The making of a monster

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9 year old Jade watched as his dad punched and kicked his mum, she fought back as much as she could, dragging his tie and grabbing his legs. Jade watched as his dad rained punches on her, trying to disengage his legs. He walked away to his room, he had seen enough. Once every few weeks his parents would have a quarrel and it would end with his dad beating his mum; and his mum sulking for days.

He remembered vividly the first time it happened; he was 4 years old. He had run to save his mum and grabbed his father’s leg. His father had looked straight into his eyes and said, ”son, that is how you deal with a stubborn woman”. Over the years, his father had repeated that to him and he did understand. It was true, his mum can be stubborn.

As he switched on his favourite wrestling channel to drown out their voices, Jade realized his irritation wasn’t with the fight but with the way it was done. His father was so clumsy. Jade watched as his favourite wrestling stars knocked out their opponents with a few punches. That’s how a man should fight!

22years later, Jade drove home in anger. He was fed up with his wife of three years, Nkechi. Why can’t she just be up and doing? She had been unsuccessful in managing her job and the house. They barely eat well and the house is almost always untidy. He had excused her because she worked in a bank on the other side of town. She left early and came back late so he had turned a blind eye to so many things.

Since the wedding, she hadn’t conceived, so she had resigned last month since the doctor said her stress levels were probably a major factor in the issue. Jade’s annoyance was that the last month had been no different, now instead of working, she slept all day. The house, though a bit cleaner was still not clean enough and boy, was she turning into a stubborn woman! He tried to calm himself as he got closer to his house. He would warn her severely; this morning had been the last straw. Having told her that he would like to have sandwiches for breakfast, he had used his last ounce of self control when she did not wake up to make it.

Yeah, they would have a long talk. Jade got to his gate and pressed the horn so his wife could come open the gate. He horned and horned but no one came. Jade’s blood started to boil; he opened the door and stepped out. Yuck! He stepped right into a pool of muddy water. His brains exploded as the water soaked his new brogue shoe, his socks and his suit pants; he could barely contain his anger. As he drove in, he thought, this must be how his mum made his dad feel.

Nkechi walked to the door with a twinkle in her eye. She had been asleep and only just woke up as her husband drove in. She had taken a moment to draw more hearts on the card she held behind her. He was in for a pleasant surprise.

Jade stepped into the house and asked in fury, “Are you deaf? Didn’t you hear my horn?”.
Nkechi replied, “Am sorry I was sleeping, is that why you are upset?”
Jade roared “Is that why am upset? Are you asking me that stupid question?” He lunged at her, grabbed her in a choke hold and punched her thrice in the tummy. Then he let her go, grabbed his bag and walked up to his room.
As he went, he thought to himself “And that’s how it’s done dad, neat and precise. That’s how it’s done!”.

Nkechi slid to the floor, tears flowed down her cheeks but she could barely make a sound, her throat burned like fire, as she fell, she felt life seep out of her. She felt something warm flow down her leg, she knew without touching that it was blood. She screamed in pain as her heart broke into pieces.

The card in her hand dropped and floated away. In it were the words: “Congrats Honey, You are going to be a Dad!”.

By Oluseye Igbafe

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