Story by Keesha Manahan
Dad took me on his big white boat
The boat was his “baby”
I always laughed when he tells me that
That morning he woke me up and we went out to the reef.
I love sitting in front of the boat
and letting the warm wind blow onto me.
It was a nice sunny day –
the right time to go out fishing.
We went all the way out to the reef
then let down the anchor.
Blue ocean all around me
“Bom nguu a kerelem el mei. Bring your fishing line”
He gave me a piece of sliced squid
And told me to put it on the hook.
“Merko bideklii a kerelem el mei. Throw your line”
felt something pulling my line.
That’s when he told me to reel it in
I watched as it come closer
until I finally reeled it out of the water.
It was actually a small fish but
as an 8-year-old
I felt like it was the biggest.
My father cheered
and said he was proud of me.
I can’t really remember the name of the fish
but it was a beautiful bright red orange.
My father unhooked the fish
and released it back to the ocean
He kept telling me that he was proud of me.
We talked about what my biological father was like
He told me after my biological father passed away
he felt like I was the only part of him left
and that’s why he took me.
“If one day when I’m gone
I want you to know that I love you.
I want you to be strong.
Don’t forget what I have taught you –
keep it in your heart.
Be the strong and smart person you are.
I’m proud of you and I love you always.”
I smiled and couldn’t help but cry
I hugged him so tight
and he hugged me back
kissed my forehead
and he told me he loved me again.
It was already dusk when we left
the sky was a beautiful orange
but slowly fading into the dark.
It was the best time I had ever had
and I will never forget it.