They thought she was defenceless because they knew her as a baby. Now she was the former girl who had sang to them. But did they watch the romantic cruelties of whatever Happened to Baby Jane I often wondered? You see this was the constancy of my thinking whatever had happened to the girl she had described in her memories and all that?
We were now too frightened to utter words and worst to make her our enemies because if we did then she would take us aside and there would be nothing but this referrels and other stuff you must be sick because you argued with me did not agree with me. That was her constant remarks and they did stick.
Not only that he did not always beat her she wanted him out of the house and whenever she did she would stir it up. At first I had not noticed how she did it but the thing was he was not wanted in that house in those rooms anytime he came in she asked him to stop whatever he was doing and they would row. This went on to no deals and raw deals and whatever did I have to marry you for.
He did not ask her for that reason he stayed silent he knew the reason he had married her and he stayed quiet about that which drove her insane.
"I have nothing she would say constantly I did marry him and I got nothing."
She got married to Fidil and it meant she got money for marrying Fidil or had expectations of money for marrying? What an odd idea I thought. That is how it is the custom of our country she would speak to me as if I an idiot and she the meant to mislead me I thought why did she lie when love must be the uppermost ideal in every marriage? When I went to work to find out the truth I found many others like mother in marriages which went wrong robbed and confused they one by one killed each other or maimed abused each other and anyone who stood in their way.
Abdul was the apple of her eye. Abdul was more herself than anyone else. When she thought about dad Fidil it was duty and all that when she thought about Abdul it was about the things which were like love and drama and all that. She loved him and he did not return the compliment? Well the thing was he did in a manner of speaking but there is nothing the matter with seeking other things when involved with a married woman is it not?
To no end she did not ask for much she said she did not want him indoors. He was always the stronger one and when he did not come out of his sulks she did not begrudge him fine words. The neighbours thought that she was defenceless did not only beat her up but that she looked after the home and did it right too.
She did not only act the part of being defenceless she did indeed become defensive when she was asked what she did all day. Look after my children she would coo as if the only word in the English language. You see it is the word any mother would own and I did not resent her to begin with believed what she did and say and asked no questions and this passed me on as the twit and I was a witless said dad. I was just young I must have been not to see the other man and dad said once or twice if he was ever in trouble he would not even bother coming to me. Because I did not see things I did not want to see. I had my head in the sands like a oystric and this mattered to him because he thought I had more sense because had been bright once. I did not dare to come out of the sands it did not matter to me because coming out of the sand would give me nothing but grief and I had nowhere else to go. Being emotional did not make things easy and so we had to compromise because for some reason everyone believed mum.
I being this oystric and dad being the fallen husband who went out and did not bother to come back until morning and mum did not even miss him. Of course not she did not even want to know where he had been. Abdul took care of her needs you see. Abdul did all that father had others to do his wishes and I do believe they were young girls whom he had the hots for. I eventually thought it nearer home but went to the good psychiatrist with my ambrulla and he told me different he would never touch your sister.
Well why is B wearing a white night dress as if a bride? Fidil has been at her I thought why is B wearing the white negligee at bloody 15 years old?
She has grown up.
When one is a mistress of a man who is constantly on the prowl mother was wise she held and got money and did away with the things like dignity and dining out.
I thought had to see to it she did not and went and went into the matter until B left home with it.
Be so it might I wished her well at least she out of it.
I thought that the thing was that B had gone and left home but she keeps on coming back as if the whole thing is her nest egg when she is earning more than the whole lot of us put together so why is she coming back?
Mother is outside now crying sometimes and not daring to behave there is the drip of the water things and I am mostly not alone. Why is it that it means something why does it mean anything to be here alone in this house when there had been so much to see to so many people now there is only this I and none other?
I am taking the vigil and done the deed and there nothing to do all day but to fear that it was not enough.
It is never enough is it?
Mother was or is a bully there are different kinds or types of bullies some use their fists some use their emotions and some use both. That mother uses her vocals and when she calls it is blood curdling curdles the milk off your bones. It is a monster it is indeed what is a monster I am not that I am a beaten battered wife. Dad has been dead some years and how do you know? He is buried in the graveyard. And he left you to bury me I am not having it there is the end of it that you do not even like me anymore that you speak not a word to me. You would not like what I have to say to you. You see yesterday she had one of her fits and today Z has come down to see her that has cheered her up no end. Bully meet bully and they are all congenial now consenting adults in their world on how to get rich and then get rid of the relative who has helped you all her life. My work is here I have done as much if not more than you mummy but I am the mother and I had been the one most in difficulties when the nightly passions of your dad went berserk. The thing he had lived outside most of the marriage. She did not notice she did not even understand there is too much for her to remember and she is feeling the strain she needs her daugther to remind her what she is and what she has to say.
