Father’s sermon against adultery and fornication vibrated through the mega phone as the congregation flipped through the pages of their Bible. Shouts of “Hallelujah”, followed suit when father proclaimed, ” Praise the living Lord”.
Dressed in the same attire, mother and I together with Junior, my little brother sat at the front pew. It was like our permanent position at church because father liked it that way. My gaze was on father; his white shirt was already soaked with sweat and at intervals, he dabs his face with a handkerchief. Everyone thought he was good looking, especially the choir ladies who would always giggle like school girls whenever he says something funny or teases them. All that just to get his attention but if only they knew the monster that lurks within the man. In public, mother was his priceless jewel and darling. But behind closed doors, she was his punching bag.
My gaze shifted to mother. Her arms were folded under her bosom as she stared at father as though she was so engrossed in the sermon. The make up she applied didn’t conceal the bags under her eyes neither did it hide the deep scars on her face. She always suffered from persistent migraines and heart aches. She was often in tears and gets rather nervous and scared whenever father showed up at home. The humiliation and abuse she receives from him was traumatic enough to get her admitted for rehab.
Those nights father gets irritated because she added much salt to the soup, he would pour the soup on her head before smashing the ceramic plate on her face. Mother had learnt not to let the tears fall immediately. Doing that would only serve to fuel father’s anger the more.
“Mum, can we just get away? We….”
“Marriage is till death do us part”, mother would always cut me off leaving me completely dazed.
Lately, she barely says a word to us but walks around the house speaking in whispers and gesticulating with her hands.
” Mummy is now mad” Junior would always say……..
“Let the choir help us with worship songs”, father’s words shook me out of my reverie. I looked up and caught him with a lopsided smile as the choir mistress climbed the stage. The short gown she wore hug tightly to her body leaving nothing to the imagination. I sighed inwardly.
* * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * *
” Tell your father we have been waiting “, mother asked almost in a whisper. I couldn’t remember the last time her voice was audible. Briskly, I walked into the church wondering why father had kept us waiting. It was almost an hour since the service came to an end.
I increased my steps as I made my way to his office. Pushing the door open, I felt a rush of blood through my body; my mind too moulded to comprehend what was going on.
Father’s moans choked the room as the choir mistress kept stroking and shovelling his member into her mouth. They were so lost in their little world and totally oblivious of my presence.
My fingers quivered in shock as hot tears came perching at the edge of my eyes. There was terror in father’s eyes when his gaze met mine. All I felt was an urge to rip off his head.
” Don’t you dare tell your mother about this Ella”. His warning got me laughing loudly in the midst of my tears.
Anna Fina studied Law at the prestigious Ebonyi State University, Abakiliki. She loves to Write.