Every day takes me back to that day. Every words that came out of his mouth reminded me of that disappointment, even his jokes brought the memory of that day.
My elder brother was at it again, telling everyone who cared to listen that he was the man of the house. Not that I really care, after all, I’m going to get married someday and leave this house, but hearing it from his lips annoyed the hell out of me. Instead of thinking of how to build his own house, he was talking about how to inherit his father’s house.
He was just two years older than me but he spoke as if he was seven years older. My inability to ignore him and his utterances has led us to many fights and arguments.
We were like a cat and rat in the house and we fought to an extent that I became immune to his punches and we fought like age mates.
Sometimes people who saw us fighting ended up saying that I beat him up which was not really true, because I didn’t think it was possible for me to beat him up. But I could hit back and defend myself whenever he decided to test his strength on me.
Living with him in the same house almost became a nightmare for me. Praying for our school bus to break down so that I can get home and avoid him was my daily prayer.
I was always forced to give up everything for him by my father who claimed that he was older and deserved it but I knew that it was all because he was a boy.
I was thirteen years old and I knew what was going on around me. No matter how wrong he was, my dad always found a way to make him right, convincing me that I was wrong and for me to give up, forgetting that I have a mind and a conscience of my own that can give me a clear distinction between right and wrong.
I hated my brother the more. I never knew that with the awareness concerning the danger associated with favouritism in an African home, it will end up happening in my home.
Watching the way I and my sisters were being treated because of him, added fuel to my hatred.
Then that fateful day came, whose memories I will never forget and with the mere sight of my brother, they always come rushing back.
The bone of contention that day was a spoon. A small spoon. We had an argument on who was the owner of the spoon. I picked the spoon because I wanted to eat but he said it belonged to him because he bought it with his own money. Even when my mum said he should leave it, he refused and as usual I went to met my dad who said I should leave it for him.
In anger, I went back to my mum and returned the spoon, then picked up my doll and continued practicing how to plait with an old traditional iron with a sharpened end.
After returning the spoon we got into another argument in which he approached to hit me even with the warnings from my mom to leave me.
His move to hit me was a foolish one because I was holding the doll and the iron in my two hands which means I was not defenceless and there was no way I was going to allow him hit me once without hitting back.
When he moved to hit me with his fist, my left hand bearing the iron was used as a defense.
In the twinkling of an eye, the iron sank deep into his palm and he screamed while holding his right hand with the iron still buried in it.
Scared was I when I stood up from where I was sitting. I went to where he was lying down still screaming and removed my iron from the clutches of his palm.
My mom who heard the scream ran out of the house and saw him lying on the floor and quickly helped him up.
He suddenly gained strength and attacked me but I retaliated and he was no match for me.
We were separated by the crowd that was already gathered for our sake before my mom decided to give me a dozen of her own venom through the help of her slippers.
The strange thing in all of this was that a drop of tears never left my eyes.
After receiving my part of the beating, I settled down on a bench outside my house. It was a move which I later considered a mistake because as soon as I sat down, I received a punch from my brother which landed on my right eye.
I experienced a moment of insanity. I thought I was going to go blind but when I opened my eyes after shouting for sometime, I saw red.
My eyes fell on our wooden axe and without second thoughts, I picked it, held it firmly, and charged towards him with blood shot eyes and a murderous glint in my eyes.