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The Man in Me

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, my mum is an angel in human form; she’s got them all, the looks, the elegance, the eloquence, the charisma and endowments.

Sometimes, she would be on a wig, other times she would not. She was in the kitchen preparing a meal after she’d received her regular dose from father. It’s becoming daily, her dose that made me wonder whether there was any courtship between them before marriage. Because if there was, mum must have seen the handwriting on the wall, or did she just ignore it? Hoping for a change?.

The kitchen is a dreaded territory for us. My sister never steps in because the leftover of the dose instantly becomes hers.

I walked in tonight, feeling different, ready to bear the consequences of my actions. There mum was, with a plate in hand, beckoning on me to help her get an ice from the refrigerator. I obliged, and she placed it on her mouth. I took the plate and offered to wash, she let go. It was very unlike her; she then sat on the chair, sobbing.

I’ve seen this scenario several times, that I now think that marriage was meant to be like this. These doses have always left mum shattered to her bones; most times there were bruises, scars and zillions of tears to go by. They thought we knew nothing; the screams, the tumblings, the bangs on the door, we know things, we just lacked the zeal to express them.

I detested dad, not for his physical features, for he is a fine man. I guess the finesse with which he carried himself was the reason mum fell for him. I detest him for his temperament. He never appealed to me. I’d asked mum why she allowed the ill treatment, but she shut me up every time.

So today when Dad walked in with smiles plastered on his face, I assumed things were good; it’s been a while I saw him smile. I ran with my siblings and greeted him. He had a great day I’d presumed, as he hugged us all, asked of our mother’s whereabouts, and proceeded to hug mum who strolled with giggles to meet him.

Life’s never been sweeter than see the couple bond together right before our eyes: they muttered some incoherent words, words we presumed were sweet as laughter was on their faces.

They walked into the room, leaving us behind, the room was rowdy yet filled with silence; whatever disputes they’ve had, we barely knew the remote or immediate cause.

But as we watched ‘PJ masks’, and Romeo threatens “Owllette, Catboy and gecko” with his new invention, we (my sisters and I) heard a noise. It wasn’t just a noise, it was one that tore the door ajar, and mum ran for her life.

Before she could move another step, her long black hair followed as her lean body leaped in the air. Her white smile and big brown eyes twinkled as she returned to the ground with a thud. My dad was testing his karate skills on her.

“Ah!” she screamed, she couldn’t move an inch, Dad’s face was an epitome of the monstrous being I saw in the television earlier, a squeezed paperwork. His breathing were as loud as the wind in the storm. He launched towards mum, flipped her like a page of a book. We knew mum’s life was in danger.

We ran towards dad but he flipped us too recklessly. I remember hurting my head as my sister’s screams led neighbors to our apartment.

“Dad is guy,” he answered them with the coolest voice ever, assuring them there was no cause for alarm.

That was the saving grace mum had. Was it really?

As I finished washing the plates, the scene in a movie featuring Angela Jolie shutting up her abusive husband flashed before my eyes. I was seven-year-old boy filled with animosity towards his father, I picked the black kitchen knife beside the sink, wiped my hands on my shorts, and approached mum.

“Sorry mum,” I consoled her, massaging her back. “This won’t repeat itself again,” I said with a cold tone. She stared at me, shook her head, In her mind, she was probably thinking: “What does he even know?” and hugged me.

“I hope so, nwa m, I hope so.”

I walked towards dad, he was facing the television, watching his favorite WWE wrestling. His back was towards me. It was with calmness and precision that I checked, picked a spot and raised my knife.

“Ekeneeeeee!!!!” she screamed.

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