My Dear Pepe,
I know that at this point, you do not think much of me. I have become a monster, an absent father, an irresponsible family man who for the love of money and adventure has abandoned his only son for months, not checking in to see if he is still breathing. I have become part of your trauma, part of the stories you tell at AA meetings (yes, I know about those! How could you be so foolish to believe they were anonymous? I taught you better, Pepe!). I have become your PTSD, the reason you reference ‘my mental health’ every minute during a conversation, like an alternate-universe Peri would have referenced ‘when I was in Oxford.’ You even mentioned me to the Pastor. When he asked why you now attend church, you said you found God. When he asked how, you said your own biological father abandoned you (that bit is not true and you know it! Do I need to constantly remind you that you were adopted by my kind self) and that in your quest for an earthly father, you found a heavenly father. How fitting! You have made me the darkness that led you to light. Well, at least I should receive a reward in heaven for that shouldn’t I? For leading a lost frog to salvation there sure must be some sort of reward – maybe an absolution of sins , not that I have many anyway; of course you wouldn’t agree with me on that. I don’t care that much now, do I?
I’m comin’ home, baby now
I’m comin’ home now, right away (Do-do-do)
I’m sorry now I ever went away (Do-do-do-do)
Every night and day, I’m gone stay
I’m comin’ home, now (Come on home)
(You know I’m waitin’ here for you)
I’m comin’ home now, ree-al soon (You’ve been gone)
Comin’ home baby, now (I don’t know what I’m gonna do)
I’m comin’ home I know I’m overdue
(Since you went away) Expect me any day, now real soon (soon)
I’m sorry, Pepe. You know that beneath this tall overbearing father is a big bowl of mush. I miss you too. And no, I did not abandon you. You of all people knew what happened. You know how we wrote a blog post in December 2020 and all hell broke loose. You know how we woke up and didn’t know ourselves. You know how we roamed and roamed in the darkness of the mind, searching for the light. We were broken, Pepe. Our worst fear has come to life. We had dreaded this thing so much and now it has happened. You know how we felt, walking around calling to the lost sounds. It was a December to remember. You know how this single event shaped our life forever. It changed us. It made us become…more self aware, more self protective, more self-ish. Could you blame us? We had seen our life flash right before us.
And so we went offline didn’t we? We did not talk to anybody for long. We saw our friend after Christmas. But he has been here for over a decade so this is different. And then another sent us a cake. We ate cake, remember? And then we started writing again. We had gotten a glimpse into the eye of Sauron. We had seen what they call darkness. We now had power over it. We had seen the end and passed from death to life; we had defeated The Last Enemy.
But it came at a huge cost. So we had to say goodbye to this space. We weren’t really getting ourselves so it was best to withdraw from this space for as long as possible, maybe even forever; for then, we did not for once think that we could get any better. We had given up on our own self, had surrendered to self deprivation. We watched in the mirror as the dark enveloped us, until we could see no more. And so we retreated.
Comin’ home now (Come on home)
I’m comin’ home baby, now (You know I’m prayin’ every night)
That everything is gonna be fine (Please come home)
I’m comin’ home baby, now (I want to feel you hold me tight)
Expect to see me now, anytime
(When I’m in your arms) When you’re in my arms, I’ll be fine
And we were together for months, my dear. From January to May we were together. We ate together. We slept and woke up together. You watched in silence and beautiful reproach as I fell head first in love. You watched the emotion engulf all of me and you were jealous. Your love has ended in tears. The woman you claimed loved you, the very one I told you not to follow, she had left you with your seed. And so when I found love, you were jealous. Oh come on don’t deny it. I could see it written all over your smug frog face. I’m sure you were happy when I left home in May. Finally, Master would not be on the phone all day talking to woman. Finally, I wouldn’t have to witness Master’s love life flourish while mine burnt to ash. So you smiled while I departed. You did not complain then, did you? You did not cry then, did you? You watched as they shipped me away to Port Harcourt and from Port Harcourt to Lagos.
