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Growing up, I had always been gentle and humble. I was very sound academically so I was one of the favorite students in school. I was also active in church activities as I would occasionally represent my church in Zonal, District and National completions, I had no issue in church and quite a lot of my church members loved me (I really miss being a child haha) so I was everyone’s favorite in church and in school from as long as I can remember. Then there was only one circle of school-home-church (I dare not go to my classmates’ houses) and nothing more, but things were different at home. I was occasionally scolded for being slow by my dad in contrast to my younger brother who was more active than I was. Now, don’t get me wrong. My dad is the best dad I could ever wish for in this world. My parents do have this little disagreement whenever it is time to scold me. Whenever mom was the one doing the beating, my dad would often tell her not to punish me and whenever my dad was the one doing the, my mom would tell him not to punish me. Not that it helped anyways, I still always got what was coming.
So on the fateful day, we had just finished our end of term examinations so there wasn’t really anything to do besides collating results for teachers. It was during this period that my brother and I fell in love with table tennis. We practically did everything at the table tennis section in school. I got back from school after playing table tennis in school and went to my mom’s shop which was in front of our house. She had just finished buying about 10 kilograms of Beef from a mobile meat dealer. She put the meat in a bucket then told me and my brother to take it to the house.
We took the bucket of meat inside the compound but dropped it on a pavement that leads to our entrance door. We then cleared one of our outdoor work tables, preparing it for a good table tennis game. We played table tennis for a long time until we heard our mom call out our names “is this the meat I bought she said” we looked back and saw different parts of the meat laying in different locations on the ground. It was at that moment that we knew we were totally done for.
Our landlady had these monster looking chickens. They were very big (I don’t think I ever saw another chicken that’s bigger than them). They devoured anything from rats to lizards, just anything they could find that was edible. We live in different units but share the same compound and so occasionally she releases them to roam around freely and they roam to our units and on that fateful day, the meat my mom asked us to take inside was their prey.
My mom went into our land lady’s shop and came out with a fat Cain. We call it “PANKERE” in my local dialect. She told us to go inside so we ran straight to our room. When I heard her lock the doors, my heart broke into two. I just knew I wasn’t going to survive that day and something in me said “RUN” but how? My mom had locked all the exit doors but she forgot a tiny little detail. “THE EMERGENCY WINDOW COULD ALWAYS BE OPENED FROM INSIDE) as I was in an emergency myself, I considered it an option.
We started crying even before the first stroke came and when the first set of strokes came, my brother was at the receiving end. I kept pushing him to the front since my mum was punishing us together. My mom figured that I had been evading her whips and so she aimed the second set of strokes at me. When I saw what was coming, I knew it was time. Time to show her the fast side of me. I might be slow or so they thought, but I am also very smart.
I ran to where the emergency window was, and I opened it, then jumped out. Lo and behold, I was free, free like a bed in the sky. My mom didn’t realize this as soon as she thought she had blocked all room for escape. As I was running towards our main gate, I still heard the sound of my brother crying. As I was about to open the gate, I heard my mom’s voice “Come back here she said” but I know better. Hell was waiting for me if I did. The only thought in my head was to get to my dad’s office. I knew he could only save me. My mum pursued me for a while then went back (ha-ha I really stressed the young lady. Once in a while exercise is good for the body)
The road that led to my dad’s office was the same to school. So as I was approaching my school, I realized I wasn’t putting on any shoes or slippers. I didn’t want to be the talk of the school upon resuming the next term, so I took a detour. I went to a completely different place, far from home. After a while, the implication of what I did dawned on me. I realized my mom would be worried, I wanted to return but couldn’t risk going back home.
Back home, a neighborhood search began. Everyone was looking for me. Different calls were being made, but I was busy enjoying myself, playing street football in a safe place, far from home. I had some of my allowance with me so I wasn’t really scared and I made up my mind to return home at night. I snuck into the neighborhood when it was almost night time. I called one of my neighbors to come pick me up when the time was right.
My dad was home already. Everyone was really worried it was as if they had forgotten about the whole meat incident. I couldn’t eat that night as no one prepared food. Everyone was really tired. If I had the ability to go back in time, I would still run away. My dad told my mum never to scold me ever again. Not that she listened anyways.
PS. We still joke about this whenever I am at my parent’s house. My mom was really glad I ran away. She always says that something really bad would have really happened if I had stayed.