings and pretend like we’re fine. For the longest time I pretended that I was fine because kids like us don’t get to be weak. “We have to be strong for our moms.” But truth is… feeling those feelings is what heals. I hope you find your healing, keep your head up beautiful.

Eustinereply
September 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm
– In reply to: Nikki

Sad but i keep reading it over and over,i mean, it’s really something girl

Hope Nyaruai
September 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm
– In reply to: Eustine

Hey Eustine!!! Sorry didn’t mean to make you sad, oops😂. Thank you for dropping by. Cheers!!!

Ronnyreply
September 9, 2019 at 4:49 pm

This got to me to sit and reflect.. You are very bold and I love how you shared this so candidly. Many of us out here will seek solace in your words. Amazing job for the delivery and keep inspiring us to air out what we try so hard to hold in. Cheers

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 6:33 pm
– In reply to: Ronny

Hey Ronny thanks for dropping by. You most definitely got the idea right. I want people to know that it’s okay to not be okay. I wish someone had told me that sooner but now that I know that, I want someone else to know that too. Cheers!!!

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Thank you Denise. This blog wouldn’t be here without you.

Metareply
September 9, 2019 at 8:51 pm
– In reply to: Hope Nyaruai

Absolutely sweet article. Girl you rock…that piece got to my heart…found its link in my cousin’s WhatsApp status…imma check the rest of the blog…keep up.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 10:20 pm
– In reply to: Meta

Thank you very much for stopping by. Always happy to see a new member.

Valentine Ndutareply
September 9, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Aaaww 😍😍😍heartfelt…this piece us eveeything aki 🔥🔥🔥

Valentine Ndutareply
September 9, 2019 at 8:04 pm
– In reply to: Valentine Nduta

Is everything*

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm
– In reply to: Valentine Nduta

Val!! thank you so much for reading. Happy to see you here.

Clinton Geekreply
September 9, 2019 at 8:07 pm

So emotional, daamn! Others on the other side we need to sit and learn! 😱
Great job Nyaruai 🔥

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 9, 2019 at 8:45 pm
– In reply to: Clinton Geek

Glad you could join the party!!! Thank you Clinton.

Kaylebreply
September 10, 2019 at 2:42 am

Its an emotional article😥… thanks for taking us through the experience Nyaruai👍🏾

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 10, 2019 at 6:43 am
– In reply to: Kayleb

Thank you Kayleb!!!

Carrie Kamaureply
September 10, 2019 at 3:32 am

🥺🥺Beautiful read babe♥️♥️♥️

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 10, 2019 at 6:45 am
– In reply to: Carrie Kamau

Thank you love.

Maureenreply
September 10, 2019 at 4:07 am

The world owes you nothing girl. Always keep your head in the sky. It’s okay to cry but don’t give up and NEVER stop writing, you are amazing! With love♥️

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 10, 2019 at 6:42 am
– In reply to: Maureen

Thank you Maureen. Seen your blog, it’s good. Keep shining girl.

Maureenreply
September 10, 2019 at 4:13 am

This is lovely😭and freaking deep😭

Muthoni Kamaureply
September 10, 2019 at 4:15 am

Cheers to you for surviving those tough preschool times without a dad. But look at the great woman you’ve become even without your dad!
Great post.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 10, 2019 at 6:31 am
– In reply to: Muthoni Kamau

Yes indeed Muthoni. Thank so much you for dropping by.

Ian⚙️reply
September 10, 2019 at 6:04 pm

Woow.. ,graet piece of work Hope,
Really touching 😥😥.
I also happen to be a victim of the same, My Dad walked away after I was born,for reasons I don’t even know, shows up when am a teenager, working in the biggest Kenyan bank,but still no cheque concerning my Uni fees. .then goes mute on me , My own father has blueticked my 12 messages .
Thanks hope,At some point, I even want to appreciate him for leaving.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 10, 2019 at 6:17 pm
– In reply to: Ian⚙️

Hey Ian!!! Great to hear from you. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your dad-beat story. I totally understand how you feel. And hey if he’s blueticking you I think the best thing to do is to stop reaching out. You’ll only get hurt. He’s your dad you shouldn’t have to beg for his attention. Keep your head up buddy and hustle hard.💫

Martin Mosesreply
September 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm
– In reply to: Hope Nyaruai

Seems like saying that was a nice read is already a cliche here 😂. All the same I’ll still say it, that was one hell of a piece. One of cracking emotions. Simply put, suave.
I have a story too, of a dad who made the choice not to be in my life. Our life, with that of my siblings. He chased us. Told us to go look for a place where we can stay with ‘huyo mama yenu.’
From then, I had to learn how to explain to my teachers that it’s only my Mum who will be coming over for academic meetings. I learnt to walk into malls and stomach that ka-feeling on my throat when I saw a kid my age walking happily with both his parents. Plus those stories of my friends of how great their dads are.
But you know what I couldn’t stomach, the old gaffer coming back to us recently saying that crap of how silly he was and now he wants back. What pains is he did this after my two sisters graduated finally after years of turbulent studying of lacking school and accommodation fees. The guy even had the nerve of telling me not to take Journalism as a course but when he saw my short cameo perfomance at a leading media station, he now wants to come back and try and make things work.
It doesn’t work that way. You just don’t disappear then reappear when the kids who you thought are doomed ‘na huyo mama yao’ start making ends meet.
Forgive the hatred folks but I hope you get where this is coming from.
Thanks Nyaruai for giving us a platform of sharing such stories. This should act as a platform for people to find strength, to defy odds and know that despite dad-beats(and possible Mum-beats) out here, all is not lost.
For me, I hope to rectify the mistakes ‘that guy’ did. Being a good husband to my wife and a better kid to my children seems like a good place to start. Not now of course 😂. When that time comes.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm
– In reply to: Martin Moses

Wow Martin…😩 I’m lost for words. Thank you so much for being candid. It takes a whole lot of strength. And yes I totally understand where you’re coming from, they leave and come back expecting to pick up from where they left off. Keep your head up. You’re going places. 💫

Nyawirareply
September 11, 2019 at 2:48 am

Nice piece there and touching too. Hugs my dear ❤️❤️. I look forward to more

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 11, 2019 at 6:20 pm
– In reply to: Nyawira

Thank you so much for dropping by and taking your time to read Nya. Kisses!!!

Collinsreply
September 12, 2019 at 4:04 am

Am loving everything in this blog….plus the passion and hard work put in it….you’re going to great places😊

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 12, 2019 at 9:55 am
– In reply to: Collins

Thank you for dropping by Collins!!!

Lizziereply
September 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Wow…such a nice piece.And I really understand the pain when people talk about their dads and you start thinking about the dad you never hard. Keep up with the good work.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm
– In reply to: Lizzie

Thank you so much Lizzie for your kind words 😊😊

Lynne Oketchreply
September 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Woow! Perfect.. Am so proud of you! Such a superb piece.

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Thank you Lynette!! 😊😊

Wambui Katereply
September 14, 2019 at 6:03 pm

How do you manage to involve us in your life with such intricacy??.. You brought alive every emotion so beautifully… Love this piece 😘

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 15, 2019 at 10:34 pm
– In reply to: Wambui Kate

Thank you love 😊😊 it’s a subject so close to my heart.

Eve nkirotereply
September 15, 2019 at 9:57 am

Wow! This is such an amazing piece over there hope. I really enjoyed it and i just couldn’t hold back the emotions running through my mind as i was reading the blog. I really love it and am sure others will love your good work. Keep up with the good work🥰

Hope Nyaruaireply
September 15, 2019 at 7:26 pm

Aaaaw…Thank you so much Eve for dropping by😊

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