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April 15, 2024

A Stranger Comes Knocking

By Tlalane Manciya

A Stranger Comes Knocking

A knock on a lazy Sunday afternoon
Changed my whole life unexpectedly
On opening the door in annoyance
A stranger stood stiffly at our door

He hesitated for a moment
Then took off his worn cap
Eyes looking weary and tired
Wrinkles at the corners of his mouth

Was I really seeing things?
I blinked a multiple time
Instantly our eyes engaged
He looked exactly like me

My mother froze where she stood
At the sight of this strange man
"What are you doing here?"
Her question sounded cold

No need to be told what was evident
The truth was standing in front of me
The stranger staring at me was my father
The man I was told sadly died years ago

15 years of lies, secrets and betrayal
Were revealed in one single knock
Looking past me, to my silent mother
The stranger unbelievably shook his head

His weary eyes filled with tears
He looked at me and softly whispered
"I was told you didn't make it. You died."
I looked at him, my eyes filled with tears
"I was told you died before I was born."

We both looked at my mom
Waiting for an explanation
She calmly looked at us both
"What use would he be in jail?
"I was protecting you!"
That's all she was willing to say

We were both speechless
We were both in tears
We were both stunned
At the coldness in her voice

Her betrayal hit me hard
So many things untold
I was stripped of a choice
To know my father

It wasn't her choice to make
It wasn't her place to decide
I hugged him and just cried
He hugged me back and wept

Whatever landed him in jail
Was between him and God
My mom's reasons as well
I was in no place to judge

A knock on a lazy Sunday afternoon
Changed my whole life unexpectedly
A stranger came looking for my mother
The stranger was my father I'd never met

Article © Tlalane Manciya. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-02-14
Image(s) are public domain.
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