‘’If you are not careful, you will end up like your father,’’ the words keep ringing in my ear over and over.
I open the shower and stand under it, letting the cold water course over my body.
I can never end up like my father, that man was evil and cruel, I am nothing like him.
‘’You are my wife Linda and it’s my duty to discipline you when you misbehave,’’ my father would always yell at my mother every time before he beat her up.
And she would be curled in a ball and not fight back as he kicked and whipped her like she was his child.
I was 7 when the abuse started and in the beginning my mother would scream and cry each time he beat her but as time went on, she stopped crying and screaming, it’s like she became immune to the pain.
‘’Why don’t you report him to the authorities?’’ I would ask mum.
‘’Your father is not a bad man, this is just his way of showing that he cares,’’ she would always respond.
I know I was young and didn’t understand much about love but one thing I knew was that my mother’s concept of love didn’t align with reality- I mean what person inflicts pain on you to prove that they care.
‘’He will change,’’ she always said.
But he never did, in fact the abuse got worse over time.
And if I had not put a stop to that nonsense, that man would have killed my mother.
I remember one time when she was pregnant with her fourth child he came home drunk and started to beat her up with his belt.
I tried to stop him but he got angry and started whipping me instead. A short while later my mother was on his back, trying to stop him but he angrily flung her down on the floor and started kicking her.
The next thing I saw was blood all over the floor.
I am sure he saw the blood and got scared so he stopped hitting her and threatened to kill us all if we said anything to anyone.
He left the house after uttering those threats.
‘’Ma, are you okay?’’ I asked even though I could see she was in a lot of pain.
‘’I think we need to call ambulance,’’ Julia said.
Then she grabbed mum’s phone and managed to call an ambulance.
It wasn’t long before I heard the sirens and the ambulance finally come to a stop in front of our house.
After we narrated what had happened, they took mum to the hospital.
Three days later mum was discharged from the hospital but she had lost the baby and even though she was going through so much pain, she refused to press charges and once more, that man went scot free.
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He behaved himself for a couple of months before he struck again. But this time around I was more than ready for him.
When I yelled for him to stop hitting her and he didn’t, I quickly grabbed a knife and stabbed him, he was caught off guard.
As he was trying to process what I had done, I stabbed him again and again until he lay lifeless on the floor.
When I was sure he was dead, I called the police.
I handed myself in against my mother’s wishes.
I was charged with murder and I was found guilty. But because I was a juvenile, I wasn’t sent to prison, instead I was sent to Katombora reformatory facility.
I spent five years of my life at the reformatory center before I was released for good behavior.
I told Wendy a bit about my father but she doesn’t know I actually killed him. After that I worked hard so I could become the person that I am today and I vowed I would never be like my father.
I am nothing like my father and over the years I have tried to create new patterns for myself but I somehow keep replaying my father’s unhealthy patterns. Just like him, I love to be in control and I easily get angry. I could go from stable and good mood to being extremely angry.
I have worked hard to control my anger but it doesn’t work
When I am angry my heart races and my teeth hurt from grinding.
‘’Babe!’’ a knock at the door startles me from my reverie.
‘’Are you okay?’’
I have been in the shower longer than I should and I am sure she is worried. I don’t know what I did to deserve a woman like Wendy. Often times I lash out at her but she never leaves.
No woman has held me down like Wendy does.
I would be damned if I lost her.
I turn off the shower and step out then I grab a towel and wrap it around my waist before stepping out.
Wendy is sitting on the bed and her eyes are puffy from all the crying. A pang of guilt hit me, then another. I feel guilty for making her cry.
‘’I am sorry!’’ I whisper
She stands up and walks towards me, ‘’I am sorry too, I didn’t mean to upset you.’’
‘’It’s not your fault, I should have told you last night that I would be spending a night at Jacey’s house.’’
‘’Now I feel bad for accusing you.’’
‘’It’s okay babe, I understand,’’ I respond before I lean in and lightly kiss her lips. ‘’Let me change so I can help you with bake.’’
‘’Are you okay?’’ Julia asks as I walk her to her car.
We’ve just finished with the rehearsals and now she is heading home, Julia is my matron.
‘’Yes I am.’’
We get to her car and she unlocks the doors.
‘’Hop in,’’ she says.
‘’Huh?’’ I give her a questioning look.
‘’I said hop in.’’
I slid into the passenger seat and she gets in on the other side before she drives off. We drive in silence for a few minutes before she pulls up in front of a mall and we step out.
‘’I know a place where they sell nice ice cream,’’ she grabs my hand and we walk into one of the shops.
We order our ice cream and then we head back to her car.
‘’Talk to me,’’ she says once we settle back into our seats.
‘’How are things between you and my brother? Do you really want to marry him?’’
‘’Of course I want to.’’
‘’You are hundred percent sure of this?’’ she asks
‘’I thought as much.’’
‘’What do you mean?’’
‘’I have noticed that you are not as excited as you should. You seem a bit off and low.’’
‘’Maybe I am just stressed.’’
I shrug,’’ I wasn’t ready to get married this soon, Jason and I still have a lot of growing to do.’’
‘’So why didn’t you tell him you weren’t ready?’’
‘’Jason can never listen to me, he will just get angry when I tell him that.’’
‘’Has my brother raised his hand on you before?’’
‘’No,’’ I respond.
‘’You are sure?’’
‘’Yes,’’ I nod my head.
‘’My mother almost died at the hands of my father, she always said he would change but he never did. Marriage doesn’t change people Wendy and what you allow now will continue even in marriage.’’
‘’Jason is my brother and I love him but he has an uncontrollable anger just like dad. I know he tries so hard to hide it but it’s there, Jason is truly his father’s son,’’ she says.
‘’Don’t worry, he will never be your father.’’
‘’I hope so,’’ she says.
Then she gives me a serious look and holds one of my hands, ‘’and when he hits you, don’t hesitate to walk out, please,’’ she pleads. ‘’don’t make the same mistake my mother made, please.’’
‘’I will remember this.’’
‘’Thank you,’’ she says before she pulls me into her arms and hugs me tightly.