Fear..they say is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events.
They say fear is..when you Forget Everything and Run
They say Fear is…False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear.. so many meanings, so many things said.
But i would tell you what fear means to me..
Listen; come closer, i have to whisper it in your ears.
You see, it happened a little while ago..just a little over midnight, i heard it, the creaking of the door, the tiny padding of footsteps up the stairs and then the silent breathing behind my door.
It wasn’t just those things that scared me, it was the look i saw in the eyes behind the slightly opened door showing nothing but hatred, it was the sneering and teeth protruding out like baby fangs , it was the cold chill that seeped through my room door that had me chilled to my bones .
It was Her.
I’ll tell you from the beginning, but although i fear..not of what i might say, but of what might happen after i did say it.
You see, Mama had had a terrible few months before child birth. Papa used to say most days he wished he could force her to do a CS, or get the baby out into an incubator.
Mama wanted to give birth like the Hebrew women, folktales of the good book.
Mama didn’t realize that her health was deteriorating every passing day. Doctor told us one time, ”She is dying, speak to her. Her body wouldn’t be able to hold on for nine months, she would die in childbirth if she stays that long, we need to get the baby out”
Mama wouldn’t hear of it, Papa got worried. Papa stood by her, he did.
They say i came out wailing as loud as a whale. They said i ripped by mother’s core into two huge halves. They say, she held me for a few seconds, gave me my name. They said she breathed her last on my face before she slept.
They said i killed my mother. A stigma that followed me; One that tormented me.
Papa hated me for taking his wife, his love, his all. But… i never loved him less. Not even when he lashed me one time too many with his belt. Not when the bottle became his lover and his friend. Not even when he stopped caring for me as his blood. Not even when he called me the devil’s child.
I loved my father. I understood him.
Twelve years was enough to get the hang of a father who hated his daughter and going through life filled without nothing but sadness, bitterness and spite. Yes , old enough to accept my fate.
But, something happened.
You see, i was used to caring for Papa; he was my father after all. Mine. Mama left, i was left to care for him, even despite his hatred for me. For some weird reason, i felt, if that was the only way he would atleast notice me, i would take it than his silence.
Yes..something happened as i did mention.
He met her. No, not Lily, Her.
Her..was the woman he replaced my mother with. Her was the woman who came in the mornings and refuses to leave at night.
Her was the one who began to make him smile again, wash up properly and leave his lover and friend; his bottle.
Her, started making my Papa not notice me, not hate me, not..show contempt for me as before.
I didn’t like her. No, ”like” isn’t an appropriate word. Hate is.
Yes, I hated her, i wanted her gone.
But she didn’t, she didn’t. She refused to leave. My tantrums didn’t keep her away. My obvious spite didn’t budge her, my ever loud ”Leave my dad alone” only awarded me a smile, a pat on the head and then ”I love your Papa, be nice to me, i would be your new mummy”
No one would replace my mother. No one!
Her comings turned into daily routines , and daily turned into days, weeks, months..a year.
Father, stopped noticing me altogether as he did when he hated me, he even smiled at me, he even asked how i was and inquired about school.
And her, she encouraged him ”Love her better baby, she is your daughter” she would often say, and Papa would turn to me, ”Yes, she is. Indeed she is”
I should be happy, but i wasn’t. I wasn’t.
I wanted my father back to being the helpless man he was, back to being a sorry excuse of a father who hated his daughter, who didn’t care really if she lived.
I wanted him to go back to being a drunk, so i can pick up after him and drag him to bed. So i can cater to him when he soils himself. So i can be his daughter, his wife..his one..because mama left, but she left him to me.
How dare her come to take him from me?
He was mine, my papa, not anyone else but mine.
But Her, she didn’t care about my feelings, she didn’t.
So i did what i could; i wished and prayed everyday that she never returns when she leaves, but she always did. I prayed she gets hit by a car, but she always came home with smiles.
Some days i would turn on the gas, and pray she doesn’t notice till it’s too late and i get to walk all over her corpse. She always notices something was amiss.
Some days, she sees the knife’s edge pointed out inside the drawer when she opens it. Some days, she misses the hot mug of water just by a second. Other times, she jumps over the banana peel on the floor, and most times, she turns around just in time standing at the foot of the stairs right before i dare to push her.
Her, she refuses to leave her and my Papa alone.
But i was going to make her leave, i had to.
On my fifteenth birthday, Papa had wanted to pop the question, he needed a wine from the cellar.
He made her go get it while he planted a surprise in the living room with family and friends. He was on his knees, all suited up, a big smile on his face.
Everyone was excited, everyone but me.
Her? She had completely made the house her own. She had replaced my mother’s pictures with her, even Papa smelt of her.
Mother..was a faraway dream, Papa had even forgotten to visit her grave, two years now. He stopped calling her name, he..simply..forgot about her, like she was never there. All because of..
Her!…who changed everything since she came, her, he was going to marry..her, to become my new mother, her…?
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