Year 2021 is Almost Gone: Part 1

It’s really hard to believe that Christmas day came and went. I had decided not to write a Christmas post this year, after realizing almost all of my former posts are usually very melancholic. Since I can remember, Christmas has always been a bitter-sweet period for my family. For some reason I’m yet to understand, dad has always found it gratifying to ruin it for us, and this year wasn’t any different.

Growing up, the one thing my sisters and I looked forward to were the new Christmas dresses and gifts. Those afforded us a reasonable amount of joy to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Funny thing is, we knew no peace because dad would cause havoc on all Christmas Eves, so my sisters and I would attend mass on Christmas mornings with our eyes red and puffy from crying all night, as we watched our parents fight.

Thankfully, in our infantile minds, the small joys like new dresses and gifts made us forget the pain easily. However, when we got into teenage-hood, the new dresses stopped coming because mom couldn’t afford them and dad was just being the miser I’ve always known him to be.

Consequently, with the small joys gone, we started noticing the melancholy that characterised all our holidays. The one constant thing was fighting, as dad always exerted his dominance over us. Even if we had a good day, the nights would be marred by unmitigated agony. That has always been the Christmas pattern in our house.

This year, as I’ve mentioned, was no different. Dad came home on Christmas day after being away for a month. It’s imperative that I mention this year his behaviour has been very peculiar. As I mentioned in my previous post, dad did not bother to congratulate me when I told him I was getting admitted to the bar. I have no idea why he behaved like that.

Moreover, in late September, he took a two months leave from work because he had leave days from last year carried forward. He did not inform anyone about it, and neither did he show up at home or pick anyone’s calls. When his late brother’s son invited my mom to his dad’s memorial service, dad got so agitated that he wasn’t the one invited.

When mom called him to inform him of the memorial, he sounded bitter. According to him, he’s the one with the money, therefore, he should have been the one getting the invitation and not my impecunious mom. To drive the point home, he said he would buy himself a maroon suit, white shirt, brown shoes, brown belt, and a maroon tie to match the ensemble; and he did just that.

I figured he wanted to stand out because he knew there was a high possibility people would be dressed up in dull colours, given the nature of the occasion. Interestingly, when mom asked him to buy her a dress as well seeing as our relatives are so materialistic and overly critical of people’s appearances, his curt reply was, “You don’t need to wear anything!” Needless to say, she felt deeply wounded.

He did not even come home first so we could go there together. He just travelled from his work place, straight to the church. Nonetheless, after mass he came back home because unbeknownst to us, he’d started his leave. Still, he left two days later and decided to shut all of us out. He came back the week before my admission to the bar, and like I mentioned in the previous post, that was one miserable week.

Again, he went back the Saturday after my admission, and did not come back until a month later on Christmas day. Two weeks earlier, he’d called to say we would be visiting his mother, and since he knew it was my birthday, he asked my mom to tell me my work as an attorney is more difficult than the accounting job he does, therefore I need all the blessings I can get from.

Apparently, that was meant to arm twist me into agreeing to spend my birthday at his mother’s place since he knows we don’t really get along. This is owing to the fact that she chose to disregard me and my sisters, as we are the progeny of a poor woman. She only loves the moneyed, so we did not suit her tastes, sadly.

As my birthday was falling on a Sunday, my sisters, mom and I agreed if he really wanted us to travel, and if it was that urgent, we would travel Monday. However, we did not tell dad. We figured we would tell him when he came home. As it turned out though, he neither showed up, nor communicated he would not be coming.

Ironically, as we’d find out later from dad, his mom had asked to see him so she could inform him she was selling the piece of land she had given him previously, because she needs money. Funny thing about that is, she’s given pieces of land to people who are not even her children; yet somehow, she deemed it wise to sell dad’s piece. We’ve always known she despised him, but this was just cold. Oddly, it felt like karma getting back at dad because of how he mistreats us.

On 24th in the afternoon, his older brother called mom to invite us to a family gathering he was hosting at his place on Christmas day, and to ask mom why we prevented dad from going to see their mom. Obviously mom was perplexed. We did not tell dad we were not going, he just chose to not show up without any explanation.

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