I Hate…My Mom
Sometimes, I don’t feel so excited celebrating Mother’s Day. My mother didn’t help me that much when I was little. Nearly almost 90 percent of the beatings I got from my father were as a result of my mom’s inability to restrain her mouth. My mom behaved like a student of literature. Exaggeration was her forte. For instance, I could commit a crime that a magistrate court could adjudicate but my mom will express it as if the Supreme Court may not even have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
My mom’s penchant to report me to my father for draconian punitive actions was simply needless. Many a time, I concluded that I was an adopted child. I had always anticipated to someone calling me a “bastard” for me to say “my thinking was right” but none ever came.
With my type of head, I had expected that my mom fondly remembers the trouble she went through labour and not report me to my father when I commit forgivable crimes like stealing meat from the soup pot or refusal to sell her wares (onions, pepper, salt, groundnut paste, dry okro among other ingredients required for soup making).
My mom was Hajia Fati in her own right – she could slap me and streaks of lights will criss-cross my face like firecrackers thrown into the skies on Christmas eve. Nonetheless, her slaps were a million times better than my father’s. As mom’s slap came with only lightening, my father’s came alongside with thunder. Even if the slap lacked the thunder because it was wrongly given by virtue of my position, he will add the sound with his mouth.
One day, mom sent me to buy fish for her. She gave me a 20 cedis note. The note that had Yaa Asantewaa’s portrait. On my way, I got distracted by my colleagues who were playing “small poles”, a football game of four players with four pair of goal posts. I joined, played to my satisfaction and left to buy the fish. I got there and realised that the money was nowhere to be found. The first thing that came to my mind was the words my mom said before handing over the money to me: “Please, hold it well, focus on the road. This is all I have.”
Lord have mercy on my skin! My mom reported this small matter to my father and he subjected me to the kind of beatings the angels of hell will subject hell-goers to hereafter. My father caned me saaa and finally dropped the cane and engaged me in Super Heavyweight boxing contest. I was shocked at my father’s aggression just because I lost a common 20 cedis note. Perhaps, my father didn’t know that a punishment must commensurate with the crime committed according to the theories in child psychology. So, he practically abused me. Nonetheless, I blamed my mom because we could have sorted out this issue amicably without my father’s involvement.
I remembered, on this fateful day, my mom sent me to the market to buy a gallon of kerosene. I used to sell kerosene every evening to complement the family’s budget. I went to buy the kerosene at Ajip Gas. Ajip Gas was then the centre of Tamale where many hustle and tussle of rumbunctuous mid-90s city life was rekindle. Where Filla FM is located today was in the precincts of the Ajip Gas cosmos and a few meters away stationed a gaming centre.
Among the games played at the gaming centre was a ludo die game. How was this game played? There was a number board marked 1 to 6. A player puts his or her money on any of the numbers on the board. The die is then cast or played. If the cast die showed a number same as the number you placed your money on, then you’ve won. If you place a 10 pesewa coin and win, you will receive 20 pesewas. I have seen in the past people played the game and lost and cried but I was ready to play it. It was Christmas time and I so badly wanted to buy a water gun. I have previously owned a water gun by kind courtesy of my mom’s missing coins. The immense pleasure that came with owning a water gun those days defies childhood description.
I began playing the game with the kerosene money. I was winning and losing and losing until half of the money went into the game. I couldn’t risk again. I stopped and went back to the filling station and bought half gallon of keresone.
On my way home, I created and experimented with a gamut of creative lies and ideas. But the dots were simply not connecting. Alas! The best idea came from heaven. I filled the remaining half of the gallon with water. So, I had a gallon full of water and kerosene, waterosene. I prayed to arrive home to meet the absence of my mom. My prayers didn’t work. I got home and my mom was just about to set fire for supper. As soon as I stepped into the house, my mom requested for the gallon of kerosene apparently to pour out a small amount to set the fire.
