‘’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 un-der it, letting the cold water course over my b©dy.
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 wh!pped 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 st©pped crying and screaming, it’s like she bec@m£ 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 un-derstand 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 st©p to that nons-en-se, that man would have killed my mother.
I remember one time when she was pregnant with her fourth child he c@m£ home drun!kand started to beat her up with his belt.
I tried to st©p him but he got angry and started wh!pping me instead. A short while later my mother was on his back, trying to st©p 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 st©pped 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 nee-d to call ambulance,’’ Julia said.
Then she gr@bb£d 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 st©p 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 throu-gh 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 re-ady for him.
When I yelled for him to st©p hitting her and he didn’t, I quic-kly gr@bb£d a knife and stabbe-d him, he was caught off guard.
As he was trying to process what I had done, I stabbe-d him again and again until he l@ylifeless 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 s£nt to prison, instead I was s£nt to Katombora reformatory facility.
I spent five years of my life at the reformatory center before I was re-leased for good behavior.
I told Wendy a bit about my father but she doesn’t know I actually killed him. After that I worked ha-rd 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 repla-ying 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 ha-rd 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 gr-ab a towel and wra-p it around my w@!st before stepping out.
Wendy is sitting on the be-d and her eyes are puffy from all the crying. A pang of guilt hit me, then another. I feel guilty for ma-king 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 un-derstand,’’ I respond before I lean in and lightly k!ssherl-ips. ‘’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 pas-s£nger seat and she gets in on the other side before she drives off. We drive in silence for a few minutes before she pu-lls up in front of a mall and we step out.
‘’I know a place where they sell nice ice cream,’’ she gr-abs 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 re-ady 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 re-ady?’’
‘’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 ha-rd 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, plea-se,’’ she pleads. ‘’don’t make the same mistake my mother made, plea-se.’’
‘’I will remember this.’’
‘’Thank you,’’ she says before she pu-lls me into her arms and hvgs me ti-ghtly.