by Chizitere Ojiaka
I curled up at a corner in the room close to the living room and peeked at my parents as they spat curses at themselves.
“You’re the biggest mistake I ever made!” my mum screamed out in a high soprano voice.
Her neck veins were all out and obvious, protruding from under her skin like they were about to tear themselves out of her neck. Mum continued her rant saying, “I should have left you at the altar on our wedding day and ran to Englandwith Austin. You’re nothing but a big silly mistake!”
Dad ran up to her with his fist clenched, about to throw a punch at her. Mum took quick steps back and hit her back on the wall behind. She shielded her face with one arm and waved her fist in the air with the other arm.
My father was standing over her at this point with eyes as red as mine were whenever I has conjunctivitis. He breathed in a heavy-quick manner that made his chest broaden and push out so obviously that it made him look like the cartoon character named Johnny Bravo.
“You think you can cheat on me and file for a divorce to get out of the marriage whenever you liked abi? I will kill you with my bare hands today and send your corpse to your father, you shameless whore.”
My father wore no single line of a smile or anything close to it as he spat his words out. He was dead serious and dead ready to kill my mother. He slapped her head against the wall severally, lifted her off the ground and threw her on the couch. Mum wrestled herself up the chair and staggered up to a standing position. She threw a couple of uncalculated punches in dad’s direction but only one made it to his nose.
For over 20 minutes, I stayed curled up at the corner where I was, watching my parents argue, throw punches, drag each other by one part of the body or another and throw things around. It was like a live wrestling match was being played in my living room. The kind of fight I saw in movies was taking place in my own house yet my thirteen year old hands couldn’t summon the courage to stop the madness.
An idea had come into my head that I should film the entire episode so I could play it for my parents to watch later on. I wanted them to learn from it so that they’d and never let it repeat itself. I wanted them to stop, hug each other and love themselves again. I wanted them to stand in that living room and realize the mess they had made of themselves and their home. At some point, I wanted them both to slump and die. So many thoughts ran through my head and pictures slid pass my mind whenever I closed my eyes.
I remembered dinner on the dining table two days ago and how my parents, my older sister and I sat at table together eating, clinging cutleries, sipping, drinking, laughing and chatting like a bunch of united happy people. The contrast between then and now was so sharp it made the thought of the possibility of any happiness existing in my family as blur as the vision of a man who had large boils hanging down his eyelids.
My older sister soon barraged into the living room from the market, panting like a dog that had spent all its energy barking. I was sure the sound of chaos blasting its way out of the house must have made her run like a confused lion from the gate. She struggled with my dad and managed to retrieve the figurine he was holding from his hand. She threw it as far as she could and ran up to my mum who was now holding a piece of broken glass in her hand.
Adanna my older sister soon got overwhelmed with rage. It had taken over her so quick that she didn’t realize when she blessed my mother’s cheek with a slap and yell at my father to sit his shameless butt down. Everyone soon froze and stood where they were staring at themselves. The chaos had mellowed down and what now went on was a battle of heavy breathing. Tension had overtaken the cold air from the air conditioner and heated the room such that sweat rained down our bodies.
Bloodstains painted the walls while pieces of broken wares scattered themselves everywhere, covering the living room like snow. The television was the only lucky thing that didn’t get hit. The aquarium was smashed to pieces and the tiny beautiful fishes in it did not survive to see the end of the fight. Dad walked out of the living room and since he always had his car keys in his pocket, he zoomed off in his Toyota Camry saloon car without saying a word to any of us. Mum slumped at a corner of the living room and begun to cry. She didn’t care that she was lying on piles of broken pieces of glass. Adanna stood at the centre of the living room, staring straight into my eyes like there was something she had to make sure she memorized in them. Her face wore no expression, neither did her legs move.
I sat curled up like I had been with my lower lip bit between my teeth, rocking myself back and forth at one corner and praying the fight had ended for good. I had no idea that I had a cut at the centre of my head which bled profusely with blood tickling down my back like sweat. I soon became cold and passed out.