The clock on the wall of the yellow-painted room you own chimes. You take a glance and it is 6 pm. The time when your faith would drown again. Peppermint soaked in cold water runs through your bones down your feet. Soon, she will be here and you’ll never be able to speak up. You scamper from the bed, awaiting the brightening red noise that will come from the gate—the sound that reminds you of danger looming. You stare into the window expecting the siren of the police van. You had called the police station earlier and they promised to get there on time. You peep through the window when the honking of a vehicle winds into your ears. Your fears are confirmed. Here she is, taking a halt and pulling up the black Mercedes Benz that she owns and drives to work daily; and yet, the police is not here yet.
Mrs Johnson is your mother; she works as a nurse at General Muritala Hospital, Lagos. While Jacob Johnson, your father, is the Head of Service at Waterworks. Father has no time. He usually gets called up for meetings at any time. And most times he made travels.
You take a deep breath to dampen your fears, but the knock of her heels as they hit the tiles in the walkway awakens them again and you feel nothing but your heart in your neck. The air around you is not the one you breathe out. It feels as though she is in your room already, pulling your ears and scolding you never to tell anyone what usually transpires; but she isn’t here, yet. Tension is already building up in you. If only your prayers got answers. If only father could walk in, proclaiming that he is back from his trip, the weekend for all of you to spend together.
If only wishes were horses.
You are still wishing when the twist of a door handle alerts you. You imagine she is entering her room, divesting her dress to rid herself of the smell of the hospital. But a knock startles you. It seems to be far away because she is knocking really hard. She is here as now you can see the handle turning like someone running out of patience.
There is nothing you can do. If you let out a shrill, she’ll scold you and throw you out. You trust her sweet mouth; she’ll give Dad a different story. He’ll believe her when she tells him she couldn’t possibly do it. How will you open your mouth to tell Him that this is what Mother does every time he leaves for work? If ever he believes you, he’ll never do anything other than warn her. Dad cannot afford to lose Mother. He loves her so much. She means everything to him.
“Oh dear, dear. How are you today?” she says as she walks in.
She is here now and smiling with her full teeth, drawing you near for a hug. You wish to rush to her arms and let her give you a warm hug, but you see the lust in her eyes. She is about to savour you. She begins to undress. And now she is approaching your direction.
You keep mute.
“Mother…” you force the word from your mouth.
Get out of my room. Get out! is all you want to say but your trembling mouth won’t say that… your weakening knees want to drop but you hold on.
“I had a long day today, and I need the usual, baby. How much do you crave for me?” she blurts out, her sensual tone sending shivers through you. Her words are like fire in your bones. You feel choked but you can’t cough out.
She stares at you, grabs you and throws you on the bed, ready for the usual fling. You want to say ‘no!’ but this is your pain. The one you want to end.
She coddles your arm and urges you to undress. You stare into space as you do so.
You have not gone far when you feel movement and hear a thump. You keep staring, waiting for mother to do the lustful desires of her heart. But you do not feel anything except for her body on top of you. Motionless.
You quiver when you sight blood oozing from a gash on mother’s head, but that’s not the only thing you see. You see eyes that resemble Father’s, a suit that looks like one that Father owns. And now you see clearly, Father stands with shaking hands, an iron rod stained with blood in them.
Father killed Mother!
You feel your veins burbling in fear. Father’s trembling hands too. Then you hear the banshee screams of a siren coming closer. The blue lights of the police van appear in the street of the almost dark night as you peep through the window. You hear their footsteps up the staircase and now already trotting your room. You watch them clutch father’s hand with silvery handcuffs and lead him downstairs to their van.
“I will come and save you!” you say, wiping the tears flowing down your cheeks.
“I will become the lawyer that you’ve always wanted me to be. I’ll be your Savior!” you scream into the night as you watch Father get taken away.
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