Papa comes home drunk-it has been his nightly routine. Mama, Ebuka, and I know his next line of action; papa venting his frustration on us.
Since Mama found out about papa’s infidelity, their relationship has turned sour.
Papa staggers,he tries his best to stand on his feet.
” unu di iberibe! Unu guzoro n’ele m ka abum onye iberibe!!” he says.
We stare at him in silence. Mama beckons on us, we run to where she is sitting. She hugs us close to her bossom.
Papa gets irritated and unhooks his belt from his trousers. Mama whispers into my ear ” Duru Ebuka banye na room ya”. I carry Ebuka and make my way to the staircase leading to the rooms. Papa laughs loud.
” Nnena! If you step an inch again, m ga eme gi ife! You won’t survive it! ” he threatens.
I look at mama, she pleads with her eyes that I should return. I walk back to the living room with Ebuka shivering in my hands.
” Osiso! Unu niile dina n’ala!” Papa orders. We obey, I help mama and Ebuka to lie down on the floor.
He starts flogging us with his belt,we wince in pain. He ignores our plea to pardon Ebuka.
Papa gets tired and leaves for his room. Mama stands and makes her way to the kitchen. Ebuka finds it difficult to stand, I carry him in my hands.
“sister Ahu m na-afu m ufu” he says in between tears.
” Ama m, sorry inugo ” I peck his cheeks. He nods and cleans my tears with his little hands.
I coo him to sleep, humming his favorite nursery rhyme.
I feel a tap on my shoulder, I open my eyes. Mama is standing in front of me, she looks like she has been crying.
” Carry Ebuka,we are leaving your father” she says.
I nod and silently hope she keeps to her words. Leaving papa for good.
Picture credit: The New times| Rwanda.