There was a time when the only thing I wanted to do was run away from home, start a new life and live my dreams. There was a time when the things that mattered to me felt like a waste of time. All I wanted to do was get high, stay wasted and live life to the fullest like a pretty little hustler. Now, things have changed; some dreams have died letting new dreams to awaken… Yesterday, I thought of leaving home, today home chased me away. All the life I have lived have been shattered by broken bottles of mum and dad troubles. These troubles were patched up when they finally parted ways! Saying goodbye to my little sister was hard after dad had decided I stayed with mum taking Lizzy along with him.
His name was Joshua, the guy mum started hanging out with; he had a son who was far older than me, and much cuter than his father. Josh had impregnated a girl at sixteen…where was I then? No where… mother would have probably been struggling to let go of her dying mother, the mother she always blamed for her misfortunes. Loud voices! Banging doors! Screams! Blood! Broken bottles! All started again, mum began having troubles with Josh too, but they soon got along…may be because they were the same. Birds of the same feathers I would say. Years passed, and I was finally getting used to the life I had encountered. The hidden scars on my body, the broken tears beneath my heart, swollen wounds buried within…. everything I managed to live with even though I was only fourteen. I said to myself daily “You are going to get past it, you are going to thrive with the passion of living a better life, you aren’t like your mother and you’d never be like her”.
May be it was destiny, fate anything you’d call it, maybe it was a curse that I’d shared from my mother’s predicaments, Josh came home angry on one of those lonely days when mum would go out and party around. He told me he was thirsty, and I ran to get him water…I didn’t know his thirst was not for water, but of humiliation. It was thirst for the stain of my blood. After I had brought the water, he began to grin mischievously; I could read the passion of his anger all over his face. He threw the cup of water at me and started to beat me up. The next morning he was gone, and mum never bothered asking why I had a swollen face. And this continued for so long as I was the only object he had found appropriate too relieve him of his anger. On one of those unfortunate days, I passed out while he was physically abusing me and I found myself at the hospital. Josh had slipped a note under my bed saying “Love is pain, and pain is love! Those beautiful scars I left you are just memories I want you to cherish forever, I could have picked anything to tame myself, but I choose you, I chose you because you are beautiful and special, too beautiful to kiss the pain of life. Consider all those moments as helping you, helping you prepare for the life ahead of you because life is tough and the things that could subside life is pain.”
When the nurse had come in to check on me, she inquired for what had happen and I left her with no reply …Then she said to me “The quality of being beautiful is to be loved, respected and cared for. If not, it’s just a word, a word full of deceit to achieve hidden aims. Speak out, I know your step father did this to you… don’t ever let the tongue of an abuser silence you” I figured out she had read the note he had left for me. From that moment all I saw was a ray of light, the truth I spilled out like flowing waters.
© Adichie Babz