“I am a battered mother now.”
“We are not speaking.”
“I am through with not speaking.”
A defenceless wife and never let her alone with three children and not having anything. They thought he should be arrested the way he treated her and not bothering to be there for her when she was needy and how pale she looked groaning all day long with her leg. That mother in the beginning was able to work the whole thing to gain sympathy and do it her way indeed made her remarkable. The thing was mother only had one child but she defended herself she had three and when it suited her they were hers to do with what she would. No qualms about leaving us with the likes of the customers who dad said were mostly into women who worked in cafes but dad said and mother agreed we were decent family run cafe and no fear of nonsense nothing she said would make us into the likes of the other cafes.
She was the pillar of that household her word the only thing which meant anything at all. Other than that we were fairly normal with mother bearing the brunt of the world being a battered woman and at seashores which set her into some hopeless innoculation against the truth because she thought more about work than did work. So when she did think she was working she actually was and did indeed sweat to see how hard she worked. She worked all day long without much respite in her bedroom thinking of what she was doing and when she went downstairs she had to go back upstairs again.
It is pecular but this supper of that man I cannot do it is not in my nature to do a stew which you might be able to. I am very much in there doing the lot ok mum you go and I will bring you some toast and tea.
“Oh you are a good girl.”
The years had gone on without her she said and now she had done her bit she had done her duty she had three healthy daughters who could take over where she left off. She was thirty six at the time.
Because of her constant activities it was her doom to be so gloomy and involved in work. What a life she had what a day it had been when I had been born because it was because I had been born that her left had become this way.
You are not welcomed in my house have never been invited and it is only that you pay that we tolerate you. I am thinking this is me at this late hour doing the complicated thinking what and when did my abuse begin? In the beginning there was this uncle granddad and he got done for because he tried to rape a four year old me. I was just a child but really it had been his wife who had done for him. She said because of his pension because he had been and done it he could not even roll down the hill they went to it with the wagon but they would starve the pension would save that the widows got better pensions and she could live better with a daughter than with him. I the four year old was the toil to this my mother never knew never wanted to know the reason the man took such a strange liking to me. I was still wearing my nappies and that day had stunk them and granddad has said I will show you how to swing on the swung which I have just made and me so happy and leaping by his side he said the stench was too much even for him.
Then he placed me on the swing and I swung in and out a grown up. The thing was dropped me from the swing I could have crashed down the little hill knocking my head on the stones and that meant what? But because of my diaper being messy I leant forward. He startled me by trying to undo his zip and then I swing towards the ground and give him some dirt just like Semra told me to do. He had the cursed wheeze and then went into a fit of coughing and that meant he had the ashma and then he died. What does it matter grandmother was not to be blamed he died and I killed him but now thinking it was not I. It was grandmother she had not given him sex and he loved her too much to go without. She had not slept with him for nine months on account of me witnessing a murder then when that had happened that day was the conclusion. It had led to this it had led to this what for granddad why do such a thing when I am a little girl? I had been led to believe that adults take care of the little ones I am now four years old and this is the result what is this granddad what is this? Here it is dirt. I had become the terrible two which I had been and now became a monster so angry and full of the good thinking but should not have opened my big mouth. I was so enraged did not only become that brought the whole neigbourhood to bear witness to the shame. Then went on stamping and making them see why what did he do wrong he wanted to know? Do not you know is it my imagintion your shirt undone your pants down? It is I want to wee he said I am a old man. So I go back on the swing and he begins again this time he won’t be gainsayed he told me so and I knew I would die crash on them rocks because could not live a life such as grandmother had. Grandmother came to my head and it came with such a bang as if the call of the young cannot be in such a thing. The call of the young to her protector I called this blood curling call it went and sent a chill of death into the air as if the call did not only matter but everyone went quiet. I am going to die if you touch me granddad. I do not care whether you live or die you bitch he told me. I was madden by this my sadness went and left me. I went for him then I do not know how I went for him but I did. Next thing I know he is lying on the ground and his mistress wife is laying flowers on him. I do not know how I killed him I do not remember how he died. He had ashma maybe him carrying me was too much for him mother said he could not even carry bread.
