- 20 Feb - 26 Feb, 2021
Love and Hate
- 13 Feb - 19 Feb, 2021
I have always believed that love is stronger than hate, but my life’s experience has proven me wrong. These two paths can never meet as long as long as there is extremism. But one can always hope that love would win over hate one day.
I was born in 1985. I never knew my mother. In fact, I had no concept of mother until I was five. I do not regret that because I was provided with much satisfactory love.
My father Richard Cruise was the person who fulfilled the emptiness of mother’s love in my life. He was a bit secretive but that never bothered me. I knew this for sure that his love for me had no substitute, but why should I think of having one?
The world appears to be blue when you see that there’s an important person missing out from your life. I had never seen my mother, nor did I have a step mother. But my father’s love made me underestimate the importance of a mother.
I have grown up to be a really kind person. I know this because that’s what people call me, ‘Kind and Sensitive’. And why wouldn’t I be? My father was kind hearted like me, but he believed in escaping the realities and living a make believe life.
In 1987, I spoke the word ‘Dad’ for the first time. That was probably one of the happiest moments of my father’s life. I wish I could bring such more moments.
The oldest memory that I have regarding my entire life is of the time when I was four years old and my father said to me while we both were sitting on the tree’s branch,
“This world will convince you to become a bad person, but you have to remember that positivity is stronger than negativity.”
“What does negativity mean?”
“I really wish I can tell you that there is no such thing as negativity, but I’m afraid there is.”
I cannot recall what I was told further.
I was nine years old when I fell really bad while riding a bicycle. My knee was injured and I tried to stand up but I couldn’t. That moment I saw my father rushing towards me. I wasn’t crying or anything but he treated me as if I was crying badly. He seemed very restless, so I said to him,
“I’m okay Dad, let me stand-up.”
let me see it.”
“Please, I’m fine. I need to stand up.”
Instead of helping me stand up, he picked me up with his two arms and rushed towards the rest room close by. I said to him,
“I am fine Dad, put me down.”
“No, I have to take you.”
“I’m not a kid Dad, put me down.”
Few minutes later, I was seated inside the restroom with my father who was trying to put bandage on my knee.
“How are you feeling now?”
“I am fine.”
I was a little kid but I knew that I had a minor injury and the bandage was a lot bigger than it was needed. He kept on trying to comfort me but I know now that it wasn’t me who needed peace and comfort, but it was him.
He then said,
“Please, be careful next time. Promise me you will be.”
“I will be.”
“Say you promise.”
“I promise that I will be careful from now.”
“Good. Now come, let’s go inside the home.”
He stood up finally.
My father’s love was an exaggerated one. A lot more, than what was needed. It made me something I did not want to become, a sweet and chocolaty guy. Yes, it spoiled me and made me weak and sensitive which I really wanted to change.
I always wanted to grow up and become a tough guy. A tough guy who is not afraid of experiencing pain and torments that life brings on. My father and I are same in many aspects, but in one aspect we are completely opposites, he is soft on the outside but hard on the inside. I on the other hand, I’m soft on the outside but even softer inside.
One morning, after I had passed out my high school, my father came to my room and asked me,
“You have finally graduated. Like every other father I want to offer you a grand gift for this achievement.”
I knew that my father’s monthly income was not enough and we were hardly covering our expenses, so I asked him,
“How much can I ask for?”
That moment, he lied to me and said,
“Don’t worry, we have plenty. You can ask for anything and literally anything you want.”
It was very stupid of me that I didn’t realise in that moment that he was lying to me, so I abruptly said,
“I always wanted a motor bike.”
He remained silent for a few seconds in a state of shock, but then he spoke immediately,
“Okay, you got it!”
I was really very happy but I asked him anyway,
“Can you really buy it?”
“Yes,” he lied. “I won a lottery yesterday. I can very much afford it.”
“Really? A lottery?”
“Yes, something similar to it.”
I smiled anyway, not knowing what was going on.
Next week, my father borrowed quite some money from his brother Raymond Cruise. He came home and told me that we are going to the bikes show room the next day. I was excited but had no clue about how he was arranging money for my bike.
We finally purchased the motor bike that I always wanted and I thanked him more than ever for this. He was more than happy seeing me like this, and so he simply responded by smiling.
What I really didn’t know but discovered later through some third source was that those two following weeks were probably one of the most difficult weeks of my father’s life.
In order to return money to my uncle, my father took a job as a sweeper who cleansed public toilets.
