I did my common entrance examination in primary three and passed because I was very brilliant. Junior secondary school was very different from primary and I had to read wildly in order to compete with the other brilliant students.
Dad was now from bad to worse a. His monthly salary that used to last us for two weeks was now only for a week b. He went to work once or null in two weeks c. He was becoming more wild d. He used his time at home to unranked mom in front of everyone that came his way.
Their was this time in j.s.s1, it was during harmattan. Everywhere was cold and I took my cardigan and wore it on my uniform. Sometimes, I wondered what tampered with Mama's brain because she would just say something and I will just be like, what the fuck?
"Why would you be putting your cardigan on your uniform? It should be uniform on cardigan"
"Mama I'm not going to school like that"
"It's either you go to school like that or you drop the cardigan"
"Mama the weather is cold"
"Uniform on cardigan"
"Mama I say no"
"You must obey me. You must obey me. You must..." She repeated several times I lost count and when she realized that I wasn't following her order, she called dad.
"Tony! Tony! Tony!" Dad rushed out of his room instantly and asked mama what was wrong. "I told her to put the uniform on her cardigan but she said no"
"Mama I can't..." I wasn't able to finish this statement because dad started walking toward me. I took some steps back before dashing to Mom's room. I locked it instantly and I felt safe.
Few seconds later I heard bang. The whole house shook and I started shaking too. Would he force his way in? Was he trying to break the door?
Bang. Bang. Bang.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh" I screamed when the door opened widely. I rushed into a corner to hide myself but I knew clearly that I wasn't getting out of this.
He rushed at me and dragged me out. He started hitting me all over. Punches upon punches. Kicks upon kicks. At one time, he took mom plastic trolley, raised it up and smashed it on me.
"Be obedient... Be obedient..." He said over and over again. I suspected repetition was one of the things he inherited from mama.
He hit me with the trolley over and over until the thing was nothing but rag. He scanned through the room again and saw mom's portable traveling box on the dressing table. He raised it up and smashed it on me.
I saw stars.
I screamed in terror.
He hit me again with it and again and again until the box unlocked itself.
I splashed some water on my face when he was through and had no option than to wear the cardigan the way mama wanted it.
Mom screamed when she saw my face in the afternoon. Every part of me was double it normal size.
In j s.s2, things got worst. Dad's salary was now for only three days and we had to depend on mom and sometimes mama for survival.
Dad became always broke and staying home for more than twenty days in a month. Mama did nothing about dad's laziness and instead enjoyed it ' at least, she wasn't staying home all by herself"
Every night, mama used to send me out to get her one of the dumbest food ever Èko. One night, she sent me out to get the food for her but the seller said there was no change and that she couldn't risk selling the food on credit. So, I went home and told mama what happened with the hope that she was going to understand.
"Tony. Tony" mama cried. Dad rushed to Mama's room and asked her what was wrong. "Eko" she cried "Joan don't want to get me Èko"
I tried to stay calm and explained to dad but he dismissed me and supported mama
"You have to go back to the woman and buy the food by any means"
I didn't object because I was scared of been beaten. I went back to the woman and disguised as someone else but she still said their was no change. I went back home to explain but dad cut me off before I could even start.
"Get out of this house. Get out of this house. You. This. Bastard. I don't want to see you in this house until you get her what she want."
I rushed out of the house before he could hit me and stayed at a far distance in front of the house and replied him because I knew I could outrun him if he tried to give a chase.
"She said there is no change" I shouted back
"Tell her that it's your dad who sent you"
How was I to say that? No one respected him but he was delusional enough to think people does.
"I'm not going back there" I shouted with fear. My heart was thudding so fast I thought it was going to explode
"You are a lunatic. A bastard"
I rejected both but I didn't say it out loud. He rushed inside and rushed back to the sitting room with what I was sure was one of his twisted wires. I waited not to see what was going to happen before running.
I ran out of the compound and went to hide in an uncompleted bushy building. He passed by and I tensed but thankfully, he was unable to catch me.
My neighbors later pleaded on my behalf around twelve at night for him to let me in with a lot of 'i'm sorry. It won't ever happen again. I will always obey you'
There was this topic we did in j.s.s3 ' simultaneous equation' which wasn't really clear to me at first. Our mathematics teacher gave us an assignment which must be submitted unfailingly by eight o'clock the next day.
After working on it for hours without coming close to an answer, I decided to involve dad in it.
For each question the mathematics teacher did, he used half a page but when it was dad's turn, we used three pages and we were still on it. I tried to explain to him that this wasn't how we were thought but he was shutting me down every time.
When I couldn't take it anymore, I said it to him directly that this wasn't how we were thought and that he was wrong. He took the 'he was wrong' into his brain and his face changed instantly.
He got up and raised his hand to my face.
"What do you know?"
"Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong?"
He stopped beating me when he was satisfied and angrily went back to his room.
I angrily tore off the useless pages and went to bed without doing the assignment. I got to school the next day and was one of the students beaten by the teacher.
Mama died not long after we packed to our own house. Mom bought a land four years after their marriage. She wanted dad to be involved in it but he turned her down saying they were still too young and when mom realized that he wasn't going to help, she bought the land all by herself.
Ten years after, we packed in including dad and mama even though he had not even a Kobo in the building