My childhood fled from me and in its place there was nothing but daylight and grown up world. First the murder which I had witnessed or the head when I left the house early to go my usual wandering alone in the forest and seek the birds and the bees and nature. Stumbled onto the head the head which the wife had taken for herself because her husband had done something rotten by her.
I had seen a head and the thing was so frightening that I would lock myself into grandmother and tightly hold onto her neck. You see thought her neck would be soothing for my nerves and grandmother exhausted did not have any time for grandpa. Of course not I was a demanding kid. I was a mixture of the spoilt and the condemned and this in turn has conditioned me to behave in a certain manner which is relapsing constantly into servile and then masterfulness. I am now in between.
The code of conducting oneself in today’s world is highly complicated should one poison someone and take them to court or do it some other way. I meant no harm your honour and when that someone that little person is hypnotised highly amused they are too the public. The innocent bystanders who think that it won’t affect them that it is today in this worthy world that to say nothing is the key to being a success.
I think nought and did nothing, and it was a raving success what a good idea.
Taken your pill?
In fact, has everyone taken a pill today?
“It is because you lot are not working a teenager who can’t succeed at school and is taken over by the medics and they do not even tell her. What is brand new?”
“We did it because mother could not live with you.”
“How is it mother knows everything which is best for her?”
“She does too.”
So, I end up following mother like a puppy she loves it. I mean me being like her I dressed like her and did things with her went on holidays with her. We were always together until Z said we were like husband and wife then she said we were husband and wife.
I meant it as a revenge and then poor Z went and got me. I would now be aware that mother showed her bum and made passes there was a filthy leer in her eye and this made it worse. After daddy died it got worse and then we had to go away on that frightful fiendish hellish separation. You see when there are no adults but children misbehaving it gets worse nothing to to with that is there nothing to do with not one adult in sight. All of us children together enjoying the splendid life we have together. I meant no harm she would say I did not know it was wrong.
“But my dear woman you did know it was wrong like robbing one of life is wrong like buggery in total indifference is wrong like robbing Peter in order to pay your ex husband is wrong.”
“He is entitled he did me a favour what did he do?”
“What can I do?”
“What does one do?”
“What is the meaning of it all mother?”
“You will soon see.”
“I will see too much?”
“More than enough.”
She lunged towards me laughing with a knife I did not call for the police I just let it sting me there was no cut it was a blunt knife. I did not think she meant it but her eyes said and she said she would do it again. I got a fright I got to thinking what a good idea what a good deal I had from all this from working for them for doing all the jobs which no one else wanted to do.
How to separate the egg from its yolk I kept on thinking and still remain solvent and become able to live pleasantly again not like animals but pleasantly.
“How does one live on a shoe string when one is disabled and out of work?”
“With great difficulty.”
I am not telling she would say. Then there was the same glint in her eye when she had looked at pa and the same gleam of consideration. The thing was did not notice it at first but this is your wife this is your husband Z saying that when she killed her husband meant that now I was no longer safe with her. The total logic of the woman was she did not like husband or a wife she did not care to be called such a clown she disliked it distrusted the very mention of it sent her into a killing spree when she went for me with the knife it was a matter of time. I felt it the ticking of the clock the very staid and steady atmosphere the very thinking was she did not have much of a life with me.
I need it too she would wheen.
“What do you need mother more food?” Mother sighed and sighed again that she did need someone to love and when I suggest she should marry again she is against the very idea she had been married; what gave me such a obscene idea. What gave me all the ideas in my head but I felt she needed someone near her. Abdul Abdul she must be thinking of him or was it Fidil no not Fidil. Now that Fidil was dead of course Abdul could not come so he had to stay away out of it.
There is a glint the very glint and a gleam and then someone wants to come in say something to her hearing her needs. No she cannot come and mother is absolutely shocked which she is not shocked often. How dared I say that to her family not wanting them to come when she had said she needed them. Sorry I am having an exam and that was that there it was over how did it inflict herself on me when her family was coming what did it mean to a sorry spectacle such as herself when she could not invite her friends round and all that. I have an exam a important one at that. What is it with that is that you are always having an exam and I do not have any friends round to stay it is impossible.
You see no adults in the house nothing but this constancy of feeding like a drip drop in the ocean.
Furs flew and they had to because that made us grow further from each other and the more we had the not give and takes the more she thought she had the right to do what she did.