Ben came home from school. He was the only big kid at the compound as he’d left without the others, per his mother’s instruction; she didn’t want him playing with the other wives’ kids. He entered their own block and headed for the kitchen- each wife had her own kitchen. He was disappointed when he found empty pots, no food in sight.
His mother had done it again. He’ld either wait till his father returned home or eat with his step-siblings without his mother knowing.
“Who is that in my kitchen?” His mother queried.
He heard her footsteps as she quickly made her way to the kitchen.
“Mama, it’s me.” He told her when she came in sight.
His mother was a tall, beautiful woman but the scowl on her face as she discovered he was the one turned it into something else.
“Ehen, it’s you so you can’t talk.” She commented harshly.
He bowed his head and waited for her anger to pass over.
“You are looking for food abi? Wait till your foolish father comes home. I can’t use my hard-earned money to feed his carbon-copy.” She hissed and left the kitchen.
His little heart broke. She’ld rather feed his little sister than feed him. He knew it was because his mother hated his father and he had the misfortune to look like his father. Now that hatred had been transferred to him.
He ran away from the house to a nearby bush, there he wiped his tears and made a vow to himself; he would never take care of any female, he would never waste his money on them and his mother would never gain anything from him.
“Ben, I’m sorry. I won’t ask questions again. Please.”
His wife begged, her hands above her head, protecting her already bruised face.
“Will you run your mouth again?” He asked angrily, his hand lashing out.
She fell to the ground, whimpering like a wounded animal. She didn’t think she could beg again; she was suddenly voiceless, and if her protruded belly was on fire….
Oh God! Oh God! Her mind screamed.
It was too much!
In that world of pain she heard her baby girl crying.
“Shut up!” Ben shouted at the infant which only made her cry harder.
With hatred in his eyes, he grabbed the crying child and pushed her to her mother’s lying form. He didn’t spare any time in their direction, he turned to his son who looked like he was going to cry.
“Are you crying?” He asked the little boy.
The boy shook his head. Ben nodded in approval.
“Don’t mind them, let’s go.”
He took his son’s hand and left the room with him, leaving behind his pregnant wife and daughter.
Sarah ran up the stairs, she’d heard the wail from outside. Entering the house where it came from, she was rooted on the spot when she saw the scene before her;
Cynthia was on the floor and her elder brother was hitting her like he was battling with the devil. Their mother was on the floor crying, begging her son to stop and their father was not in sight.
“Stop it, right this minute!” She ordered.
The boy was still going at it. She couldn’t take him on physically but she wouldn’t lay on the floor crying like his mother was.
Looking around she found something and threw it at him. With a stick in her hand, she faced him when he turned to her.
“Get out now or I will use this on you and I won’t hesitate. Get out now!” She screamed.
The boy looked at his sister, then at his mother on the floor who was now sobbing quietly. Without a word, he left the house.
Sarah threw the stick away and ran to the young lady on the floor. Cynthia was seriously bleeding and almost unconscious. Her face was bruised, eyes swollen shut.
With the way Sarah was feeling, her cousin better not be in the vicinity.
“We have to get her to the hospital.” She said to Cynthia’s mother who still sat on the floor.
“Get up from there and help your daughter!” She fired.
Sarah managed to carry Cynthia while her mother got to her feet, as they made their way to the exit, Ben came out.
“What’s going on here and where are you taking her to?” He asked.
Sarah kept moving.
“So you’ve been around and your son was busy flexing his muscles on your daughter.” She said in anger.
From where he stood, Ben shrugged.
“I was busy inside. She probably deserved it.”
That stopped Sarah who turned to face him.
“Your son beat your daughter almost to unconciousness and ‘she probably deserved it’?!”
Sarah couldn’t believe what she was hearing. If that was the case, Cynthia and her mother weren’t safe here.
Shaking her head, she left the house with Cynthia and her mother. Her visit would be extended until she could convince Cynthia and her mother to get help.
We all know there is evil in the world but when the one place you can escape to (The Home), appears worse than the evil outside, are our lives not in danger?
What will happen to victims like Cynthia and her mother who can’t defend her from the lash of her father’s belt or the fists of her brother?
The innocent victims stuck in this cycle need help.
Neighbours, don’t close your ears and your doors, these people need you.