And Lagos was wild, Pepe. You knew this because I called you. I called you and cried to you. But what did you say, Pepe? Did you care at all? Did you show any concern? Did you say ‘sorry’? Did you write me poetry? Did you send me a care package? No you did not. Instead, you blame me for your own misery. You say I am the bane of your existence, the sun to your Icarus’ wings. Did it matter to you that I was broke and homeless in Lagos, moving from friend to friend? Did it matter to you that I was under the bridge at Ojuelegba with my trousers torn and my behind to my front was exposed to the world to see? A king in putrid mud? Did it matter to you that I was overwhelmed with the world of 9-5 and I did not know how to handle it? Did it occur to you that at this time, the fabrics of my love life had begun to loosen? That I had become inadequate, not only to you as a father but to most? Did it occur to you that there were so many expectations from family, work, friends, village people, and still, I had no idea what I was doing? Did it matter to you that I cried to you and wrote you letters -which were delivered, don’t you dare lie that they weren’t, you deceitful frog! – and did you reply? Nope. Instead, you watched as I crumbled beneath the weight of it all. You watched while in August, I could no longer go and I surrendered to it all. I took a ‘clean’ break from love and departed to focus on getting myself into my self. When I told you this, what did you say? You said, ‘Welcome to the party.’ Was it my fault that your stupid relationship with your ugly frog from the neighbor’s house ended in tears?
Hey I’m comin’ home (Come on home)
Comin’ home, baby now (You know I’m counting everyday)
I’m comin’ home now, yeah-yeah-yeah! (Use the phone)
I’m comin’ ho-ho-home, baby now (And let me hear you say!)
I’m comin’ home, you’re hearin’ what I say
(That you’re comin’ home) And I never will go away
Comin’ home now! (Yeah!)
I’m sorry I ghosted you my son. I know we were both at fault but since you are too proud and intentionally ununderstanding to grasp the essence of all I’m saying, I will go first, I’m sorry Pepe. A lot of things happened that made me disappear. Your friends online would not stop hounding me and abusing me and making me feel guilty for abandoning you all this time. And I tried. You know I tried to keep in touch. But the waves were too much for me to bear. Of course, you did not tell them about that part. You and your silly lies, frog man!
I know I owe you a lot. I owe you chocolates. Yes. Your friend tells me you like chocolate now. I know you’ve made it your life mission to mock me. Why else would you like the very thing I hate, uhn? But I’ll get you chocolates still. I’m still learning this parenting thing and part of what I have learnt is that as a parent, I don’t have to like everything my son likes. So I will bring you chocolates. I will also bring back your fruit basket. Mum tells me you now sleep on my bed, disposing of your droppings everywhere. This is not right Pepe and even a frog like this should know this so to even things, I will bring you your fruit basket. You can do with it as you wish. I will also bring stories. You asked what happened to my love life, how come I had become this monster you heard rumors about, this emotionless heartless being people now rave about. I will write to you about this in my second letter. I will tell you what happened and what happened after. We shall leave no stone untouched, my dear son.
I’m comin’ home, baby, baby, comin’ home (You know I’m waitin’ at the door)
They can’t hold me back now, no-oh-oh more (I’m alone)
The road is long, baby now (And pacing up and down the floor)
Oh hear me holler and hear me roar
Comin’ home now (Come on home)
I’m on my way home (Oh baby, say you’re comin’ home)
That’s what I say, I say I’m comin’ home (Something’s wrong)
I’m dressing up, baby now (You ought to either write or phone)
I’m comin’ home and never more to roam
I have missed you, Pepe. Believe it or not, you’ve kept me through trying times. You were my frog, my son, my friend. I will never regret the day I found you dying in the gutter and picked you up in my final years in OAU. I will always remember how you grew with me, trying things out before you found what stuck, from opening a Twitter account to closing it after your green ass was dragged. To stealing my bananas and lying that you did not. To contesting that election and winning – proud of you man! To falling in and out of love – it’s all part of adulting, my son (some of us are just unlucky here dear). To becoming a model. I see you everywhere now Pepe…they call you ‘comrade’, ‘chairman’; you have become an internet sensation, my son.
I must confess I love you baby boy. You’re my one and only frog. What we have is rare and magical and I will never let anything steal it away from me. I know I have been away for so long but I’m home now. Can you tell that I’m home now? Did you miss me, baby boy? Did you miss my words? Oh of course you did, you silly thing!
Ok now, time to go. Tell me before I go, what do you want me to write about now that I’m home? Anything, tell me. I’ll give it a shot!
Now, come here and let’s have some wine together, father and son in brotherly bliss, Mel Thorne’s screams in our ears: I’m home now, baby.
Thanks for reading. Hope you dropped a comment? To receive notifications when next there’s a post, subscribe here.