‘What happened to your Daddy?!’
I asked her: ‘What has your Mummy told you about our Daddy?’
‘She said he died. She said when she was little her family didn’t know about Jesus—’.
It took me several days to realise that F’s answer might have been as good as true, but initially I’d had to confer with my other sister and we’d agreed that we didn’t agree with lying to Hannah. ‘Ohhh’, V had said when I’d told her about mine and Hannah’s conversation. ‘Ohhh’.
I don’t know if my father is dead, but, yes, I suppose he might well be; he might as well be.
He left without saying goodbye about four years after my parents divorced. My sister V went to visit him at work and Mr Yin Foo, whose family we had shared many barbecues with, was presented with the task of telling her that my father had been fired. That weekend I waited in the car with my brother while my mother went and looked through the windows of my father’s house. She returned to report that it was empty.
It would be difficult to explain that to a five year old, I guess.