I was motivated to write this post when I read a better evoking post by Bolu Akindele.
This meal is assorted…
With the speed of a snail, I tread the path that leads to my home. Or rather, the house I live in. I’d rather be honest and call a spade one.
My home had lost its taste since we lost Mum to death. Dad took to alcohol like he had always done when faced with challenges that need thinking.
But this time…
He needed more than alcohol provided. He needed the pillow Mum’s laps provided. He needed the voice that floated to his ears and saved him from destruction.
He had lost his touch of excellence. The CEO of Abibo Holdings Intl has lost his grace. Ladies followed Dad about before Mum’s death, so he felt special.
Mum offered more in terms of advice, prayers, and love but Dad was blind. He saw lust and called it love.
He came home, knocking the door off once, sending the nuts to the stairs. He came home once to a locked door, knocked and fell asleep on the stairs.
Mum opened the next day, Whoops, she greeted a sober Lion ready to devour.
His hands were gone from his pockets and had done the damage. Dad walked into the house, feeling fly.
Mr. Abosede had beaten his wife the other day, he told Dad that over the phone.
Did Mum deserve the slap? My teenage mind couldn’t decipher.
Mum collapsed on the stairs, with tears flowing down her eyes. She cried with her lips tightly sealed. I guess Mum who always told me “Phem” when I made noise after crying was afraid.
Was she afraid of the Demon her husband had become? Yes
Was she afraid of her children seeing her innocent and weak? Yes
Mum always went to the Office, always looking good. Make-up had saved her face from being the subject of distraction. Bruises, wounds, and swells characterized my Mum’s young and youthful face.
My mum who would come home happy with snacks in the deepest corner of her bag had only “Robb” and other pain relievers there.
My mum who had that “white teeth smile”, kept to herself and suddenly lost the definition of who she was.
She needed validation. She needed help to discover who she was. What could I do? I bought her roses. I took her out on dates.
But they couldn’t be perfect…
Sometimes she slipped into memories and told me how Dad would open his beautiful Peugeot 404 for her to come out.
Sometimes she would notice a tiny speck in my rose and crack a dry joke which was obviously a funny one to her.
I had to laugh… I needed her to be happy.
I knew she had to walk out of Home to regain herself. She had lost it all.
A week ago, the “Robb” was missing. She would regularly call me to massage her body after a night of drumming from the merciless drummer. She didn’t call me either to do my job.
I had to…
I peeked into her bag’s deepest corner and I saw it. A letter of retrenchment. I had to slip it into my pockets for later.
What’s up, Mum?, I asked the next day. She said she was good. But you should be at your office by this time, I retorted.
She looked down, with a deep sigh and creases filling her beautiful forehead, she said, You can’t understand.
Friends had stopped visiting her. They were obviously tired of the pretense and façade that Mama put up.
Now, she is gone.
Who will remember her? I am back from her grave. Today’s her first-year memorial and I needed the succour her embrace promised.
Dad’s blows took my Mama away. My dreams to make my Mama proud died with it. I promised to be the man who would stand by her when the chips were down.
She would whisper at a time like this, Femi, it would be good.
But who would say it? Who would say it in her voice? Is it Mrs. Abibo, the newly wedded bride of my father?
The assorted meal of Domestic Violence is one to run from.
Domestic Violence is a blow to a Society and damages the fabric that builds the clothes we wear, the Family.
Men, treat your wives as Queens because they are. Women, Run from a King who sees you as a slave and not a Queen.
Speak Out, Speak Up and Speak Often…
If only Mum had spoken out, up and often, Help was close by.
Run! It’s not too late.
It’s best to know early enough how to walk away from domestic violence, should you find yourself in one.
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