The most distinct sound at Waterside Park is a potpourri of bellows, a cacophonous melody – one we hear every day but never get lost in. At the Waterside Park are returnees from the jailhouse across the lagoon. And Festus is one of them. But we don’t call them ex-convicts; the word is that they travelled abroad.
The day before he returned, his wife dumped their girl at the ticket office late in the evening. And while the park chairman wondered what to do with the baby, Festus walked in. First he smiled when he saw his little girl, and then cried, but quickly steeled himself at the word that his woman had left with the policeman who got him locked up.
She was three when he returned. He has spent four years at home. They live in the shanty behind Waterside Park. The journey home is less than two minutes.
She finds him at the park, every day after school. And amidst the potpourri of bellows, you will find Festus sitting with his daughter, ticking his fingers in calculation, as they stumble over her math homework.