When he left, I went straight to my room to cry, calling out my mom’s name and asking why she was just quiet.
Watching how dad and his new wife humīliated me at every slightest opportunity.
That wasn’t the kind of life I wanted.
I was turning eighteen and I prayed for everything to go well before my eighteenth birthday.
I thought maybe I just needed prayers and a new pastor to lay his hands on me and take my problems away.
“Mummy, why aren’t you even talking to me or listening to my cries?
Why did you allow me to stay with these people?
Do you even value me at all?” I screamed at the top of my voice, forgetting that my stepmother was around.
I thought she had gone to the market because she was outside when I entered my mom’s room.
She came to my room and opened the door.
“I have heard everything you said.
If the house you’re staying in isn’t conducive enough for you, you can follow your mother anywhere she is.
I know she’ll be in hėll now.
Your dad said a lot about her, and he didn’t even love her,”
she said as she was about to leave, shutting the door in my face, just like dad did.
I called her by her name, “Anna.” She turned. “Don’t ever say anything bad about my mom again.
The house you stay in belongs to her, and you’re enjoying her money, the money you didn’t work for.”
I said as she jammed the door and left.
I didn’t know what came over me.
I knew she would tell dad about it, and I was ready to defend myself even if it meant dad throwing me out of the house.
It was better to beg and feed on the street than stay with both of them.
I was scared at first, but I summoned courage.
She went and sat in the sitting room so that she would see when dad came and report everything I did to him before I even had a chance to defend myself.
Dad came home a bit late, and I just wanted him to tell me what he wanted me to sell before scolding me for talking back to my stepmom.
As he arrived, I saw him first in my room, which was closer to the gate.
But I pretended to sleep because if I went out to welcome him, he would ignore me.
I saw when he drove in and came out of the car.
My stepmom rushed to get his bag from him, and I knew the next thing would be her reporting that I had insúlted her.
An hour passed, and I anxiously waited for him to call my name. He didn’t.
I wasn’t even hungry. I had lost my appetite, so I didn’t want dinner.
I dozed off a bit, and then I heard my name.
It was like someone called me in a dream before I heard it again clearly.
I rushed out to meet dad sitting in the living room, and his loving wife was standing at his side.
“What did you say to my wife?”,
he asked,His eyes had turned red, just like the day he kiłlėd Mom.
I was scared for my life and didn’t say a word.
He asked again, “What did you tell my wife Catherine?
Are you suddenly quiet?” I couldn’t wait for the third time because he raised his hands to hīt me.
I remembered what happened to Mom, and I began to speak.
“I told her Mom owns the house.”
That was all I could say. I couldn’t find my voice.
It was as if it had suddenly disappeared.
“Is that all?” he yelled, veins visible.
I nodded, and he asked me to go on my knees and apologize.
I had to do anything just to get out of his sight. I was extremely scared.
My stepmom was smiling like she had won.
I knew my day would come when I would be the one smiling.
Dad didn’t even care about me from the start.
I couldn’t say she was the reason he stopped caring.
Just as I was about to leave, he asked me to sit.
My heart skipped a beat. I wasn’t ready for another round of trouble from him.
I didn’t even sit properly; I sat on just one side of my búm.
He started, “I talked to my wife here,” pointing at my stepmom, “about your school and everything you need to do.
And we have both concluded that you will start selling pure water.
Pure water business is the newest trend, and it will sell because it’s the dry season.
So tomorrow, you will start.” Of all things to sell, my dad chose pure water.
I felt like it was just wickėdness, not for my benefit.
Imagine a child who has never lacked anything, hawking pure water on the roadside for no good reason.
He had the money to buy it and sell in bags.
What will I even tell my classmates and everyone who knew me when my mom was alive?
All these questions kept running through my mind. Then he signaled me with his hands to leave his presence.
I left, but I felt bītter inside.
If I had a chance, I would have strāngled him.
But there was nothing I could do.
I just made up my mind to do everything he said as long as I could stay in that house and complete my studies, at least.
The next day, before he went to work, he had already ordered the pure water.
The company came and unloaded twenty bags.
That’s when I knew my dad was really serious.
I really låmented my fāte.