The best strategy to kill a plant you don’t want is surely not to take out its branches and leaves and let its roots seat deep in a chain of McDonald restaurants the soil provides, and feed off all the meals in there. Once that is done, it gives rise to a form of vegetative continuity because the plant will keep popping back to life by making new leaves and branches. Wack was the plant in my home I could not even touch because he was my buddy, like a brother from another mother. He was the plant I couldn’t dare to take out its roots and stop him from visiting my home.
What I got was continuity which gained momentum and speed like a plane about to point its nose towards the sky to get airborne. Wack would not stop visiting. It got to a point, as strange as it may sound, that I actually began to believe somehow that the components that made up my home, which included my children and Stefi, and not including myself, had fast become metals the magnet could not resist. Yes, you heard me right. Wack had become some kind of magnet in my eyes. He would not stop visiting. And the more he did, the more Hadley, Dick and Tammy were loving it. I could see they were loving him more than I, their father, who slept with their mother and had the result that was them. They would flock to him like they were his sheep, and he, their ever reliable shepherd. And Stefi was loving it absolutely.
“Dad, what did you buy for me today?” Hadley would hug Wack and ask.
“I have something for you,” Wack would answer with a wide smile on his face.
“What did you buy for me, Dad,” Tammy would ask too.
“Don’t worry,” Wack would reply. “I brought you something.”
“What about me?” Dick would say, feeling a little jealous, and looking at Wack like he was the man that made him with juices that spilled from his loin.
“I got you, Dick,” Wack would speak back. “I got you.”
Wack became a man who brought my children toys, cookies and even clothes and all other stuff children like. I was only a stranger in my own home. It was the bitter truth, in as much as I hated to admit it. And it ached my ears to hear my kids call Wack Dad. Nothing could be effective enough to heal the dent it left on my ego and person like a heavy-duty gasoline truck rammed into a family SUV. Not even Wack’s attempt to deflect some of the attention back to me could help one bit.
“Hi, Dad,” Tammy would say to him on one of his visits.
“Hi, Tammy, that is your Dad,” Wack would reply and point at me.
“Good to see you, Dad,” Hadley would say to Wack.
“Good to see you too, Hadley, and there is your Dad,” Wack would say and point at me.
“Dad, can I get to have my favourite cookies?” Dick would say to Wack.
“Of course, Dick, but there is your Dad,” Wack would respond and point at me once more.
I had to keep a smile on my face while the show that was a bitter pill going down my throat lasted, a smile that actually was not there. I felt useless, punctured like a balloon and so hollow that I very much doubted if there was anything else I was worth living for. And Stefi did not make it any easier on me by loving to hear our kids call Wack their Dad. I expected her to tell them to stop, but she did none of that. All she offered was smiles that seemed to cheer on our kids in what I thought was an absolutely despicable behaviour. I could not take it anymore at some point. I stood up from the couch I was seated on.
“Now it’s time to put an end to this show,” I said in an angry loud voice. The living room went quiet. Even my kids could see how angry I had become. Hadley, Tammy and Dick looked at me in ways that said what? Wack looked at me with eyes that said, none of my fault. Stefi simply stood up, shot me glances that said, here goes the crazy man again, and left the living room for our bedroom in a manner that just said, to hell with me.
“Wack, you need to go now,” My firm and loud and angry voice spoke.
“I understand, Jan, and I hope you understand I have nothing to do with this,” Wack said and got to his feet.
“I know, but you just have to leave now,” I said.
“That’s okay,” Wack said, and was on his way to the door. “Tomorrow is Monday and I will see you at the workshop,” he further said.
“See you,” I said.
“Where is Dad going?” Hadley, Dick and Tammy asked me in unison. Their voices sounded like they were about to cry, and like Wack was their heart about to stop beating. I was so heart-broken by their question that I could not find words to scream at them to stop calling the wrong man their Dad. It felt so nauseating when I looked at their faces and saw more and more of Wack’s face, and that of my grand Dad of course. How come all these? Frustration was crushing me up like a dog crushes bone. Damn, you must be in some deep big ass shit! I thought.
“Now sit down and watch TV,” I told my kids when Wack had already used the door.
“Where is Dad?” Tammy, Dick and Hadley asked me one after another. They all looked lost in the twinkle of an eye. They all looked at me like I had lost my mind. They looked depressed and oppressed, and in their eyes, I was just a thug who had bullied their Dad away. I could not believe my eyes though it was already firmly established in my mind that I knew whom the real culprit was. Stefi the mother of my kids, our kids. I was no detective by any means, but I did not need eyes or even any expertise in crime investigation to see her fingerprint all over the hell my home had become. Why she was doing all these had me thinking once again, what the heck was truly going on? Holly cow, I had to know!