It is true what they say.
Nature versus nurture is actually a thing.
Children born and raised by the same parent can be so different in ways that raises significant concern.
Silas (my stepmother’s remaining child) was surprisingly different from his mother and his other dead siblings.
Silas was the only one amongst my stepmother’s children that spoke with me like a “human being”. We played together every time my stepmother was not at home but the second, she got back, he dared not come close to me.
Most of the times my stepmother would deprive me of food, Silas would always try to find a way; he’d always attempt to sneak me something; anything, ranging from biscuits, to making sure he doesn’t finish his food so I could have what’s left of it, to sometimes even attempting to bring up my “not haven eaten situation”, to Daddy.
Never had Silas ever succeeded in any of these attempts though but, I guess his intentions were all that mattered after all.
Oluchi took a special liking for Silas, after I told her one day that he was the only source of happiness I had at home.
The day my stepmother designed my back with a razor blade and smeared it with pounded pepper, you should have seen Silas that day, crying.
Seeing Silas cry so passionately, you’d have assumed that he was somehow linked to me; feeling every bit of the pain I was feeling.
Even though my stepmother later found her supposed “lost fifty naira”, I still carry the marks; the scars from that allegation, till date.
It was just like every other Sunday. We arrived at church earlier than usual.
Daddy was supposed to meet us in church, later that day. He was returning from his three weeks journey.
It was during a “praise and worship” session. Everyone was just beginning to get in the “groove” of praises when something strange gradually began to happen to my stepmother.
My stepmother who had rhythmically been moving to the beat suddenly began to behave unusually. She was all over the place, dancing more than necessary.
Hell! My stepmother was dancing “off beat”.
Earlier on, while the sermon was going on, at a point, my stepmother was laughing unnecessarily, even when there was nothing humorous about that part of pastor Isaac’s preaching.
Pastor Isaac soon signaled at the pastor on the pulpit to hold.
Everyone’s eyes were now very much fixated on my stepmother.
It had now become very obvious that something was indeed, wrong with the woman.
A small crowd of prayer warriors had now begun to gather around my stepmother. Prayer warriors, who at this point must have already assumed that nothing about this unusual display was ordinary.
They all began to “Cast and Bind”.
Thunderous prayers from all angles began.
My stepmother’s restored sanity was their prayer point.
Even though I had no idea what exactly was going on, I closed my eyes too, to pray for my stepmother.
But I was not sure whether I wanted that woman’s condition to change for the better or worse.
Everyone in church had now been praying for my stepmother for well over thirty minutes before her sudden shout and screams of “wanting to talk”, had pastor Isaac ordering the prayers to come to a halt,
“In Jesus name we pray”.
The whole church thundered “Amen”.
Pastor Isaac then proceeded to ask my stepmother, “What do you want to talk about sister Ire…?”
“…I killed Helen! I killed James! I killed my children! There you have it. I killed them! I kill them out of my wickedness. I killed them! I killed them! I killed them”.
My stepmother sprung up and began to dance to the rhythm she had now gotten from the repetition of “I killed them.”
“Blood of Jesus!” The entire church roared in unison; in surprise.
Not even pastor Isaac could hide his shock at this revelation.
Even though they’d heard this from the “horse’s mouth”, it was a hard pill to swallow. No one could believe any of it. They couldn’t believe that their very “beloved, angelic and inspiring mother in the lord” could be capable of this kind of atrocity.
“Sister Ireti! Why? Why did you kill them? How could you kill your own children? What could they have done to you, to have deserved such cruelty? What have they done that you couldn’t possibly have forgiven them; your own children?” A voice from the crowd echoed, with a lot of anger embedded in every word.
Just in the heat of these, my Daddy showed up.
Apparently, he had entered the church just around the same time his wife was confessing to having killed his children.
To be continued…
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