His eyes were red shot through my eye lids. My hand stretched out to touch him and I felt my fingers tremble as I reached his hairy beard. It was black, as the dark in-front of my eyes. I could feel it touching my eye brows with gentleness, like a light breeze through the trees. Those palm trees that stood tall and majestic over- looking the lake. I loved the little bench where I often sat reading my books and frequently tilted my head upwards to look at the dark green long palm leaves. They spread out like protective arms obstructing the heat from the scorching sun.
Yesterday afternoon, I was reading about this young girl from a far- away land, one I can never imagine myself living in. It is very cold many months of the year and can get dark as early as 3 pm or as late as 11 pm sometimes. Her father bought her lots of Christmas presents.
‘Mama can you tell me about my father?’ I asked over dinner that night.
‘She looked at me, a little frown on her fore head and her eyes distant.
‘What do you want to know?
Everything like; what he looked like, the food he loved, where his family came from?
‘Where his family came?’
‘Why do you want to know that?’
‘My hair is very curly, and I am not black. I know I am mixed race’
‘Can we talk about that tomorrow’ her tone dismissive.
I realised I couldn’t push the conversation any further. We ate the rest of the food in silence.
‘Remind me to tell you about your father when you get back from school’ she said as we cleared the table.
As I drifted to sleep, my thought turned to the book I had been reading. The described pale pink face staring at me. Dark brown eyes open wide and a large forehead. The hair was black and curly and long falling over the shoulders.
Could my father be like this man? I sighed and turned to look at my picture in reception class on the wall. My smile with missing teeth, shinning against the brown face and curly black hair tied into pony tails with two red ribbons. I wondered whether my father could look like the man in the story.
Here he was in my dream, my father.
©Juliet Lubega (unpublished 2019)