Colin’s Story: The Bluebird of Happiness-
Colin describes his stepfather whom he calls dad. He has thought of him as his biological father all the while. His dad looks like him. His dad has dark hair with some grey patches around his ears. His dad used to roll his own cigarettes out of tobacco in a tin. His dad calls him by many nick names- Col, Collie, Sonny-boy, Buster, Mr Bluebird. Colin’s mum works in a shop. His dad walks him to school and back. His dad got him his tea and took him to the park. At the park, he used to swing as high as the bar, he swings back in such a way that his dad would call him –The Bluebird of Happiness.
Then, Colin’s mum took him and moved away. It happened when Colin’s father had gone to spend a day with his sister. Two friends of his mum came with a van and packed everything. Then they went off. At first, he thought his dad will join them later. Colin was not happy- school mates would snigger when he did not understand things. Mum found a job at a canteen. She would be busy doing household chores when she came home. Mum was too busy to listen to him. He compared her with his dad- his dad used to talk to him and remembered names of his friends and teachers. Colin asked his mother many times about his dad. He wanted to know when his dad will come home.
His mother did give him a hint about his father not having a proper job. He realized later that his mother did not leave any clues for his dad to follow. He then wrote a letter to his dad. But there was no reply.
Every night, Colin would take the tobacco tin out of the toe of his boot and put it under his pillow. Then, he would hum his favourite song which was also his dad’s favourite. He would stay awake for hours talking to his dad. He pretended that his dad was there. Colin said that it was as if his mother thought that whatever is happening is actually happening only to her. Then one day when he returned home from school, he realized that his mum had thrown away his boots. The boots were too small for him but she did not know that there was a tobacco tin hidden in there. He did not bother to tell her because she wouldn’t have liked it.
It has been five years, eight months and seven days and Colin still remembers hit dad. He secretly writes his dad’s name and his old address on the forms at school. Colin also tries to save money- he does three paper rounds. He will not try to look for his dad now- perhaps someday when he has enough money.
Colin hums slowly and when asked to sing, he says that he is saving the words till he finds his dad. It was his favourite song- The Bluebird of Happiness. His friend Ralph consoled him by saying that someday Colin will find his dad.