My father came home from work to find me standing outside the gate with dusty feet and smelling like an onion.

“Dumela Tshego” he leaned to me, putting his tool box on the floor then supporting his hands on his knees.

With head low and my hands on the back I greeted back “Ralocha papa”

“What are you doing outside this late?”

“Nothing papa.” I took two steps away from him.

Right then he picked his toolbox, opened the gate and went into the house.

I remained there in silence with teary eyes.

After what felt like a yearlong wait, I felt a large hand grabbing my arm and a stick penetrating my back just where I’d applied onions in preparation for this particular event.

“How many times did I warn you about playing too much and not doing your homework?”

I then realised that he had found it! His only daughter’s Grade 2 report card that was written FAIL in bold red ink!