MIDWAY : The unforgiven

It’s been five years since my dad left for the States. I miss his presence everyday. But when I miss him the most is on the Father’s Day. It’s a little ironic that I miss him so much.

When he was here, father’s day meant nothing to me. I have always felt a huge gulf separating me from my father. I cannot pinpoint why or how this space came into being...All I know is that I could never feel for him the same way I felt for my mom.

Dad liked to keep to himself and rarely mingled with his two children. The two of us didn’t mind his aloofness (certainly didn’t understand it) as long as we got to do what we wanted — run hither and thither in the house, raise an ugly din...

There was nothing in common between dad and myself. In retrospect, I wonder how he would have reacted if I had tried to get close to him. Would he have resisted, or embraced me with open arms? I was afraid... of crossing his self-imposed boundary.

He is coming back. I don’t know what to expect and I can’t describe how I feel at this moment. I am excited yet terrified that I might find him a total stranger. It would feel like the last time I broke up...

With my girlfriend. After being together for, yes, five years. When we met after a year’s gap after the split I realised that she had never meant anything to me. I expected my heart to race, my palms to go sweaty...nothing. There never was anything. It was as if I had never known that person.

What if the same happens when I meet my dad? How do I go about building up new connections after all these years? There are no old sockets to plug into. My best friend assures me that its all going to be okay. I am making a mountain of a molehill. I hope so. I hope that I am my own calm, collected self when I see him again. I hope that I will be able to love and respect him after all these years. I hope I am not so weak that I have to fake being happy every time I am by his side.

But I fear that I will be so nervous and fearful to look into his eyes and smile, as if I had been eagerly looking forward to his return when I am not. And he will know that I am faking it... that there will always be that gaping divide between us... a divide so vast that it cannot be bridged by an embittered smile.