When I was very small, Mama told me that my Daddy worked on an oil rig way out in the ocean. It was very important work, that’s why he could never come home. My older brother told me that this was a lie, that Daddy had been locked up in a place for bad men and we were never supposed to talk about it. Certainly not in front of Mama. I learned more as I grew up, from whispers, half overheard phone conversations. Daddy was in a maximum security prison somewhere far away, somewhere very cold. We never visited him.
Last week Mama sat us down after dinner. Daddy’s lawyer had been in touch. One of the witnesses against Daddy had chanced her testimony, said she’d made a mistake. And some the evidence gathered by the police had turned out to be dubious. In short, Daddy was being set free.
Daddy was locked up when I was two, twelve years ago. I am sitting on Mama’s bed, looking out. There’s a yellow taxi turning onto our street. It’s pulling up outside our gate. I feel a pit open up in the bottom of my stomach. Daddy’s home.