HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

HOME IS A SORROWFUL TALE

It all began from a mere phone call from my womaniser friend, Jack. Jack is one of those buddies who never introduces you to the women he knows. For reasons he can only fathom. But this time he put me through.
"Osoch.." He said with his altar boy voice. "There's this girl I want you to meet, more so listen to her story. Strictly business!! " Huh!  I thought to myself, such courtesy was surprising. Anyway, he sent me the girl's number. After nights of chats on WhatsApp, littered with a few weird emojis. I finally agreed to meet with this mysterious girl. I can't say I was attracted to her.But something was calling me, pulling me.

Here was the girl. On the other side of the table. She smiled coyly and took another gulp from her bottle. She was drinking from those bottles strictly written, 'not for sales for persons under 18.' I am over 18. But that night I wasn't in the mood. So I slowly sipped my Stoney "madiaba." I know some folks in lavington don't know what madiaba is. If you don't, ask your parents, if they don't ask, yourself if you're really Kenyan. This girl had a ring on her nose. I'm not judgemental but I wished to ask her if that ring meant she was married or she was smelling marriage? I did not. Of course she's underage. So we continued drinking in a ghostly silence. My eyes grazed around the room, observing other revellers. Wondering what they were thinking, how their alcohol tasted. Then the girl brought me back to the moment. She said. "You make me laugh." Well, I make a lot of people laugh and so I took it as a complement. I was contemplating on how best to manoeuvre a conversation out of her. No strategies were forthcoming. So I went straight for the  jugular, no shortcuts, no roundabouts. "Tell me about your family. "

Her voice was sweet. The kind you can stomach hearing in the morning. When you're nursing a certain strong hangover and the world seems to be pitted against you. She straightened her hair, looked at her fingers, looked to the ceiling and finally into my eyes. Like she was searching for a long-lost secret. She sighed, smiled and then with a poetic voice. She plunged into the narrative about her home. A story which in the end left me broken,shattered. A rag of a man. She began.

"The music of my life is sad this days. The air around me reeks of vitriol and impotent despair. I seem to be sinking in a sea of moribund desolation. For me, my mother, the much terrifying apocalypse is here. But the angels are not white and we're not in Jerusalem. It's a different city. Above me, dark angels and legions of black crows perpetually hover. In their graceless flight, as if paying homage to our suffering. They flap there seemingly invisible wings. Which in their wake, offset ashen gusts of sarcastic winds. Leaving me engulfed in this one, massive, misty storm of raw disarray. I try to wipe my tears, there are none. My eyes, cheeks are barren, dry as the Sahara. Even drier. So most of the time I sit in my room, more of a dungeon. Desolation slowly chewing me up from within. The walls appear to be closing in. Like they could just crush me, they don't. All they do is stand there. Staring, watching, their gaze unflinching. Silent sentinels. Guarding me from a raped and violated world. Also guarding the world from me.

For me, the past is a foggy enclave. The present is a narrative of fiendish brutality. The future, yes the future, is an animal I am yet to meet. But by each chime of the wall clock. The future knows I am coming. All I can hope is that it will be a friendly beast. One I can hug, one I can kiss. All this are but streams of wishes, bridges I am yet to cross. And that's who we are. Us sapiens, dreams are the sounds of tomorrow.

At this moment, I have no idea where my younger brother is. Nobody ever seems to know where the bastard is. My mother most likely is on her knees. She's not sobbing like me but sorrow is painted all over the parchment I call her face. She's a monument of sadness. A perfect embodiment of battles unwaged. Grievances never raised. Burdens unspoken and a fate submitted to. Our eyes always converge in  uneasy flashes. In her impassive eyes. I see sorrowful stories, millions of questions. Raging like flood waters in the Athi.
Why did she marry this man?
Why did God, in all his might. Lead her to such a Savage?
In her I see a once strong inferno. But now relegated to just a dying ember, a result of the belligerent whipping and never ending harassment. Sometimes closes her eyes as if to meditate but a swift slap pulls her out of this stupor. She reels, stumbles and falls, blood oozing out of her mouth. You ask, who slapped her???

The Savage in question is a man termed as my dad. At least that's how I've known him in the 18 eventful years of my life. I hate him by all standards. But do I have a choice. This moron fathered me. I was the winning sperm in a marathon with billions of other contestants. How I wish I had lost the race. Maybe even trampled upon the way. Sadly here I am, witnessing horror at it's apogee.

This man, belongs to that elite clique men who have made it in life. Going by the debonair he is. The esoteric tastes. Cars, imported whiskey, dead gorgeous mistresses, just to quote a few. For the record, this man is not a mythic rags to riches narrative who will capture your imagination. He was born with two silver spoons in the mouth and a fork of gold.
Now he runs a dissipating business empire but still manages to rake in lots of money. Money, we never get sight of.

In a way, I think this father is better suited for a career in Hollywood. To the world, he is angel Gabriel incarnate. A loving, generous and modest family man. During church events, he's always quoting the holy verses. Saying them by heart, how God has been good to him. Gifting a beautiful family. In giving "sadaka" he always offers more than the stated 10%. Sometimes I think he's trying to bribe God. I always wish I could just scream in face.. "Go to hell you liar!!" I don't. In church he is always holding mother's hand and once in a while kissing me on the forehead. Depicting a dotting family man to the ever watchful lambs of God. This has won him a flock of admirers and sometimes I think. What if he opened a church?  Boy! he would give the Kiunas a run for their money.

On getting home, his transformation is quick. From an emissary of light, to an apostle of darkness. He beats  mother like a slave. Neglecting us like we're vermin. In truth, he never does anything for us. He blows up all his cash on a harem of mistresses, booze,gambling and other covert activities I'm yet fully grasp. Mama makes peanuts on her lousy job. She tries her best to support me and my ever absent brother buts it's just not enough. Mama isn't a saint, to make ends meet she cheats too. I don't blame her. It's just funny that her rag of a husband has never noticed. I don't blame him either. He's too busy eloping with university girls and destroying his liver with alcohol. Personally the death I've chosen for myself is epic, more dramatic, more eloquent and certainly more enjoyable than dying from a failed liver. But still here I am with you, drinking. I know I will stop

How I wish there were ways I could fight this fight this father of mine. The justice department maybe. He'll! We've tried but this demon is just too connected, and nobody believes our version of the story. And this leads to more misery so we stopped. Thus we're left dangling over an abyss of hopelessness. It's like walking on the edge of precipice. For us tomorrow is today. Today, tomorrow. It's bleak, it's savage, it's unforgiving.

Mama is being whipped I know and she can no longer hold. Her heart has been shredded to smithereens. The floodgates of her eyes will pop open and woosh... The tears will come pouring down. Somehow, I feel this peculiar gladness when I see her weep. The tears will at least absolve the pain I know. One lesson I've learnt. Love is a two faced edifice. One side, a continuous, blood war is eternal war is waged. The other is a paradise of peace, tranquility and love. Which side of the face do you prefer??"

Was this a rhetorical question or she wanted me to answer it. I didn't. Instead I took her hand,and led her out of the pub. She leaned on my shoulder as we left. Two lost souls into the darkness. Where we went after, I can only discuss in the presence of my lawyers.

Inspired by a true story. This is happening to one of my friends,who won't be named for obvious reasons. Share and let's fight this demon of domestic violence.
Follow on gram @_osoch

As told by my eyes. OSOCH OGUN .
©OSOCH2018.

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