Tue. May 28th, 2024

October 14th, 2019. 11:30PM 09

 

“It’s only after you talk about it that you realize how deeply it has affected you.”

 

 

I can feel the angry vibes from where I am standing, it looks like none of the men want to back down.

 

‘The both of you stop it.’ Mum says in her frail voice just before she coughs

 

We all turn to look at her, she is struggling to stand. She leans on her nurse’s shoulder whilst the nurse wraps her hand around mum’s waist.

 

‘You should be in bed.’ Dad says, his voice void of any emotions

 

‘How can I get any rest if the both of you won’t stop behaving like a cat and a mouse?’

 

‘Don’t you dare…’

 

‘Oh shut up.’ Mum says before dad can finish his sentence

 

‘You want to bully me in my own house? I didn’t call you here; I might as well have died in peace. If the both of you want to be here till I breathe my last I would suggest you suck up whatever pride you both have or else I am chasing you both.’ She says trying to sound strong

 

The nurse helps her out of the room and I sit just next to Mulife, dad decides to sit on the couch facing us. He looks mad but at this point I just want mum to be fine.

 

‘So you decided to run off so that you can be with this miserable boy?’ he asks with a chuckle

 

I choose to ignore him, I know his ego is too big and if I decide to respond we will be on each other’s throats again.

 

‘And you, who is your father?’ Dad asks looking at Mulife ‘You don’t have to respond.’ I say holding Mulife’s hand

 

‘I loved you, I was going to give you the life that your mates only dream of, but what did you decide to do? Run off with this boy.’ He says irritation in his voice

 

‘I didn’t run off to be with anyone, I went away so that I could have peace. So that I could have enough money to care for mum, to put her out of the mess that you put her in.’

 

He doesn’t respond to that but instead just looks at me.

 

It’s past 7PM and I am starving so I decide to cook everyone dinner. I prepare mashed potatoes with grilled pork chops, and some t bone for dad since he is allergic to pork.

 

We are sitted around the dining table, me, dad and Mulife. There is just passing of food and no one is saying anything.

 

‘Your mum won’t join us?’ Mulife asks

 

‘She is resting, her nurse says she needs the rest. She can eat when she gets up.’ I respond putting a spoonful of mashed potatoes in my mouth

 

‘So where is your boyfriend sleeping?’ Dad asks, speaking up for the first time since we sat down to eat

 

‘I will go to the nearest lodge Sir.’

 

‘They are two other spare bedrooms in this house so I don’t see why you are asking, besides it’s not like you are sleeping here.’

 

Dad doesn’t respond ‘I thought so.’ I say

We finish eating silently, dad is the first to leave the table and Mulife helps me with the dishes later.

 

When down, I make us some hot chocolate and decide to sit on the verandah. Dad has left and I am sure mum is still sleeping, my body is tired but I feel like sleeping will deprive me of the little time left to spend with mum.

 

‘Your father is the Minister of Western province.’ Mulife begins ‘That.’ I respond

‘What really went wrong?’

 

I sigh, I knew allowing him on this journey would mean me telling him the truth. ‘You don’t have to respond if you don’t want to tell me.’ He says matter of factly I smile at his sensitivity

‘My parents are more like you and Olipa.’ I begin ‘Me and Olipa?’

‘Arranged marriage I mean.’ ‘Oh.’

‘Except for my mother she didn’t want to get married to my father.’ ‘But why did she if she didn’t want?’

‘I bet you know that my father comes from old money, he didn’t have to work all the way to the top because he had people in his family pushing for things to move fine for him.’

 

I pause

 

‘But his political fame meant his reputation being on the line, he had to stop his womanizing ways. Or at least that is what everyone thought, so his father my late grandfather went on a mission to find him a lady that was media perfect’

 

 

‘You lost me there.’

 

‘Someone who smiles right, not have any scandalous background. Someone who would be the perfect candidate to walk alongside him all the time, neverquestion him but lick his bottom all thetime.’

 

‘And that is where your mother came in?’

 

‘Unfortunately she was in love with another man, but her poor background didn’t give her much choice. Her father sold her to grandpa.’

 

‘No.’

 

‘Modern day slavery.’ I chuckle as I say that

 

‘So they brought her to the city, polished her up. Gave her a new identity and everyone loved her, to people she was just the perfect wife and my parents were the perfect couple and who doesn’t like a family man?’ I say with a sad smile

 

‘What everyone didn’t know, me inclusive was that my father continued to treat her as a slave behind closed doors. He belittled and ridiculed her, and then when she grew a thick skin he started to beat her. With anything and everything he could lay his hands on, she was literally reminded every day that she was his slave – bought at a price.’

 

‘The beatings stopped because she couldn’t show herself often in public because of the wounds and the cuts, so as the political fame grew so did his ego and he learnt a newtrick.’

 

‘What?’

 

‘Mental torture.’

 

‘So we would have different aunties coming to our house every other week, I thought we were generally good people not knowing that they were his whores he was bringing home. Excuse my French.’ I say

 

 

‘Then from the weekly visits came the everyday visits, I was too young to understand and I worshipped the ground he walked on to notice anything odd.’

 

‘All this happened and you didn’t know anything?’

 

‘Well when I turned sixteen it reduced the aunties no longer came home but his time spent home reduced. I never saw him during the day because he came home quite late and he left too early, the only day he dedicated to me was Sunday.’

 

‘Where was your mother in all this?’

 

‘We had a shaky relationship, somehow I felt she was not good enough for my father. I was embarrassed to bring my friends home because she didn’t seem too cool.’ A tear escapes my eyes

 

‘Then she started to fall sick, we had doctors come into our house almost every other week.’

 

‘And your father?’

 

‘He didn’t know about it, and I thought they were mum’s boyfriends.’ ‘You didn’t.’

I let out more tears fall.

 

‘Yes I told on her, and it was then that I saw the kind of monster that he really was.’

 

‘He beat her so bad she almost died, this time around he didn’t care if I was watching or not.’ I say a lump on my throat

 

Mulife looks at me obviously at a loss of words.

 

‘Tiny pieces started to make sense, like how I was made to take pills every single day of my life.’

 

 

‘Thelma.’

‘Yes Mulife.’ I respond tears pouring out Winnie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *