I grew up knowing my mom was everything I had. No dad, no family members, no grannies, nothing. According to mom’s retelling, dad didn’t accept he was responsible for me so she had to bring me up all by herself. I was fifteen or so when mum started coming home with a man.
She asked me to call him ‘Daddy.’ “Is he my dad?” I asked childishly. She responded, “No he isn’t but he’s a man so you call him Daddy.” From then on, I called him Daddy. He was very sweet to me. He bought me gifts and sometimes took me and my mom out just to hang out.
One day, Daddy came home with a boy, Chege. He said; “This is your brother. He’s older than you are so he’s your senior brother.” I looked at the boy and he looked back at me. We said nothing to each other that day. We just sat quietly next to each other and watched TV.
Daddy kept coming into our house and leaving whenever he liked. Sometimes he came with Chege and sometimes not. Two or so years later, Mom and Daddy got married. I wasn’t there when they did. I was in school but when I returned, it was Chege who narrated everything to me. He told me how I’d missed a great occasion and how they ate and drunk.
I was happy for mom. She’d been alone for so long and now she had someone to spend the rest of her life with. At that point on, I knew I had a family I could call my own.
We moved to live in Daddy’s house; two bedroom house where I and Chege were kept in one room. At night we’ll talk about a lot of things that happened to us during the day and share secrets we never told our parents. For once, life was good. I had a brother and a companion, something I’d lacked all my life.
Just about the time I started tertiary, things started going awry between Daddy and my mom. According to Chege, they fought most nights and sometimes Daddy will go out and never return. Mom will cry herself to sleep and Chege will look on helplessly.
In my third year at tertiary, they got separated and later got divorced. Mom rented a new place. That was like a new chapter in her life. When I came home for that semester, she told me; “Let’s take the whole thing as a bad dream. We are awake now so nothing matters. You don’t have a daddy and you don’t have a senior brother. I’m all you have.”
But in all the ups and downs between our parents, I and Chege kept together. At first, he was a responsible brother trying to make life easier for his sister. And then the reason for our being siblings got broken. I didn’t know how to address him and he was more confused than I was.
“What are we now, since Daddy and mom are no longer together?” I kept asking myself. Chege didn’t think of who we were or what we’d become. He kept giving without taking. He was always around me. He would come to the campus and take me to beautiful places. At some point, he introduced me to his friends as a girlfriend. He’ll later laugh about it until one night he made it all clear; “I don’t know what we are but I know I don’t want to lose you. Please, would you be my girlfriend?”
I wasn’t surprised. Actually, I saw it coming. The only response I gave him was; “What will Daddy say and what should I tell my mom?” His response; “Leave Daddy to me to handle but if you need help handling mom, just let know.”
That night we kissed. It felt awkward and cool at the same time. I’ve had a boyfriend who left me for my best friend. It got me scared but somehow, I felt safe with Chege.
We dated for one and a half years without our respective parents knowing or picking up a hint. Chege was living in his own apartment so it was easier to meet each other at the blind spot of our parents. But no matter how strong our faith remained, the reality wasn’t good. How can two people who were once married become inlaws at the opposite ends? Our future was looking bleak but we kept hope alive.
Chege was first to break it to his father. That night his father nearly disowned him. He called the act abomination and told him over his dead body that would happen. I got scared and told him to give up. But he was hopeful and assured me with time the father will see reason; “Now he’s in denial stage, very soon he’ll come to accept the inevitable.” He said.
My mom was a little bit forgiving but stern; “You once called him a brother and called his father your father. You can’t call him a husband now no matter what. Find yourself another man.” Before I could say jack, she walked out on me and kept repeating, “Find yourself a man you don’t call a brother.”
When I reported that to Chege, he only said, “Just keep calm, very soon they’ll come to their senses. They couldn’t keep a love story going and are jealous of our own.”
It’s been over a year now and none of these two wants to shift grounds. At a point, I wanted to fake pregnancy and see if that will make mom soften her stance but then again I was scared of the repercussions.
Men Who Fall From The Skies Usually Belong To Other Women
We are sure of what we want and can wait as long as possible to get it. Chege is always hopeful but sometimes, I’m scared. How long is long enough? What if they don’t? Are we ready to go on without them?
These questions keep haunting me. The truth is only one; Chege and I are not siblings. We are never related by blood so why are our parents making it look like we do? Only time will tell. But until then, we’ll go on loving and waiting.