The moment the sun rises, living in my father’s house was the toughest of times yet regarded as days of safety, endurance and spiritual guidance. We’ll be woken by a mini school bell or some days I wished I could get back to the continuation of a scene in my dreams but my dad just found a way to break off the sleep from our sleep, as he raised the volume of his portable stereo tuned to RFI morning news, Urgh!
I’d toss and turn under the sheets wishing and praying he forgets I existed, but who am I fooling.
Family daily devotional prayers went on from Monday through Saturday to the extent my sisters and I barely had friends sleep over, because as the day ended we’d remind ourselves of the hassle awaiting us the next morning. So we’d sit in the dark in each other’s rooms dreaming of how our lives would be like when we grow up. My sister of 6, wanted a skyscraper with the top apartment filled with money bags, as she explained, every morning she’d open one bag of cash to the less privilege impatiently waiting downstairs. She’ll pour the cash through the window for everyone outside to get an equal share. Thinking about It now, we never asked how she’d get all that cash and why would it be stacked up there just for her.
The beauty of our childhood was; the day dreams, aspirations after watching a movie from the neighbors and school, because those where our get away from mommy & daddy’s supervision. My nightmares came alive whenever I heard of chores, Oh lawd! Yes! The chores, I got a panic attack every time the roaster in the kitchen had my name on as responsible for the housing keeping, nobody ever wanted to help. I’ll cry every morning under extremely chilly weather conditions, when I had to clean the plates, mop the floor or complete my laundry from the previous night. One day, I had an appointment with my first 5th grade crush by the school market place where the trees met creating a beautiful shade and because it was private, so we were meant to keep it on the low. She was called Binta, a few years older than me with a great smell, breath taking smile, her skin felt like silk and her voice gave me an erection as she’d compliment my great drawing skill, I wanted her forever. The night before I couldn’t sleep, I stayed up rehearsing in my head the right words and body postures appropriate for the meet which never happened. My younger brother had wet the bed, for no reason it was meant to be me who took care of his mess, how fortunate.
The endless fights I instigated just for my viewing pleasure, the countless beating we got from our parents for being ungodly, disrespectful, curious, over-ambitious etc. But our secret meetings I miss, the plates of beans we’ll share when there was almost nothing to eat, the hugs and prayers said at the hospital when mom wasn’t strong enough. Somehow, we survived and like life will have it we grew, moved out, fell in love and currently rule separate empires.
I can’t tell them all this, but write my heart out, for my heart won’t let me sit.