When I was due to leave Jamaica, my father told me to write to him. He said I should promise him that I would write. He kept reminding me of his address, “lock that in your mind, Honey” he said. I would have to memories his address without pen or paper to make sure I remembered. We played the game all the time my father and I.
Naturally I did write as soon as I reached England. I use to just put it in the book like I saw others do; at seven years old, what I didn’t know was I needed a stamp to send the letters so naturally I did not get a reply.
Then I did something silly I asked mummy to send my letters. She would take them from me every time, but my father still never wrote back. He had broken his promise.
I continued writing these letters to my father, over the years. They always started the same way.
DEAR FATHER, PLEASE COME FOR ME, I MISS YOU. I HATE MY MUMMY AND SHE HATES ME, FATHER COME FOR ME QUICKLY. LOVE HONEY. (My nickname) , but he still never replied. I was very sad. I had lost the only somebody that loved me. After a while and by the time I was nine years old, I had stopped writing and the memories of my father was fading.
One day I was at home alone, and the door knocked. It was the postman. “Letter for you” he said. It was a letter from my father. Oh my, I almost dropped on the floor. It was now four years since I heard from him. I ran to my room and carefully opened the letter. It was a blue letter, and it was in his handwriting. It started “my dear daughter Honey, Have you forgotten me?
I traced the letters with my hand and I cried, I smelt the letter to see if I could smell my father. I knew he was far away on a plane ride, but I didn’t know that Jamaica would be so far away. I was too young to understand.
I re-read the words “have you forgotten me”
“I could never forget my father” , I thought.
“What did he mean?”
then it dawned on me, maybe, mummy never sent my letters. I quickly read the rest of the letter. He was telling me about Jamaica and how he missed me. I was his last child and his baby. I felt loved again. My father had no idea how I was suffering. He said he wanted me to be a nurse, and he said he hoped I was happy, because England was a land of opportunities. How wrong he was.
After I read my fathers letter, I hid it in my room. It was now my prized possession. I then started to search everywhere for my other letters. After a while I saw them. Neatly tucked away, my mummy had kept my letters. Although not all of them was there,
I knew that I needed to tell my father quickly that I had not forgotten him after all. I needed him to know I would always love him.
I grabbed a piece of paper and I started to write. Dear Father, sorry I didn’t receive your letters. I have always written to you, maybe they got lost, I love you father and I miss you. I’m being a good girl father and I am happy. ……..
I remember these words like yesterday. I didn’t tell my father how I was treated. This was for two reasons. I didn’t want him to tell my mummy. This was because I now lacked trust. Also because I didn’t want my father to worry. Oh I loved my father.
When I finished my letter, I ran to the post office, I had seen my mummy go to the post office and give a letter. The post master said it would cost me money, he also said it could not be sent like that. I started to cry, I need to write to my father I said. The postmaster told me how to send my letter. He said it needed to go via airmail, and showed me one. I ran back home and search my mummy’s room. I knew she had some airmail envelopes. I’ve seen them.
There were many airmail letters in her drawer so I took a few. I quickly rewrote my letter and ran back to the post office with money I stole from my mums room.
I needed to send the letter before mummy came back. The postmaster took my letter this time. I was happy for a brief moment. I recall smiling all the way home. Then a few weeks later, guess what? my father wrote back. From that moment on, I use to wait outside everyday for my letters. After a while the postman knew it was from my father.
I continued communicating occasionally, whenever I could find money for the airmail envelope and stamp, with my father until I ran away from home the last time.