He played with me.
He tied my laces for me.
He helped me get over with my leg pains.
He told me stories at bed time.
My father was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
Being a victim of a metropolitan city life, I expected parents who had full time jobs, and practically no time for their little kid. And here I was, a father beside me…always willing to answer my weirdest questions, at any hour in the night.
I was a lost, dreamy kid who got the wildest dreams in the whole universe. But of course, my father was always there, when I used to suddenly wake up at odd hours, and cry out to him. He was interested in knowing what had troubled me, and then I would blurt it out to him, about how a cow had threatened me to snatch away my food and force me to gulp down its dry bread crumbs in exchange.
It didn't really bother me how he reacted to my tantrums, but the fact that he used to bear with them all, was enough.
He used to buy me chips whenever I asked for them. And of course, our outings were incomplete without a snack or two…
Life seemed perfect with my father.
I felt proud when other sissy girls of my age cribbed about their snoring dads and their weird ways…MY dad wasn’t in the least like them…
Mom was there obviously, but that was different. With dad, it was always, all about me. What I like, what I love, who I like, who I adore.
I grew up, and stuff changed.
Dad was never the same again. Or let me put it the other way; WE were never the same again. My friends changed, my life changed, my priorities changed.
His presence in my life lessened, as the year went by.
Obviously his stories weren’t required anymore.
His games didn't really excite me.
I could overcome my leg pains on my own.
And I preferred sleeping alone, than listen to his bed time stories.
However, we still adored each other. He was THE most important part of my life. He was all that mattered to me.
And one day, he just vanished.
Schizophrenia, said the doctors.
And since they had practically no better way to sort out stuff, they tagged me as a mental patient.
The irony being that this wasn’t a figment of a child’s imagination.
Who I considered father all these years…existed…lived…breathed…
The only difference being, that he existed just for me.