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Unable to cope with the loss, my father swiftly degenerated into a hopeless drunkard. Friday morning was the last time we would see him in the week. After work on Friday he no longer came home. Instead he went on a drinking spree with his friends, a spree that would last till Monday morning. Then we would come back home very early in the morning to take a shower, change and go to work. Apart from paying the bills and buying food, he simply no longer cared about what was happening at home. From what I heard, he had become irresponsible even at work and was threatened with being fired anytime. For me, and I guess for the whole family, what made the experience even more painful was the knowledge that my mother had eloped with a man who was not just our neighbor, but also the father of my childhood friend and first playmate. I hated her passionately.
Given the worsening situation at home, one of our maternal aunties took custody of our last born while one of our elder sisters, already married at the time, took me in. As I left home I could not help but worry about my father. My younger sibling and I had found refuge in my aunt and sister, respectively. As for my father, now left alone at home, no one seemed to care for him; it was though he had been left to drink himself to death. In the few months that followed my leaving home, I learned from my sister that my uncles had tried to intervene in my fathers situation, but given up shortly afterwards after they had concluded that he could not be helped. In the days and months that followed, my sister avoided my fathers story every time I brought up: she was not interested. She was even opposed to me visiting him. For the decade that followed my mother’s elopement, I have since lived with two of my sisters and a host of other relatives. In all my wanderings amongst my siblings and relatives, I will never forget the unceremonious way in which my first sister who took me in
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