As her mother went to the kitchen to prepare her dinner, little fifteen month- old Sharon, holding tightly onto her lilac- colored baby blanket that was dragging on the floor, walked with unsteady legs towards the sofa. She stopped briefly to look at the reflection of her face on the glass coffee table in the middle of the living room, before continuing her journey. Her facial expression gave no indication of what she thought of her own image.
She got to the sofa, and began the now arduous task of climbing on to it. Her right chubby leg, kept slipping as she made repeated efforts to climb onto the sofa, using only one hand. The other hand continued to hold on tightly to the blanket. With each attempt, her purple tee- shirt with the little yellow ladybugs, gathered under her arm- pits, exposing a soft round stomach. After six failed attempts, she started to cry.
Hearing her cry, her mother walked briskly from the kitchen wiping her hands on her flowered apron, and helped her get on to the sofa. She walked back into the kitchen to continue preparing Sharon's dinner.
She stood on the sofa and looked out of the widow towards the gate. She started to suck her two pudgy middle fingers on her right soft dimpled hand. Sharon kept her unflinching gaze towards the direction of the gate. She expected her fathers car to come in any minute!
Everyday around six oclock in the evening she would hear her fathers car coming into the driveway. She would waddle to the sofa as fast as she could, and after a few effort, would climb onto the sofa and watch her father get his briefcase out of the car and walk to the front door. Her face would explode into a beautiful smile as only a child could give, showing her tiny uneven teeth.
Her father who knew that this was her habit would always look at the living room window and wave at Sharon. She would first jump up and down on the sofa making giggly squealing sounds, then scramble on to the floor as fast as her legs could carry her. Sharon would wait impatiently at the door until it opened and her father came in and took her into his arms.
He would bite her stomach and neck as she wriggled and screamed. It was a routine that was engraved deeply into the heart of father and daughter.
For the last two weeks, Sharon had come to the window day after day to wait for her daddy but he did not come home. She developed a habit of dragging her little baby blanket around, a habit that she did not have before. Sharon would stand on the sofa looking out at the gate every day until her mother came and got her from there to eat dinner.
She is too young to understand that mummy and daddy felt that they could not live together anymore. They have filed for separation pending divorce. We do not know for how long Sharon will continue to look out of the living room window waiting for her daddys car to come into the drive way. As she grows up she will eventually come to terms with the fact that her daddy is not coming back to live with her anymore.
Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.
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