At my father’s gate

My father found me. He caught me. He found me in the arms of a young man right outside his gate. He found me. He caught me; his unmarried presumably innocent daughter in the arms of a young man right outside his gate.

I am in love, you see and I cannot be convinced otherwise. Everything within me jumps with elation when I think of him, when I dream of him, when I see him, when I speak to him.

He came to me. My love came to me; to my father’s house and waited right outside the gate. He called me saying, “I’m outside! Please, come out!” He didn’t have to say it twice. He didn’t even have to say please. Thank the heavens, I had just had a shower. “He will love the sweet scent of my skin,” I thought to myself as I happily hurried out of the house and to him, my love who waited right outside my father’s gate.

We often sat in his car whenever he dropped by to see me. Not today. I found him standing in the driveway. He seemed quite distraught. On acknowledging my presence, he walked to me silently, majestically and hugged me and held me. An embrace so tight one would think I’d fly away. I would never, not without him.

When he finally spoke his voice was low. Was this the same man I had always known? The man that made me laugh until my ribs hurt. The one who often engaged me in deep conversations about everything and nothing. The one who caused my senses to wake in ways indescribable. He held me closer and in his low voice he spoke. He spoke about everything that seemed to have fallen apart during his day; how broken he felt, how at that moment, he was doubtful of himself.

It broke my heart to see him that way. It broke my heart to hear him say these things. The few words I uttered could barely console him. And so I stayed silent and just held him just as tightly as he held me. I felt his pain. I knew his distress. In this uproar of emotion, I found myself closer to him.

I felt like I had been transported to a different place and time. The air around us was sweet, humid and delicious. The ground beneath us was soft  Or was it just the allure of the man before me?

I could smell the strong cologne on his neck and shirt. I could smell the freshness of the pine from the fence around my father’s house. My love held me so close that I could feel his heart beating, I could feel his breath on my neck. In that moment, with my senses reawakened; smell, sound and touch, heightened. I found myself momentarily lost from the world where I knew peace and great comfort. I hoped against all hope that he now felt the same tranquility. Where words had failed to relieve him, I would use my heart. I closed my eyes and found my lips on his; warm, sensual, insatiable. Then his hands held my waist more firmly in place; a warmth growing hotter with every motion.

Then there was bright red light. A result of this deep passion? This is the silliness that my dazed mind could only assume. It oddly made sense to me; our passion raging hot caused a metaphorical fire that only my romanticised mind and eyes could see.

Our passion had caused a fire. But not the kind that my deeply romaticised brain was thinking of. Not one that  would ever have hoped or prayed for because right there behind my love and I was my father in his car, the headlights fully switched on.

I couldn’t see my father’s face. I couldn’t see his eyes either. But I could feel it; a flame burning right through the windscreen through the air and scotching me. Had we not heard the car as it drive up and ease into the driveway? Were we that wrapped up in our own pine scented humid world that we couldn’t hear a thing? Was Papa scheduled to come back home from his out-of-town office today anyway?

I was frozen for a while; unable to move, unable to think. But the burn of those eyes made me grab my love’s hand and swiftly lead him away to where he had his parked car just a few metres off the driveway. I stood there still unable to think and frantically holding my breath.

I only let myself breathe when a few seconds later, I watched as my father drove into the compound. The air was now tense and muddled with fear and yet still no regret. I paced around, wondering what I would say, how I would say it. But how would I explain this. There was a great silence. All I could hear were the crickets in the grass and the gravel and stone I paced over only seemed to mock me; assuring me that I could never, I would never be able to explain my open passion at my father’s gate.

I reassured my love that I would be fine. What could he do for me anyways? I great deal of time had passed since my father entered the house. I couldn’t hold out on going back in. “You need to go! I need to go back in,” I told him. I could see concern and fear in his eyes. “I shouldn’t have come,” he said. I smiled at him, even though weakly, “No regrets.” I ran my hands over his arms, then over his neck and kissed him again. As hungrily as I had done before. “No regrets.”

I bid him farewell and slowly crept into the house. I wished that I could avoid my father. Those eyes will be the end of me. But I couldn’t avoid him; I had to serve him and my mother their supper within the next 30 or so minutes. I sat in the kitchen; a nervous wreck. I organised the dishes and the dinner, carried it to the dining room where I found my mother. My father emerged from the sitting room and stared at me; with his deep burning eyes. I heard him go, “Hmm!!” he stood right in front of me a little longer, towering over me, frightening me even more. I glanced at him then at the floor then uncomfortably around the room. “Thank you for the supper but I’m filled from the tea I just had. I’m off to bed. I’ve had a long day. My evening was quite enraging and strenuous to say the least what with all the new discoveries one makes all in one day,” he said, lingering over the words “enraging” and “discoveries”. I could still feel the burn from his eyes on me until he said goodnight and left the room.

The only fear I have now is that of one in the know that one’s punishment is being delayed and that probably, and rather befitting for such actions, being savoured, intricately planned out and calcualted. A clan meeting? A meeting with my aunts to discuss my moral conduct? A long lecture in which I shall be asked one embarrassing after another? Worse? I had thumps at the thought of it all. Like a single base drum with its hides tightened for a louder deeper effect. But one thing remains certain, maybe my head is just lost in the clouds; I am still in love, you see and I cannot be convinced otherwise.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a story about myself. This isn’t an extract from my own life. I simply imagined the entire scenario. I do not believe that a writer must write only that that one knows but imagine, create and bring to life all kinds of stories even though they are not remotely related to one’s own life. That is what the imagination is for afterall. Besides, I’m far too careful 😉

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16 thoughts on “At my father’s gate

  1. jubzimay says:

    A capturing story. The fears and struggles of a father trusting his daughter in the arms of another man other than his.

  2. The gravity of this emotion you’re portraying is well delivered! Great great piece Elma!! One I shall keep re-reading!

  3. jubzimay says:

    Capturing story. A father and his princess daughter.

  4. Omo.. says:

    Sike!!! It was about you – bwahahaha

    Amazing piece … Less dramatic ending than i expected but a super awesome read

  5. winey says:

    great piece

  6. Viva says:

    Great story. Found myself remembering my teenage years. And Elma, you can’t be careful when in love. You may think you are but it always shows….can’t wait for the next one

  7. Bertha says:

    Oooh wow sweetie that guy shud hv slapped your cheeks red for your wanton display of affection to a man right outside his gate!

  8. jlucima says:

    This kept me on my toes till the disclaimer. Great piece. Definitely a budding writer. Wondering why I haven’t tried out blogging

  9. Great read.
    So what’s the problem with finding a literary agent and looking out a few publishing houses?

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