The memories of childhood one tries to block out, to forget, but couldn’t, translated…
I’d often thought, maybe, my father didn’t even have a CLUE, how many children my mother had had for him. Since I can remember, my father rarely came home, and, even if he’d come, he’d rarely, given any of us the time of day, not only wasn’t he able to remember ALL our names, even as my older cousins called him, “Uncle”, he’d lacked a response. Instead, our older and younger uncles, would talk to us a lot, back when I was still quite young, there was a time when I’d, mistaken them as my father.
The very first time my father spoke to me, I was about five. There was a guest at the house that day, he’d told me to pour some tea, and, as I’d carried that heated up teacup, I’d felt it, burning up my hands, then, let go, the tea cup dropped to the floor, and the hot teas splashed all over my legs, it’d hurt so bad tears started coming out unstop, as I’d lifted my head, I saw my father, looking upset, he was, raising that bamboo stick he got from the corner, was about to, lash down onto me………
Not long thereafter, the factory my father invested in went bankrupt, without saying a word to my mother, he’d, run off. That was, surely, an unforgettable part of my childhood, my illiterate mother, faced those debtors one by one, she’d gotten so scared, left us at home, went searching for my father. The few days when my mother went out to look for him, we can only have the yams for food, and, after we’d finished the yams, we’d started, on those yam leaves, and, our days, became, a jigsaw of hunger. Hungry, we’re still, all very, oh, so hungry! We’d become, like the wild beasts, our olfactory senses, heightened, every time we’d smelled the meals coming from my older uncle and younger uncle’s houses, we couldn’t help, but drooled.
And still, things turned quick for us. The nearby relatives and friends, who’d learned that my father ran away, to escape the debts, they’d all, turned away from us; my eldest uncle, who’d originally shared a housing complex with us, found someone, to block the passages between our two places up with bricks. It’s a wonder, my eldest uncle had seven other mouths to feed, how can he possibly, look out for six more of us, kids.
what that looked like, not my photos…
Back then, we’d believed, just as our mother had, that once our father was found, everything will, get better. And, after months of asking around, my father finally, rode his motorcycle home to us, secretively, but, he’d only, used some perfunctory remarks on us, then, tried leaving again.
Only that my mother, she wouldn’t, let him go, blocked his motorcycle, and, we too, pulled on our father’s arms. He saw, and, first, he’d, KICKED our faces and heads, and, seeing that we’d still, clung on to him, he’d gotten angered, and, started, scratching at my mother’s face; his long nails became like a sharpened knife, it’d, cut through my mother’s brows and eyes, her blood trickled down her face, it’d, severed her face into two halves.
And, as we were all, in shock, my father, made his escape, and, left us.
This, is, DEADBEAT father behavior, because he’d accumulated up all that debt, he’d not wanted to pay, and, he’d hurt the woman, who’d been, left ALL alone, to handle all of the MESSES he’d left behind, and, he’d, injured her severely, while his young children were all right there, close by, watching!