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[STORY] LIFE, ABOVE ALL (Episode 23)

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Episode 23.

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“Rebellion is a sign of a child fighting to be seen as who they are.”


It’s 5:30 in the morning and I am awake. The sun isn’t even up yet but here I am staring into space. I couldn’t sleep last night, my body felt like it was on fire I kept turning and tossing. I hate my father even more now, he is the reason for all this pain I have endured my goal now is to get out of this house and away from him.
Today I don’t feel like going to school, not after that humiliation I went through yesterday. At six, I get up to start getting Thoko ready for school.
‘Thoko get up!’ I pulled the covers back uncovering her head.
She pulled the covers back over her head and rolled herself into the covers.
Then she went on peacefully sleeping until I firmly shook her. Only after four attempts did she open her sleepy eyes fully.
‘What?’ she asked in a low rumbling sleepy voice.
‘You need to get up.’
‘Give me a few minutes,’ she mumbled
‘Thoko, get up now, times a wasting.’
‘Fine,’ she sat up and huffed. She rolled out of bed and undressed, I walked her to the bathroom. I bathed and dressed her for school.
‘Aren’t you going to school?’ she asked as I packed her homework book.
I shook my head, ‘No.’
‘I am not feeling fine.’
‘Time for breakfast now,’ I grabbed her bag and we walked out of the bedroom to the kitchen. Breakfast had already been prepared and severed by Ganizani.
‘And you?’ he asked
‘Morning to you too,’ I responded
‘Why aren’t you going to school?’
‘I am not fit enough to go to school. Your father beat me up and left me for dead last night.’
I shrugged, ‘I don’t know.’
Stella walked in laughing, ‘You seriously don’t know why you were beaten?’
‘And how does that concern you? Hule! Hule!’ I ululated
‘Hule ine?’ she furiously asked poking her finger in my face.
‘You don’t touch my sister like that,’ Ganizani stood up.
‘And who invited you into this fight?’ she asked.
‘Woman! Don’t you dare provoke me,’ he glared
She clicked her tongue, ‘you don’t scare me you children of Jezebel.’
‘What exactly do you want from us?’ Ganizani asked
‘I want you out of my house, I want you gone forever.’
‘In our Mother’s house?’ I asked
‘Your mother is gone and never coming back, you can all die for all I care. Let my husband and I enjoy our marriage in peace.’
‘I forgive you,’ Ganizani said
My brother is that soft, he doesn’t like confrontations like me.
‘I will make sure you all leave this house by the end of the year. Mark my words,’ she said before marching off to her room.
‘Come on Thoko, let’s eat,’ Ganizani said
They ate their breakfast quietly. Ganizani was first to finish.
‘Stay out of trouble,’ he warned me.
‘Let’s get going Thoko, I don’t want to be late,’ Ganizani said as he waited at the door.
Thoko stood up and I walked her to the door, ‘Bye baby,’ I kissed her forehead and gave her bag before she walked out.
I closed the door behind my back and went back to the kitchen. I washed the dishes & started cleaning the kitchen. There was a knock at the door a few minutes later. I laid down the broom and went to see who it was. I opened the door and found a strange woman standing at the door she had a suitcase in her hands.
‘Mwauka bwanji?’ she said
‘Bwino bwa? Nikutandizeni?’
‘Ehe, nisakilako ba Stella ushe bankalapano?’
‘Ba Stella?’I asked
‘Ndiwe bandani?’
‘I am her cousin from Kapiri, she asked me to come over so I can start working as a maid.’
I looked at her from head to toe and then shook my head,’ Wrong house, sibankala pano.’
She scratched her head, ‘Maybe I didn’t read her address clearly on the paper I wrote.’
‘It’s a wrong house sorry mama.’
‘Do you have a phone I can use to call her? My battery is dead.’
‘No, I don’t have.’
She took a deep breath.
‘Try some other houses I am sure you find her.’
I closed the door and went back to finish cleaning. When I was done, I went to my room. I sat on the floor thinking about what I was gonna do for the day, I needed someone to talk to, I needed to vent and I knew the person to go to.
I undressed and walked into the bathroom then I examined the damage that father had done, the welts were pretty deep and plentiful.
I don’t think I will ever forgive this man for all this pain, I want to make him pay some day, I want him to feel the pain he has caused me.
I quickly take a bath and apply some medicine to my bruises, Ganizani got me the medicine the last time father beat me up.
I got dressed and grabbed some money from under my pillow and walked out of my room, locking it behind my back.
‘And where are you going?’ Stella asked
‘None of your business,’ I rolled my eyes and headed for the door. I walked down the road and walked towards the bus stop and jumped on the first bus I saw.
I dropped off thirty minutes later and walked the short distance to his house. I was going to see Ken. I got to his house and knocked at the gate and he opened after a minute.
He looked at me for a minute or so, ‘What are you doing here?’ he asked
‘Can we talk?’
‘I just want us to talk.’
‘Cool,’ he opened the gate wider and stepped aside, I walked in, he locked it and led me into the house as usual the living room was a mess.
‘Don’t mind the mess.’
He sat on the other couch and I sat on the one across from his. Silence reigns in the room for two minutes before he asks, ‘Can I get you something to drink?’
He stands up, walks to the other side of the room and pours us some glasses of whiskey, he walks back to me and hands me one glass.
‘Thanks,’ I responded before I took a swig of my drink.
‘How are you?’
‘I am fine. You?’
‘So so.’
‘What’s wrong?’
‘I have being having issues with my father, he beat me up last night.’
I shrug,’ He found out I had a phone and he became all dramatic.’
‘I see.’
I pull my shirt up and show him the bruises.
‘He did this?’
‘This is assault.’
‘Tell me about it,’ I respond taking another swig from my glass.
‘I can deal with him for you if you want. My boys can take care of him you just have to say the word.’
I bite my lower lip as I think about his offer, ‘Nah, it’s okay, I will make him pay in my own way.’
‘Okay. So what brings you here?’
‘I guess I just needed someone to talk to.’
‘And you thought of me?’
‘I see.’
‘I am sorry about what happened at the party.’
‘That is old news,’ he laughed
‘If you say so.’
‘Can I ask you something?’
‘How old are you? I want the truth.’
‘I3,’ I responded
His eyes widened in shock.
‘You are a child.’
‘I will be 14 in a few months,’ I said quickly
‘I see.’
‘Tell me more about yourself.’
‘Well I am Tiyamike Phiri, second born in a family of three,’ I began.
I told him all about my family, I told him about my mother and how she died, I narrated everything to him and he listened.
By the time I was going back home later that evening, I felt a whole lot better though I was a little tipsy. Ken drove me home, he promised to get me a new phone.
When I walked into the house, all hell broke loose, it seems the woman I had chased that morning had finally managed to call my auntie and they met up.
‘You are possessed,’ Auntie Stella yelled, ‘Today I will make sure I cast out that demon in you, it must go,’ she yelled.
She grabbed a cooking stick and tried to hit me but I held it.
‘You will not hit me with this,’ I said
I suddenly felt sick to the stomach, I looked up at her. I felt a hot feeling in the bottom of my throat before I started throwing up.

To be continued….. . . .

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