Smiling tears 

I grew up believing what mama had wanted me to believe for most times.Deep down i wanted to understand her intentions but it never occurred to me that there was something beyond it..

    Growing up seeing her like that had never been easy .My dad on the other side was someone I was never acquainted with,so every time he came home mother would whisper “go to your room”. It almost became a routine that the tension grew immensely. What followed next is something that makes me wish I was born deaf at times…

   Dad would yell at her,I’d squirm and fold my arms around my knees curled up in my bed.I was too scared .At four years ,what could I even do to intervene? Then she’d scream .I could almost hear her sobs and then after almost two hours of a wild crescendo, everything would drop to a pin drop silence .

   My father was a drunkard,he left us with almost nothing to fend for us but one thing that I found intriguing about him was how he’d wake up in the morning and smile at all of us.In fact I still recall what he always said ;

  ” You two are the biggest blessing life could ever give “

And an always jovial mother would smile then bend her head and stare into the tiny knits of her clothing,lost in thoughts .

Dad would always call me his ‘little girl’ and of course it all looked like a happy family,right from the window pane .I remember walking up to mama after father left for his usual joint ,

“Mother,I heard you scream and sob.what happened ?” In a low tone

And guess what she’d say?? infact she would smile and then look at me straight in the eyes and say “my love ,I want you to always remember this no matter what happens -that your dad is the best man you will ever meet.Always remember that”

Then she’d send me away and lock herself up in her room for hours.I did not understand why she always wanted me to believe that but all that changed on that fateful day when dad came home as usual .

He strode into the living room,staring at the faded paint on the walls.Right in his hand was a bottle of beer that he was still sipping .He staggered to and fro and walked right to where mother was.He then looked at the empty dishes on the table,there was nothing for supper.

“Where is my food!?” An angry father thundered but before mother could answer, I saw dad throw her to the ground.My heart raced in fear as I watched  mother struggle to get up.This was the first time father had hurt mother in my presence.I was right there,I saw what he did,then how can he be the best man mother wanted me to believe he was??

I wanted to hide,but before I could even reach for an emotional shelter from a psychopathic father ,I heard mama scream.It was rather a scream of pain.It was her last scream. I remember turning to meet the sight of a mother sprawled on the floor and what had been the faded paint on the wall was covered in her blood.Perhaps papa had mistaken her for dura coat but that was the end of it all.I ran out into the dark horrified and now years down the line all I remember is the silence that was there that night.A silence that I wish was the noise I had gotten used to hearing-Mama’s silence .

  So years down the line now is when I try to understand what mother really meant. She wanted me to believe father was the best man I’d ever meet because she did not want me dragged in their fights.she wanted me to see the best that wasn’t there in a man.Mama wanted to save me the trauma of knowing my father was abusive.

Same way to you dear ,whatever storms are in your marriage ,don’t drag your kids into it. They need to see that there’s something divine about a family,something that cannot be found anywhere else because faith family and love are the treasures of life.Whatever happens behind bedroom walls stays right there! Children don’t deserve to suffer along with our dissents …



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