He had been swallowed by the road and the sun and the air. He left a cellphone in my hand there was no other number other than his number stored in it and it didn’t matter because I knew it by hear anyways: 2255031487. I wrote it in my hand, graved it at the corner of the dinner table, and wrote it on the wall of my bedroom. Last time father left, I lost weight, I cried oceans and rivers, I was force bathed by mother after refusing for two days. My siblings mocked my sensibility, but they didn’t know what I know, they just couldn’t, wouldn’t understand that his shadow seemed to have gone ahead of him to make sure he doesn’t return like our neighbor’s dad. They never told us or anyone what happened to him, whether it was a ferocious animal or thunder out and about, not discriminating about its prey and striking down whoever was in its way; was it the Devil, jealous of their happiness, who stroke a bargain with God about ripping their father out of their lives? It didn’t matter. One look at my friend’s eyes and his loss would gather in stagnant pools inside you.
Father returned one month later, I was now his shadow wherever he went. Waiting at the door for him to come out, sitting next to him while he ate, drank, laughed. He kicked me in my rear end more than once for following him and even the street dogs took pity on me on that day. I know what I know. You have to keep your friends close but your enemies closer so it was time for me to find Fate and bind her forever or as long as I breathe. I shared my plan with my witch of an aunt who had dove eyes, gentle smile, barren belly, green hands and expert hands in the kitchen. Her meals were so fine that it was rumoured that even the devil lined to have a taste to them when everyone was asleep. For me, witch or no witch, she was going to tell how to find and bind Fate so my father may live endless days before me. She laughed at me and said: Child, you don’t know what you are asking for, you want to be king of kings, decides who lives and dies, control the rain and the sunshine and all that for a father who doesn’t care for you? Get out of my sight, you are wasting my time. Tell your mother she still owes me, now go on and leave.” I stood outside her door for a moment, trying to pierce her with my eyes. She felt my gaze.
“Child, you can’t do nothing to me. You might be powerful, but my love for you is stronger. Go play with someone your age.”
I took off, ran off, flew off, a smile creasing my face, she had FELT it: I had powers. I was going to find Fate and bind her. So I returned every day. I will see to it that my father was safe and sound then go to my aunt and with this help and that smile, I hope to open her heart and receive more words, more jewels. On the last day of my thirteenth’s birthday, she did. Smoking in front of her house, she stitched up for me a patch of her past when she was young, wild and loose and she used to know the paths that led underground and in that world above us. Mesmerized, she told tales of folly, love, riches, strength and power and for a moment, she was transformed before my very eyes. My aunt was not a witch, she was a pirate. She has had enough adventures to fill our local library and more. She finished her tale by telling me that there might be a way to find Fate, but danger lurked in my path and I will end up losing more than a limb in this adventure. I told her not worry because the gain was worth more than the loss. A cruel gleam went by her eyes and disturbed the gentleness of her face for a moment. “We shall see.”