He did this for me. Yes, he took this pain for me, but he hid it from me. He knew that I wouldn’t like this at all. But unfortunately, I never got the chance to ask him face to face about this. I would have demanded something like a favour against favour from him, even though I am fully aware of the fact that a son can never repay his father’s favours.
He used to wash those public toilets all by himself. He made enough money in one week that he returned half of his debt. He made more money in those days than he did in usual days.
The day he returned after covering all the debt,
he asked me,
“Are you enjoying the rides on that bike?”
“Yes, I am,” I replied.
He was very happy. I could see it on his face.
My father never had one job; he switched multiple jobs in a year. He was not educated himself, so he had to take jobs like carpenters, labourers and plumbers etc. He was an expert in these. The job of being a waiter in a well reputed restaurant was one of his dream jobs, but he never got such a job.
Regardless of our monthly income, he made sure that his son’s every wish was fulfilled in every way possible. What was really important for him was my education. He wanted me to be educated unlike him, so I wouldn’t have to face any difficulties in life.
One afternoon, my father was cutting some logs while standing on someone’s logs. He was called by someone from behind,
He turned and responded,
“My name is Ajalie. I’m seeing that you are a wood cutter.”
“Well, not exactly but I can provide these services as well.”
“I have a job for you. If you’ll do it, I’ll grant you a huge amount of money.”
“Okay, what is it?”
“Before I can state the job completely, I want you to know that it is something illegal. Illegal, but not at all harmful for you.”
“I’m sorry. In that case, my answer is no.”
Ajalie chuckled and said,
“Don’t worry, you’ll enjoy it. You won’t get into any trouble, I promise.”
My father dropped the tool that he was holding and said,
“I don’t even want to know what kind of job you’re offering, as long as it is illegal.”
“May I ask why?”
“I respect my country and its laws. I can’t do any such thing. Sorry, my answer is final which is no.”
He then continued with his work.
I can never compromise my integrity. He spoke in his thoughts.
That night as he returned home, he called me in his room. As I went to his room and sat next to him on his bed, he said to me,
“Brad, there’s something very important that I want to talk
“What is it about?”
“It’s about life. I mean it shall benefit you for the rest of your life. Tell me are you in a mood to talk right now.”
“Sure,” I got curious.
“My son, here’s the thing. In life you might see a lot of hardships. I pray and hope that you don’t, but no one can challenge God’s will.”
“Okay,” I replied getting a bit confused.
“What I’m trying to say here is that life might show you really difficult times, but you have to remember something. Your soul, the honesty and purity of your soul is the most important thing at the end of the day.”
“No Brad, you don’t know. I mean you think that you know it but as you’ll grow through life, you’ll then understand what I’m really trying to say. All I’m saying is that there are times when we need help from others. There can be financial crisis or other crisis in life but you need to keep in mind that one must not sacrifice his integrity, no matter what.”
“Integrity? Can you define it?”
“Look, let me put it in easy words for you. Every person makes rules in life. You keep them by yourself. But more important thing is that how long you can sustain them. You make a rule; you promise yourself that you wouldn’t break it.”
“What if it’s about life and death?”
He replied quite seriously,
“Life and death are not as important as your integrity is. Trust me.”
I was quite surprised on his words.
He kept silent for a while, and that silence was quite a serious one. It kept me thinking that day for long.
Let me tell you something about coincidences. Coincidences do not naturally occur. They are just a part of our fantasies. They happen in the world of movies and novels. They appear really good when we watch them or read them, but the truth is that they are always fictitious.
I myself have never believed in coincidences. I am a man who prefers a realistic life. I have always been away from books and TV shows. But the strange thing is that my life was shaken because of a coincidence. Yes, a coincidence was something that made my life take a surprising turn. And it made me a person that I wasn’t.
Coincidences do not happen for a good reason, or do they? Well, in my case it wasn’t something good. The crimes and sins of your soul are not born overnights, they take time. But surprisingly my life’s case was exactly different.
Life taught me that what you believe initially is always changed. Your circumstances shape up your thoughts.
Apart from my father, I had just one love in my life. That one love was enough for me because I soon got married to the person I really loved. But why does my heart always tell me that I made a hasty decision. I should have waited and should have given it a second thought.
My marriage could have ruined. It could have influenced the people attached to it severely. But as we all know that life hardly ever goes as we plan. Expectations and hopes from life are hardly ever met. It happened with me when I had to sacrifice my integrity, knowing that my father would have utterly disliked it.