My lips started hitting each other. I was reciting Surat-ul Fathia as if that chapter of the Holy Quran was released as an abracadabra to souls transitioning into the realm of distress. My mom poured out a small amount of the waterosene and sprinkled it onto finely broken pieces of sticks on top of charcoal in a coalpot. She struck a match and sent it near the pieces of sticks and she was dumbfounded by the lack of chemistry between the match fire and ought-to-be imflammable sticks.
My mom became suspicious and subjected the gallon content to local laboratory test. She found out that there was much water in the kerosene to supply the whole village of Kumbungu for a week. She was furious even after I explained to her that I bought the kerosene “like that”. But her ominous last show “Jack gazing to boss” looks prompted me that she would yandɛi report this forgivable misdemeanour to the flesh tormentor, my father.
Indeed, she reported it to my father. My father took me down the path of a “Showdown in Little Tokyo”. It was later in the evening, I returned home to eat supper. I walked in majestically, picked my bowl of food and made myself comfortable under a neem tree on the compound. I was on my food when my father pounced on me. A morsel of tuo zaafi that was descending into my throat stopped and forcefully sprang back to my mouth. He held me tightly by the hand in a manner that no bulldozer could wrangle me out of his fist. I wailed continously and loudly for a good Samaritan to come to my rescue. Help never came. He dragged me into the room and experimented with me a sequel of Arnold Swarzeneggar’s Terminator 2. Three sub-branches of the neem tree were finished on my body.
Finally, it was just a dull day and I wanted to make it exciting with my friends. I went to two friends in the next house. They were supposed to be my evil collaborators in making an evil hole. Right on the path in front of my house, I chose a portion for the evil hole.
This is how the evil hole was made. A deep hole about two feet diameter is dug. Broken bottles, live lizard or frog follow to the bottom of the hole. Tiny broom sticks are then used to brace the mouth of the hole from one end to another. A polythene is then used to cover the mouth of the hole followed by minimal amount of dry sand to veil the polythene and veil other giveaways of impending danger.
So unlucky for koko lana, the porridge seller in the community, she fell into the evil hole trap on her way to the grinding mill. A basin of soaked maize she was carrying fell flat onto the ground. She also got a twisted ankle.
From afar with my friends, we laughed our lungs out.
I cried my eyes out the following morning when I was awaken by strokes of kinky electric wires from my father. I was so puzzled. What crime have I committed to deserve such a lugubrious good morning present. I couldn’t cry out loud but the magnifying pain each stroke delivered to my nerves was chilling. I couldn’t run out the room because the door was locked. I tried blocking some of the strokes with my hands but it was simply not a wise idea as the strokes leave visible bumped rugged wounds and blisters on my lower limbs.
He whipped me with the wire until such a time that he was satisfied. I came out of the room with mood and anger that could literally boil an egg. I removed my shirt and I was completely disfigured — every millimeter on my body was hurt with a wound, or a bruise, or a blister, or a bump.
As I assess my wounds, my silent sobs yielded to audible cry of pain and pain. My mom came out of her room and was filled with utter disgust. She came closer to me and felt a couple of wounds on my body with her finger. As she assess my wounds, tears began dropping out of her eyes and she began murmuring, crying and then eventually exploded. She registered her displeasure in plain grammar to my father for the way and manner he caned me.
My mom rants became so confrontational to an extent that my father decided to respond to her: “Are you not the one who reported the case of an evil hole he masterminded with his friends when I returned from work yesterday?” “Yes”, my mom replied my father, “I reported him but is that how to correct a child?” My father knew very well that he over caned me so he was bit tolerant of my mom’s shakara. My father himself observably was truly sorry but the Dagomba man in him made him kept a stern face to veil his unintended wickedness to a poor innocent child. My father was just lucky that Multimedia’s Joy FM was not birthed at that time.
My mom was a Reporter General but I knew she regretted reporting this small and forgivable crime to my father. She regretted it truly.
Well, I can’t tell the many instigated stories of my mom that led to my beatings. But those unrestrained reporting of every crime I committed went a long way to making me who am I today.
So, this brings us to the elliptical heading of a conclusion, “I Hate (The Way I Love) My Mom”.
Source: Hanan-Confidence Abdul