Jimmy kicked the wall very hard, he had done it. In spite of vowing before God and man that he would never do it, he had fallen and fallen really hard, in fact, he had crashed.
He remembered loathing his father for this same reason and loathing his mother even more for being such an easy victim, for never once saying a word and always carrying on as though it was well. He remembered wishing he was a teenager so he’d be big and tall and when he did become a teenager, he started muscle building because he was determined to save his mother from a man he thought was surely going mad.
He remembered the day he first saw his father hit his mother. They had just returned from church and he ran ahead to the front porch. He did not hear what mummy and daddy were saying but he knew he heard a loud sound and a yelp from his mum, he turned back to see her holding unto her face, crying and saw his daddy glaring at her. He rushed back to the car and was sent right back by both of them. Later that night when Mama had put him to bed, he went to the kitchen where he knew she would be, to ask how she was but she said nothing had happened and she was fine as usual.
Jimmy remembered how the abuse got progressively worse, it used to be something that happened only at home, but as his father drank more he would hit his mum in the grocery store, hit her on the way home and ridicule her when they had company. He remembered getting his first salary and using it as down payment for an apartment for his mum, which she did not move into. He remembered how she somehow managed to live with his dad till he died of alcohol induced liver problems; and more painful for him at the time, was the fact that his father did not change. Though he could not hit his mum when he was sick, he hit her with his words in every way that he could; and she still stayed.
Jimmy thought he was a different man, he thought he would always love and value his wife. He thought he would be her friend and see her as an equal. He also made a point of never touching alcohol ever! But, he’d been out of work for 3 months and Rebecca –his wife- had to bring home the bacon. At first she was very understanding and kind, but as the months went by, she became more and more insensitive; in his view. She asked everyday if he had gone out to look for work, she asked why he was not getting any response, she came home and asked why he had not helped with the house work, but this evening, he asked why she got home from work at almost mid-night and she said “Well, one of us has to work!” and started to walk away. He didn’t know where it came from or how it happened, but the next thing he knew, he pulled Rebecca by her hair, given her a slap and was about to lunge for her neck. He saw her holding her face in her hand, one knee on the floor; and stopped mid-way, what had he just done? He thought, frozen in mid-air!
She was not his mother; she was on the floor for a few minutes but she got up, tears in our eyes, turned round, took her keys and drove off. He was not his father. He kicked the wall and knew this was something he ought not to have done. He was sorry but now that he knew this part of him existed, he was more scared than sorry.