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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers, who has asked to stay Anonymous.
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Life they say means different things to people.
To me, until recently it meant pain, hardship, loneliness, sorrow . In short, it was meaningless to me. *wipes tears*.
Last out of four lovely children, divorced parents. I grew up with my mum, while the rest grew up with my dad. How come? – mother was 8-months or so pregnant with me when she and father had the last argument and she moved out. Till today, all I know about their breakup was from my mother’s side of the story as I have never spoken to my dad. I am gonna be 20 this year.
I grew up without a father, I never felt his absence. He was never there. My parents got divorced a year after I was born. Mum left with us 4 children, but after a year or so returned the other 3 because she couldn’t cope with 4 children at the time (having not her own place to stay and all) and kept me ’cause I was still very little. So the rest grew up with father&came to visit on holidays. I never saw my father cause he never asked about me. Mum is a disciplinarian, since he didn’t ask, she never let me get in touch.
I am the definition of broken, faithless yet faithful, alone, but full of potentials. Lol. I have what people call ‘blessed hands’. :). No relationship whatsoever with my mother as we never agree, she grew up pouring her frustration on just me (I was always the one around). LooL several times, she told me to go and die- that she had other children (first time, was when I was 6). When I was 8 she told me my father wouldn’t have loved me ’cause I was too stubborn.
This is like opening old wounds for me, cause now, I am in tears. So I’m gonna stop here for now & tell you a short story.
Until July 2010, I had set eyes on my father just once and even this was in the night (when I was less than 5), I bet he barely saw my Colgate teeth as I was so excited to see my dad for the first time. But, my mum shut me up and placed me to sit well in the car. I was hurt, ’cause he didn’t even say hi back, wave back or complain about my mum telling me to give it a rest. Other times when my other siblings came to visit, I’d go through their phones to see if I could steal my father’s number. Lol i did succeed , gave him a call several times and every time he said ‘hello’ i’d hang up. ^_^
July 2010, I had come to Lagos to stay with my cousins for a week, my brother worked with my dad and I knew one of his work outlets. I went there with my uncle’s driver leaving my uncle with the belief that my brother knew I was gonna be there, knowing fully well he wasn’t even at work that day (I went in faith, hoping my dad would be there)… My heart raced as I approached this particular office and saw a white jeep out front (been told what he drove). I came down, hoping this would be some sort of Nigerian film. Lol. I walked in and one worker called me by my elder sisters name (striking resemblance) , I smiled and said no ‘i am looking for her Jnr sister’…. all of them wondered, whispering. I was directed to another office (my dad’s). But before I stepped in (not knowing it was my dad’s) my second sister came out and dragged me in anger by the hand, yelling ‘what the hell are you doing here?! , I am sure mummy put you up to this’. Tears rolled down my cheek, I got back into the car, shaking. My dad came out ,about to enter his car. I told the driver to reverse, I looked at him in adoration, very handsome at 50, tall, dark ,yuppee looking.
I was satisfied.
I told the driver to move and when we drove into traffic, the driver called me and said ‘madam, this man wey dey for this white car dey look you like im sabi u’ I turned to the left, it was my dad, staring at me like he was trying to solve the hardest math he had lost the formula to. Lol oh my! did I smile and nod at him, but he was confused and looked away. I went back sad, angry and happy. My dad didn’t look bad or however they painted him to be, he was TDH yo! Lol, 😦 but he didn’t recognise me, his last born.
I have never … 😥 been happy for a week continuously in my whole life. I gave up, I said to myself ‘if no ones gonna help you, then help others‘.
That is how I stay happy.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXII’ by an Anonymous writer.
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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