I read a story on TNC and although the story was very nice and creative, what I really loved was this art by Olatoxic. So I showed it to my darling MSM and we decided to each write a story drawing our inspiration from the art. You are about to read hers. I will post mine soon. Enjoy and don’t forget to share. Have a lovely week 🙂 Gracias!!!
As teenagers then, my friends and I would sometimes have discussions about marriage, how we want it to be and look like although we didn’t exactly have any explicit knowledge about marriage. For me, my parents were my model married couple. I would proudly tell my friends about how happy my parents were. I prided on the fact that unlike most of my friend’s families, we were a family in the true sense of the word and my parents were still very much in love. We would go on vacation together and I would proudly show my friends the many pictures we took unconsciously making some of them jealous because they were from broken homes or for some, their dad was always away.
People say ‘Nothing lasts forever’ and although I believed that, I made an exception with regards to my family. ‘We would always remain this genuinely happy family and I would marry someone like my father; someone that will keep loving me even when I shouldn’t be loved. Someone that truly cares about me and the family’, I used to say to myself until the day I found my mother crying her eyes out as she yelled at my father… ‘I am tired Olajide. I can’t take it anymore. I am tired of putting up a front and excusing your nonsense. I refuse to continue being your punching bag. Look at my body Olajide, just look at the many scars you have left on my once beautiful skin. Marriage is for better or worse but this is not worse. This is hell and it’s too hot for me to continue letting my whole being melt. I am leaving and I will let Tinu know the truth. The truth about the father that looks like he can’t hurt a fly’. The door was slightly open and they did not know I was back from my outing with my friends. That day, I left the house with a heavy heart. I kept walking to God knows where. My mind was too occupied with many unanswered questions. ‘But, daddy and mummy are happy.’ Then it came to me, ‘why does mummy always wear long sleeve?’ I have caught her many times crying but, she would quickly wipe it away and tell me a sob or happy story about why she was crying. It dawned on me, I chose to ignore signs and I chose to live in a utopian world.
The days following that day were unbearable. She must have really not being able to endure anymore as she was no longer careful enough to lament about her frustrations. She would do it even when she knew I could hear. She started looking old and she started looking ugly while my daddy started looking like the wicked beast, the monster that sucked out happiness from everyone. I was going to get something from her room. I knew her and my dad might have been at each other’s throat again and I didn’t care if they tried to act normal when I walked in.
I didn’t care because I was hurting. My perfect world was a lie and it was stumbling so hard and fast. I couldn’t share my pain with my friends, what would they think of the picture of a ‘perfect family’ that I painted? A painting I was going to keep for my future. I couldn’t really talk to my brother who was far away in Australia. I was alone and I was having terrible thoughts. So I couldn’t care if they would quickly hug like they once did when I walked in.
But, I didn’t expect what I saw when I walked in.
I didn’t expect to see the punch that landed on my mother’s face and I didn’t expect to see her groaning in pain. It’s like he had been kicking her and she had been talking and fueling his anger. I remained glued at the door horror-strucked as her words revolved round my system… “I am tired’, she yelled as she made a weak attempt to throw her purse at him. ‘I am tired Olajide. Over twenty-three years of marriage and you so callously impregnated my friend. My friend Olajide, you make me sick. For years, I endured sleeping beside you though you came home reeking of alcohol. Though you snored like rickety old trains. Pretence is killing me. You unfaithful, ungrateful, disloyal sick twisted bastard. I made you what you are and gave you two children. Yet, you cheat on me and strip me off of everything that makes me, me. You!!! You have turned me to this person. This person I can’t stand. Tinu has to know. I can’t do this again. You will never see your children again, I promise you. I will fight you with everything I have because, I will not allow you turn my children into people that accept abuse and loveless marriage as a part of life.’
I couldn’t move my body though I wanted to run away, run as fast as I could and never turn back. But, my system failed me, it went numb. I saw my father sit on the bed defeated, the thought of losing his children would kill him and he knew my mother wasn’t bluffing. Her father who is very close to the president will use everything he has to fight him. My uncles who carry my mum like a porcelain doll because she is the only girl will kill him before he realizes what’s happening to him. He knew my grandma would go naked and curse him for causing her daughter pain. Her daughter who never told her family what was going on because she knew they would come after the father of her children and her children are her world. Her children are the reason she remains with this man. Her children are the reason she tries to act normal though thorns have inhabited her body. She doesn’t want her son and most especially, her innocent sixteen year old Tinu to lose trust and confidence in them as parents. She didn’t want his infidelity to cause Tinu to shut down her self-esteem. She lied to protect her daughter; she wanted her to still raise her head up in the society and be confident enough. She didn’t want to disappoint her daughter and make her feel she is the reason her parent’s marriage wasn’t working out though, it was far from being her fault.
They finally noticed me… my father bent his head in shame when I locked eyes with him and my mother ran after me… ‘Tinu, I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to find out like this. I will make it work, I promise you.’ With heavy tears in my eyes, I hugged my mother tight determined not to let the tears fall. She needs me; I will be strong for her. I will protect her. ‘You don’t have to protect me anymore. Whatever you need mum, I’m here for you.’ I guess it’s true what they say, ‘the bond between a mother and child is an un-understandable one’ and I didn’t care to understand it. I just cared to love her with everything.
So now, I know what my mother went through. Trust is the glue that holds anything together and once that glue loosens, it’s hard to get it back to what it was. My mother was in prison just to protect my brother and me and give us a better future but that’s why I’m her daughter. That’s why my umbilical cord was cut from hers. I am meant to protect her and give her a better future and I’m doing just that.0