On exactly the 5th day of August 2011, the protracted problem within my immediate family worsened. It felt like hell broke loose and the evident pressure on all of us, made being part of the family an unbearable burden. Few weeks before that very day, Dad had returned to heavy drinking again.
He would stay out late every given weekday, only to return home in the earliest hours of the following day, smelling pungently of alcohol. And as usual, proceed to beat and kick my mum who despite my Dad’s irresponsibility, has always endured and wished he would become a better person. She never ceased praying and always went around, seeking help and advice on how to save her husband from self-destruct.
It was in the process of doing so, that she brought in Aunty Edna (Dad’s eldest sister and whom I would still talk about in details later in this story) whose effort eventually helped the family in partially rescuing dad. He stopped drinking and for over 3 months, he never stayed outdoors beyond 6pm. We were all happy and optimistic. But all crashed 4 months in. Dad seemed to return to his old unfortunate company of friends, and he was lured back into drinking.
This time around, he added drugs into it and we soon were facing a man who wasn’t just brutish, but exceedingly violent and ready to kill. He stopped beating mum with his bare hands and went on to using household items like, kitchen saddle, plastic buckets and even the kitchen pestle to batter her like she was some fitness instrument.
My not being home regularly, meant mum usually had little or no defense. My younger sister was always the one who tries to come in-between them since our eldest brother was equally not staying with us anymore. Despite Ngozi’s best efforts though, she never prevented dad.
In fact, she was more likely to be beaten up too than anything else and on many occasions, she had been thrown to the side with a swollen eye or lip as testaments to her involvement. Mum was not going to be spared of what had become a daily routine and she was always beaten to a pulp before she was left to go!
And speaking of my mum. Her name is Ozichukwu and she is a very beautiful woman. She is in her 50’s and I don’t think anything else means so much to me, other than herself.
Her name is Ozichukwu and she is a very beautiful woman
She is a teacher in a secondary school and has been married to my dad for over 30 years! While she is extremely caring and loving, she is unforgivably soft. This particular countenance of her adequately counts for weakness as most of our troubles today, could be attributed to it.
According to the stories I was told a long time ago, mum was always beaten up by dad even before they got married. He had started with the drinking habit far before she met him and whenever she appeared to be questioning the sense behind living on such habits, he would spend the next number of hours punching the living daylight out of her!
This continued for over 3 years, and even after several efforts by mum’s family to stop her from going to the altar with him, she still fell for his never-ending sweet-talk! It was barely 3 months into their marriage when she began seeing increased manifestations of what she was adequately warned about. In summary, it is easy to figure out that mum isn’t a woman of definite-will.
She is usually easily convinced and hardly keeps things in her mind for so long. This is one trait that had only succeeded in giving dad absolute control and power over her. Only to our unfortunate demise!
Mum loves her children a lot though. And she calls us by our pet names. Mine is Dannyboy. Picked off my original name, Daniel. She still calls me this even though I am in the university. She was unarguably the definite support in my growing up as she was the actual person running the family.
She contributed both morally and financially and even had to take most of the major decisions dad was meant to take. It remained that way, until I got into the university.
But that was when I personally began falling out with her too in a way. As soon as I secured admission and enrolled, I became part of a ring of friends. We were about 6 in number and were very close.
But mum wasn’t keen on seeing me remain friends with them. In her words, they were spoilt, irresponsible and bad influence. As for me, those were poor judgment on the part of mum. I liked my buddies and always wanted to hang out with them. Okay…we regularly did a couple alcohol, womanized and even did a few hemps and booze here and there, but I feel we were generally cool and caused little trouble. So I wasn’t going to ever accept mum’s perspective that they were misleading me and pulling me towards becoming like dad. Dad to me was just utterly foolish and of little value to the family. And that cannot be said about me.
I have always been the one standing up for mum and on occasions when I had to cross dad, a fight always broke out in which I would usually come out on top; calming dad in the course. So I felt really disrespected and ultimately unappreciated on the occasions mum requested that I dropped my friends. And even on that 5th day of August, about four years ago, she still repeated those before leaving our home.
That day was terrible! Dad had stayed about three weeks without coming home. Mum never ceased searching for him. She complained to anybody she felt could be of help. We all knew he had been carried on by the bottle, but we were concerned he was likely at a place he wasn’t safe. So we didn’t exactly report the situation to the police. Instead, we kept making contacts and physically searched all possible locations ourselves.
Mum asked for leave at the office and as soon as it was granted, she invested her entire leave in searching for dad. She would go out very early and return in the evening and did so for a week and three days. It was on the eleventh day, towards the evening, that she found dad. He was seated under an event canopy in an on-going party! According to mum, he looked haggard and was still wearing the same suit he was wearing the last time he was seen. And as expected, he smelt heavily of alcohol.
I was in school when the news broke that he had been found so I quickly took the next available bus straight home to see him. However, unfortunate as it may be, 5th of August was only a day into his return, and a terrible crisis nobody envisaged broke out! We had made sure he remained indoors throughout that day and had just about three bottles of alcohol all day. But late that night, I was awoken by his voice! He was shouting at mum, and as it turned out, it was about s*x! From what they were saying, mum was insisting that she wore a condom she had bought and kept for him but he refused!
It was clear mum was trying to protect herself and ultimately the family since we weren’t sure what he had done with strange women all the while he’s been out. Unfortunately, he wasn’t going to accept her plea and he soon turned violent! In fact, by the time I had began banging on their bedroom door and calling on them to open up, he had started using objects on her, causing her to scream and wail at every spank!
I was very lucky to have broken through, forcing the door ajar with mum’s kitchen pestle! But I wasn’t still lucky after forgetting to go on in with the pestle, because I was barely inside their bedroom, when dad swung the object in his hand (which was an old wooden staff of his) at me, catching me just above my left eye in a single blow! The pain was excruciatingly stinging and I quickly found the floor, barely recognizing a thing!
I still saw him resume with mum again though, hitting her with the staff as many times as she kept running from one corner of the room to another wailing! They were both stark Unclad even though mum’s body was soaked in blood! And despite the hazy nature of my cognition, I still managed to see mum’s heavy Bosom heave and flap about as she sought safety. Dad’s Joystick wasn’t far from my sight too!
The rather long thing danced and swirled as he swung his staff repeatedly. I was doing my best to get to my feet again when another of dad’s blow landed on my shoulder! I was instantly back on the floor, completely broken! Dad went on to chase mum out of the bedroom and into the living room.
WATCH OUT FOR PART 2 TOMORROW