Confessions of a Fat Girl 57: The Reconciliation

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February 3rd, 2010

By 11am, we had touched down in Enugu.

Apart from flimsy small talk, mainly centering around Ogonna’s amazement about the flight being timely and organized, the taxi ride to our father’s house had been a quiet one.

Expectedly, there was a mini-crowd in the compound, with people milling around everywhere. Seeing the small table by the door, with Aunty Felicia’s picture on it, with a register placed in front of it, made it register that, true true, the woman had died sha.

“She looks different from what I remember.” Ogonna remarked, in a hush tone. “I thought she could never put on weight!”

I glared at my sister, and she shrugged in response. But who was I to judge her, when I had thought the same thing when I saw her over Christmas.

Walking into the living room, my heart crashed when I saw my father. He looked even more emaciated than he had a few weeks before. He was surrounded by people, and he appeared composed, as he spoke to them in an even tone.

Looking up, he saw me, and he managed a smile.

“Oh, my daughter! You are here!” he exclaimed. “She left me oh. Just like your mother, she…”

His voice trailed off, when he saw the person standing behind me. His first born daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in years.

“Ogonna…” he said weakly, rising to his feet.

“Daddy…” she responded, her voice trembling with emotion. I could tell that seeing our father after so long, and obviously very different from what she remembered, was affecting her.

As they embraced, my father, my strong father, broke down crying.

“Nwa’m oh! Nwa’m oh!” he kept on saying as he wept, holding on to my sister, who was also in tears.

As I wiped away my own tears, everyone in the room was shaking their heads, moved by the scene, with intermittent exclamations of Ewo and Heiii ringing out.

Soon, Legachi and Marizu had joined the emotional reunion, the two of them meeting a sister they had only heard about, and never met.

For the rest of the day, as he sat in the living room, he never let go of Ogonna’s hand, not even for a moment. It was as if he was afraid she would run away again. Ogonna also didn’t seem in a hurry to leave his side either. Somehow, our being there was giving him the comfort he needed, the permission he wanted to be able to show his emotion. He didn’t have to pretend to be strong for his young children. As long as we were there, he was able to grieve the way he wanted to.

I, on the other hand, didn’t have the luxury of sitting down with Dad. I had to take charge of things. Legachi had done a fantastic job organizing the guests, as well as the people helping out with the food, but with me in charge, I was able to get things to move more seamlessly. Also, the women in the kitchen were more intimidated by the fat sister, than they had been of the little Legachi, so things had moved on quicker there. And when I saw that packs of juice were being diluted with water, before being served to guests, I had immediately sent for dozens of cartons of juice and soda, and other food items the guests could be entertained with. And when the guests had started taking their leave, I had commandeered the clean-up, such that by 11pm, you would never have known the house had played host to so many people.

“Well done, my daughter!” my father praised me, when I crashed into a seat in the living room. “So organized! Just like your mother!”

I smiled, especially seeing that Ogonna and my Dad were still hand-in-hand.

“Thank you for bringing me this gift! My Ada! Obi’m!!!” he said, talking to me, but looking fondly at Ogonna.

Tears were still streaming down Ogonna’s face, and I knew she was overwhelmed by this show of affection from our father. A man whose love we had all craved so much for.

“I’m very sorry for everything…” Dad said, his voice beginning to tremble again.

Ogonna placed a finger on his lip, to silence him. “Daddy, please. Don’t talk about the past. Everything is forgiven.”

He nodded quietly, his eyes still glistening.

“How blessed am I that all your hearts are just as big as your mother’s. I acted like a fool, and God has smiled on me by giving me another chance with my beautiful daughters,” then glancing my direction “That is why I won’t say anything about how Ihunna has regained all the weight she lost the last time I saw her!”

We had all needed that ice breaker, and as we all laughed, my heart was full of gladness. I was still sad that Aunty Felicia had died, but was happy that it had been the perfect opportunity for reconciliation.

If only Akwaugo were here, it would have been perfect!

 

 

Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:

  1. Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
  2. Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
  3. Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
  4. Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
  5. Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
  6. Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
  7. Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
  8. Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
  9. Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
  10. Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
  11. Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
  12. Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
  13. Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
  14. Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
  15. Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
  16. Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
  17. Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
  18. Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
  19. Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
  20. Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
  21. Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit
  22. Confessions of a Fat Girl 22: Keeping In Touch
  23. Confessions of a Fat Girl 23: Delete
  24. Confessions of a Fat Girl 24: Philosophical
  25. Confessions of a Fat Girl 25: Keep it Moving
  26. Confessions of a Fat Girl 26: My Co-Wife
  27. Confessions of a Fat Girl 27: Old Jeans & Old Friends
  28. Confessions of a Fat Girl 28: Prawn Stir Fry
  29. Confessions of a Fat Girl 29: Facebook Tagging
  30. Confessions of a Fat Girl 30: Detox Part 2
  31. Confessions of a Fat Girl 31: Abs & Crunches
  32. Confessions of a Fat Girl 32: Making Notes
  33. Confessions of a Fat Girl 33: Christmas Party
  34. Confessions of a Fat Girl 34: Ashiedu
  35. Confessions of a Fat Girl 35: Willpower
  36. Confessions of a Fat Girl 36: Packing…and TV
  37. Confessions of a Fat Girl 37: Last Minute
  38. Confessions of a Fat Girl 38: Body Image
  39. Confessions of a Fat Girl 39: Christmas Trip
  40. Confessions of a Fat Girl 40: Christmas in the Village
  41. Confessions of a Fat Girl 41: Daddy’s Girl
  42. Confessions of a Fat Girl 42: 2010
  43. Confessions of a Fat Girl 43: Uzoamaka
  44. Confessions of a Fat Girl 44: Sugar Binge
  45. Confessions of a Fat Girl 45: The E-mail
  46. Confessions of a Fat Girl 46: She whose name must not be repeated
  47. Confessions of a Fat Girl 47: Smokescreen
  48. Confessions of a Fat Girl 48: Running away
  49. Confessions of a Fat Girl 49: Fry-Up
  50. Confessions of a Fat Girl 50: The Only Solution
  51. Confessions of a Fat Girl 51: The Intervention
  52. Confessions of a Fat Girl 52: Tri-State Sisters
  53. Confessions of a Fat Girl 53: Manhattan
  54. Confessions of a Fat Girl 54: Daddy’s Girls
  55. Confessions of a Fat Girl 55: Stunned Silence
  56. Confessions of a Fat Girl 56: Bereavement

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