I furiously picked my phone dialing Dad’s number as I walked into my room, “hello Baby girl” he said answering the phone after a couple of rings. Baby girl was what he had always called me ever since I was little; he was very fond of me as I was his only daughter and had vowed to keep calling me that name even after I had kids of my own; I used to think the name was special till I found out that he had other different “baby girls” scattered around town.
“evening Sir” I replied coldly instead of calling him “Baby daddy” as I usually did when we were still best of friends, I figured that would make him realise that the call wasn’t a friendly one but he pretended not to notice and continued in a friendly tone, “is someone missing daddy already?” He asked, “what’s this nonsense I’m hearing about you wanting to divorce mum and make Teni your first lady?” I questioned angrily, “calm down” he begged, “it’s a little more complicated than it seems” he began, “you see your mum is not well groomed enough to be first lady” he attempted to explain,
“Oh! Now you’re saying she’s not well groomed enough? why didn’t you think so when she was raising your kids and suffering with you when you had nothing?” I retorted, “you’re getting it all wrong my dear” he continued, “your mum was a wonderful wife, but she’d make a terrible first lady. Teni on the other hand is classy and sophisticated. I’m guaranteed more votes with her as my first lady” he explained. “I’m sorry to say Dad, but that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. If you decide to go ahead and file for the divorce, then consider yourself childless because I and Steven will no longer acknowledge you as Father if that happens” I threatened, hanging up without waiting for a reply.
I’m sure you must wonder why mum has never said a word or tried to stand up to dad even with everything he’s been doing, I’ve tried to convince her so many times to fight back but I’ve come to realise it’s a waste of time because all my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. I guess it’s because she’s the typical African woman from back in the day who was raised to believe that women should only be seen and not heard and should treat their husbands like mini-gods respecting whatever decisions they make; thank God for the introduction of gender equality in the 21st century!
Eventually, much to our disappointment, mum signed the divorce papers and returned them to Dad; it was official, my parents were now divorced.
Anyone could see that deep down it wasn’t what my mum wanted but it seemed she had no other choice than to give into pressure, since the man she had grown to love for over 30 years was no longer returning her love.
She was becoming more dejected with each passing day and we became more worried. At some point, I was scared that she would go into clinical depression which would have been terrible for us. Many people think depression is just about feeling unhappy or sad for a few days but it’s much more than that, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, it usually lasts for weeks to months; and contrary to popular belief, it is real! It is a genuine medical condition that has symptoms and has a variety of trigger factors including stressful life events like divorce, illnesses, death of loved ones. Etc. The good news is that it can be treated using different drugs, counseling and psychotherapy. So please let’s pay attention to our loved ones and friends and not ignore their cries for help.
A few days later, when I got back from work, I was surprised to find that the house was awfully quiet, there was no sound coming from the TV, no mum sitting in the living room and Steven wasn’t back from work, I checked the time on my wristwatch and it was just 6pm, about an hour earlier than I usually returned from work; it didn’t make any sense that mum had gone to bed so early, unless she was ill and I could almost swear she didn’t visit any friends because she literally had no other friends in the city besides Dad. After calling out to her with no response, I concluded that she must be taking a nap upstairs and walked to the kitchen to get myself a glass of juice, I had barely reached the door when I noticed the floor was stained with a dark red fluid that resembled blood, I didn’t want to believe it was because blood had no business being on our kitchen floor, I know we had arrangements with one of the butchers from the market to deliver fresh meat every week but he wasn’t expected to deliver till the next day and even if he did, why would mum leave the meat on the floor instead of putting it in the freezer?
So many questions were running through my mind, But I waved them off and walked in to see where the blood was coming from. There was no amount of warning that could’ve prepared my eyes to receive what they saw next, it’s something I’d only watched in horror movies before then, I looked down on the floor and I could feel myself start to get dizzy, there I was staring down at my mum lying helpless in a pool of her own blood…