It was a cold night. I raced against thunder in the dark, heading home. The rain busily cheering us and didn’t care at all who would win as long as she could cheer out her repressed feelings. It was 2 am and the night was freezing and mute. There was only me and my wandering mind. As I reached the fence of my house, I saw someone was standing beneath an umbrella. I could not believe my eyes, for I thought it was only my imagination of a ghost people talked about. But hey, he moved as he noticed it was my car that was coming. He opened up the fence so I could get in. As I passed the man, the foggy window pane gave me a silhouette of someone I know. It was my father, shivering in the cold rainy night just to open up the fence for me at 2 o’clock in the morning.
That night was about ten years ago, when I was in my early days of working in advertising industry.
And it was not for the first, or the last time. He still does. Even now I’m thirty, married with one kid; he has always been the one who last stands for me. Literally, physically, and emotionally. When everyone pulls themselves back on me because of my stubbornness, he is the even more stubborn person I know who understand me. I might be hate him sometimes, but I love him most of the times. He is the closest person yet a stranger for me.
My father is a mean and strict figure. He never knew his mom; she died when he was two. He was meant to be a pilot. But when he was about to finish his 600 hours flight-hours to graduate, he quit and joined the police academy (no, not the one on the movie). I never know why he decided a major maneuver at that time. But my guess is that his passion in fishing pushed him to make the decision, and however led him to be the best police-water officer I ever knew.
My father is not a great father. But I can say he is a capable one. And that is what I love about him. He never gives me what I want. He gives me what I need. He is the one who introduced me new things in life. He taught me how to swim and intentionally drown me down the pool just to show me one fact that I needed to know how it feels to be drowning in order to be a good swimmer. He taught me math ‘till I slept away in front of the whiteboard. He taught me how to pray. He taught me how to read Qur’an and listened to every word I pronounced. He told me stories before bed (although he made it up his own and most of them were not interesting). He guided me to pray when I fell off from my bed and cried. He taught me to ride a bike, to drive (with hands on 10 and 2 o’clock position), he introduced me to champagne and smoke when I was in kindergarten (this is why I don’t really drink and I totally don’t smoke), he brought us Penthouse, Playboy and Hustler and let us read and know about porn right in front of his eyes, he is the one who taught me to keep my promise (and I still learn about it), he is the one who taught me to do anything I want as long as it is still in my capacity, he is the one who told me that cheating on exam is fine, he taught me not to ask for something but rather give something, he personally asked me to take care of myself by not getting pregnant before marriage, he made me a strong girl (yet a mushy ones), he let me fall and get up by myself, he taught me about passion in life: that we should have at least one thing we love to do the most; so we will not be lonesome in the future. And he surely got one: FISHING! Now i know why he quit flying and choose diving instead ;p
I do not believe in superhero, but to me my father is a possible hero. Maybe because he never try to be great, instead he always try to be capable. His birthday is around the corner. 64. What would be the best present?
Photography by Lilya, www.kembangbakung.wordpress.com