“MUUUUUUUUUUM,” Four year old Christina yelled, running into the huge house with the soles of her sneakers lightly tapping the tiled floor. “Come and see what Ini is doing to your car.” She slowed down when she got to the kitchen where her mum stood by the huge Ariston cooker.
Marissa turned away from the sizzling stew as Christina stopped, her left arm stretched out behind her, finger pointing. “What is it now Tina? You see I´m busy now eh mbok abasi.”
“But Ini is sratching your car with his saber.” she said lightly, still pointing and moving back wards, urging her mother to follow her out to where her car was parked.
Marissa beckoned to Ndifreke that sat quietly beside the big kitchen window outlooking the back yard of the house to take over the cooking while she saw to the children. Ndifreke murmured something to herself, but Marissa ignored her. Ndi had started her difficult ways about three weeks or so ago after her older sister’s visit. Granted, Chaka was very difficult and had found every reason to complain about the maid’s every move and to be completely honest she had gotten tired of it. But Ndi had become a completely different character and she was just too tired to make an issue out of it. She had four unruly kids and one teenager who was a handful. No way was she adding Ndifreke to that mix.
Out by the open ground of the house, Marissa saw Ini, slowly walking round the car, his Star Wars saber in his left hand and forcefully scratching against the blue coat of her precious ML. “INIOBONG JAMES UDO!” She picked up her long bohemian style skirt and rushed to pull him away from the car. “Have you gone crazy? Ebot ke ado? Nya uwot fien idem! Let your father get back from work! Nsido?” She practically dragged him through the ground and into the house.
“Go and get me my cane right now Ndi. Sop idem mbok!” She yelled to the maid, her deep voice carrying into the kitchen. Christina held on tight to her native clad barbie as she began to cry at the angry sound of her mother’s voice and the tempo increased when the maid appeared with the long wooden cane, longer than her in height.
“Kop inua mfo! Mbak ndi mia mbufo owo iba!” Marissa said to Christina as she forcefully took the long cane from the maid. She shoved her 6 year old son away from her and asked him to stretch out hhis arm so she could spank his palm with the cane. She hit him three times on one palm and four on the next but to her shock, her little boy didn’t shed a tear or budge from the obvious pain. He had a look in his eyes that said: the least you can do is inflict pain.
Marissa let the cane slip from her fingers as her son’s stance defied her idea of punishment. She watched him stare at her with an expression that seemed lost, angry and tired. She stared back at him, trying to decipher the emotions running through him. Christina slowly walked to her mum, letting her doll fall unnoticed to the red rug surrounding the living room floor. Marissa took her on to her thighs and she wrapped her little chubby arms around her neck, sniffing soundly.
“Go to your room Ini, get into your PJ and lay in your bed. I cant deal with you right now mbok.” She waved him away from her presence and watched him walk away, no atom of remorse whatsoever. Marissa had never seen her son this way. Granted, his cries never lasted more than ten minutes after a spanking. But today he had shocked her and as if on cue she began to ask herself when she last heard him cry.
Holding Chris, she tried to remember when last she had actually heard him cry. Not in the last few months. To be honest, he hadn’t committed any serious crimes that deserved any serious punishment, still it was odd. But she did not want to dwell on it. Kids his age were known to be difficult and he was probably upset about something. But she needed to set him on a punishment that would make him understand how serious his crime was and she needed him to shed some good tears too. But what was the point of spanking a child with all your anger when he wouldn’t so much as shed a tear or feel sorry? Instead it had seemed like he was seeking some kind of attention. Her precious ML? Haba na! Their father had bought her said car the day after Ini’s sixth birthday. Abeg the car was barely one year na ah ah! Kids? She wasn’t going to die from screaming and spanking na eh?
That night while in bed, she complained about Ini’s attitude to his father and James pacified her, promising to get it repaired the next day.
“Dont worry, I can bet that he would do something major again. He’s a boy, its very normal for them to act up…”
“With my car? Abeg don’t talk like that na. The spanking I had planned for him eh. He’s very lucky. His nintendo DS and all his games will be locked up for two weeks.”
“Ah! Calm down mbok.” James patted her left thigh and she turned into him, angling for a kiss. He kissed her lightly and when she held him tight, he gently pulled away.
Marissa heaved heavily. James, I am tired o. An kak, uwem mfo inwanghake o. It has been so long since we made love and I need you. I cant even say you are cheating because you are always home in record time. So tell me what your wahala is because I need to know why you have not touched me in almost nine months. What is going on with you?”
James shrugged and got off the bed. I am just always tired….” He began.
“Is that the excuse you will keep using because that one is going down the drain, you need to come up with another one.” She got up to a kneeling position on the huge bed. The bedside light was on, illuminating her womanly curves inside her sheer night gown. After five kids, she looked incredible. Her full thighs, brown skin shiny and spotless. Her whole body was all muscles and he remembered the good times they shared in bed. She was looking at him checking her out, rolling the bottom of her dress up to her thighs, trying her best to use the wiles she was certain she still had. He was a gorgeous man and his dark skin never failed to appeal to her in wanton ways .
“Not tonight dear. Lemme get something to drink then see what’s on TV…”
“What’s wrong with the TV here? It’s almost midnight, you can stay…” She began but he brushed her off when she tried to pull him down.
“Fine! Go on then. I’m falling asleep already from the rejection.” She hissed, pulled her night gown tighter around her body and laid back down, turning her back to him.
Iniobong lay curled up in his bed, his blanket up to his nose as he silently watched the door. He folded his palm tight, his finger nails digging into his skin then back at the door. The wait seemed like forever and all he wished for was for the endless wait to just end so he could go back to sleep. Tuesday was school and being in school with all the books in the library that gave him peace was what he looked forward to. Coming home was like a nightmare he couldn’t handle and the only way he knew how was to act like nothing really happened. The past few weeks had become tough. Mum was too busy with the new shop she opened and only had time for the little things. He wanted his mum, wanted her to hold him and keep him safe. He wanted her to keep the monster away but even she couldn’t do that….
The silent sound of the door opening was the cue he needed. The book he had read some days back had mentioned something about screaming. Mum had said the same thing but this was different. All the little girl had done was to open her mouth, bare her teeth, move the sides of her mouth apart and just let the sound shoot out from deep within.
“Hello precious!” The whispered greeting shot a sharp pain up his spine and he shut his eyes real tight he could almost feel his skin join together. Scream, all you have to do is scream.
The loud screams jolted Marissa out of her sleep. With five kids, you learn to sleep like a guard dog. She shot up on the bed when the sounds continued. She robbed her eyes vigorously with the heel of her left hand and was out of her room in a flash. It was Ini’s room. Her little boy was screaming and she had didn’t stop to ask herself why he was screaming. He never had bad dreams or problem sleeping. Maybe his crime had caught up with him? Indeed!
The door to his room was ajar and she could hear a muffled sound, like someone trying to pacify him. She touched the wall around the entrance door, feeling for the switch. The white light fell on the dark room, bringing everything into focus. Marissa first noticed the huge truck model on the top platform of the mini book shelf which was directly by her son’s single bed. Then she blinked.
Ini was sprawled on his bed, tummy down, his Pj bottom off of him and her gorgeous husband erect as an MTN mast.
Marissa stood rooted to the spot for a good five minutes before rushing over to her son and picking him up off the bed.
“Ris, wait…please just wait…I…,” James began, hiding his erection as much as he could.
Tears in her eyes, she turned half around, her son cradled safely in her arms. “I…Am…Going…To…Kill…You….”