the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

Codie Elaine Brooks
Fort Worth, Texas - Marketing

        For days I avoided him. Of course I called. I love him, but we both knew. He didnít want to see me and I didnít want to see him. I worked, I packed, and I called on occasion. He worked and tried to ignore me. My departure had been anticipated for years and was absolutely unavoidable. The event itself was joyous and quite necessary. It was the days leading up to it that we both dreaded. During those days, I stopped by on occasion but never stayed long. We chatted about the things I would need, whether or not I was excited, and to whom I had said goodbye. Finally, the night before my last day, he said to me, ďYou donít have to come over. I donít think I can take it.Ē I didnít speak; I cried. I cried for how much Iíd miss him, and for the days, weeks, and months heíd be alone, and I cried for the minute that I would actually walk out the door and the certainty that Iíd see my own father cry.
        Was it that this man could not cry in front of his daughter or maybe that he should not cry at all? Of course not. It was the thought that I would be causing it. It was the pain in knowing that if I did not leave Texas, I would be settling for an education either at predominately white institution or a black institution beneath the prestige of Howard University. However, if I did leave, I would be potentially damaging my relationship with my mentor, my friend, my father.
        In no way is this fifty-one year-old man perfect. Even when I hate him I love him. When heís sarcastic, ignores my inquiries, asks me too many questions, or just asks the wrong question at the wrong time, I love him. He didnít always come to every game or track meet or graduation (on time), but he tried. I wasnít always with him when it was important to him and he probably doesnít know that I love him as much as I do. But I do cry without him and he knows that, I worry about him and he knows that, and most of all I listen to him. He sees that.
        I am definitely my fatherís daughter.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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