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Chenai: Part 1-4 - Literature - Nairaland

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Chenai: Part 1-4 by Adekazbaba: 8:04pm On Nov 29, 2017
*Chenai: Part 1*

I held my breath trying to listen if there was anyone else breathing in the room. Dang, the silence was unnerving. I could hear my pulse loud in my ear; my heart beat a rhythmic rendition of its own, manifesting a new wave of fear. I cried at the self-inflicted circumstance, the abyss of stupidity and careless miscalculation.

My father was a burly man who swore more than a cupful of a sailor’s semantics. Famous for his unexpected backhand slaps that every time I was near him I would involuntarily flinch. He reigned with terror in our home, mercilessly beat us all leaving us with nothing to salvage but self-pity and burning hatred for him. I can hardly remember a day when he was sober or said a kind word to any of us. There was no getting used to his abuse, everyday felt new and raw. The habitual abuse took out a piece of me every single time, as I slowly become an empty shell that existed as a punching bag for a depraved animal.

Mother was worn out; she was all skin and bones. The light that used to flicker in her eyes had diminished. She had the twitch; she would twitch now and then while jerking her head awkwardly to the left. This was acquired after the devil’s incarnate (our father) bashed her head in to the wall. I remember vividly the image of her crumpling to the floor, blood steadily trickling from her nose. I could hear my younger brother Tariro screaming in the background,

“ You killed her! You bastard! You killed her!”

Father did not give a damn, he growled at Tariro,

“Watch your mouth boy, or you will be next.”

With that threat hanging in the air he stormed out and disappeared in to the night. I was numb, I couldn’t move. I sat in that corner whimpering while watching the lifeless body of our mother. He hit her too many times on the head. Six months prior to this incident, a nasty gush on her forehead had been stitched up after she took a blow from a wheel spanner. There is so much head trauma a person can take.

Tariro was the feisty one, contrary to the reserved persona that beaconed from me. We were complete opposites. He on the other hand was generally loud mouthed and snarky, while I was the soft spoken and shy girl. We were each other’s corner stone; we strengthened each other through out the purgatory of our father’s abuse. Tariro once reported him to the police after father had given him an alarming uppercut because he had supposedly ‘eyeballed him.’

“Come here boy, eye-balling your father is utter disrespect! I said bring your scrawny ass over here!”

He bellowed. I pleaded with him.

“Please father he didn’t mean to, forgive him please”

My little brother was only twelve years old. Tariro stood with unwavering stubbornness, glaring at him in open defiance. Which did not help his case at all. Like a deranged man that he was, two long strides towards him and his fist swiftly and squarely met with Tariro’s chin, sending my brother flying across the room. Tariro got up and bolted, running faster than Forest Gump, headed straight to the police station.

To be continued…


Re: Chenai: Part 1-4 by Adekazbaba: 8:16pm On Nov 29, 2017

Mother rushed into the house and ordered me to go to my room. I sat in the forlornness of my bare room, wondering how mother was going to dodge this one. Why did she put up with this abusive goat strung on De Clerambault’s Syndrome. Yes he brought several women to the house and mother would get kicked out of the bedroom. She would sleep on the couch while quietly listening to the moans and groans of pleasure from her own bedroom. What tore my heart was she couldn’t protect us from him! I hated her for being as docile as a lamb, for being silent, for covering up for him and letting us go through hell.

Every attempt I made to reach out to her, she shut down and spoke in the proverbial annoying verbatim “ Honour your mother and father.” Right, honour the perpetrator of abuse and abuser. The day father fished out his whip, when it slipped my mind that I was supposed to kneel when he spoke to me. I watched mother look away as each lash cut into my skin. I knew for a fact that she never loved us because no sane mother would allow her children to endure that amount of pain and abuse indefinitely without batting an eye. In some demented way she depended on his cruelty. This sadistic Mafioso gave her bearings to this life and against the dysfunctional set up she loved him still, despite the fact that he was a rank higher than Satan himself.

Tariro came back walking triumphantly with two police officers following closely behind him. His lip split open revealing an ugly cut. Seemingly he lost two of his bottom teeth. His mangled lips meant nothing in comparison to the budding euphoria of victory from the depths of my chest. Finally we could be free! May they lock him up, put the key in a time capsule and throw it at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. May he rot in jail for all eternity. That unimaginable piece of trash was going to the pits of hell where he belongs. I happily stepped aside to let Tariro and his team enter the house. My little brother could not hide his bloody, gap-toothed smile. The boy was grinning like a Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. I never anticipated what happened next, not even in my worst nightmares.

“Frank!” I heard my father yell in delight. One of the police officers playfully punched father in the stomach and they all burst in boisterous laughter. They began talking in an all too familiar fondness. Father immediately ordered mother to prepare sadza for his guests. Before I could harness my emotions, I felt the tears run freely down my cheeks.
“Hush child.” I heard my mother say, “Help me cook for your father and his friends, quick! Don’t just stand there, chop the covo leaves and wash them first Chenai!”
Mother spoke as if everything was normal. A skill she had mastered and executed flawlessly without effort. I watched Tariro sit there, broken, hopeless and defeated. I felt his pain apprehensive of his struggle to bite back the tears.
“ Get out of here boy. Where the bloody hell are your manners?! The grown ups are talking. Scoot!”
Father Dismissed Tariro. That is when it all dawned on me. The ugly- tasting-bitter-reality. There was no way out.

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