We have got this heart touching story, titled: “The Thorn In My Flesh” and here is a brand new Episode for your reading pleasure and am sure you’re going to learn a lot from this story..
Gift shivered as her father approached her, pointing his index finger at her. She stood still for a while and then took to her heels and ran into the house.
Baba Gift: “will you come back here now, come back here” he said and ran after her to the room.
Gift: “I am sorry, sir” she pleaded as soon as her father came in.
Baba Gift: “what the hell were you doing with a man? Haven’t I warned you several times to stay away from men? So this is what you do right?”
Gift shook her head fearfully.
Baba Gift: “it is what you do. As soon as we step out of the house, you bring in different men. My own daughter whom I trust so much is getting spoilt under my own roof” he said and brought out his belt.
He raised his hands up and brought down the belt heavily on his daughter who was cowed in one corner of the sitting room.
She let out a yell and leapt up but her father held her down and pinned her to the floor as he flogged her mercilessly.
Baba Gift: “you say you are stubborn right? It is me that will kill you. Look at you, I am trying so hard to see that you become as intelligent as that useless cousin of yours called Toke but you are here gallivanting with men, area boys with no future ambition for that matter. Olodo like you” he cursed as he was struggling to catch his breadth from flogging her and talking on top of his voice at the same time.
Gift: “baba, please. My eyes o, yaay, I am finished today” she screamed attracting the attention of the neighbours.
Neighbours: “baba Gift, what has your daughter done this time around again? please take it easy on her o, children of nowadays, only God can help us train them. If you over beat her, she will get used to the beating and that is it o” they called out to him because baba Gift had locked the entrance door and so they could not gain access to the room.
Gift’s father ignored them and continued to beat her. When they saw that their pleas were not yielding any positive results, they returned to their rooms leaving Gift at the mercy of her father and his belt.
Gift was all messy with red marks on her body when her mother returned.
Mama Gift: “what happened here”, she asked dropping her bag on the floor as soon as she saw her daughter.
Baba Gift: “ask your prostitute of a daughter. While her mates are busy trying to come top in their class, this one is here perfecting her art of going out with touts” he said shaking his feet.
Mama Gift: “ehn! Egba mi o (somebody save me). Gift with a man? How? When? Where? Why?” she asked rhetorically, adjusting the end of her wrapper.
Gift: “I am sorry, mama” she said wiping the phlegm that was finding its way from her nose into her mouth.
“That doesn’t answer my question, start talking now before I start my own here. You know the kind of mother that you have” she said removing her shoes and advancing towards Gift who knew that another round of beating was coming.
Baba Gift: “I returned home from work not long ago and guess who I saw at the gate hugging a tout? Our own daughter. This stupid girl that I am spending so much on her education including paying for a lesson teacher so that she can meet up with my late brother’s daughter” he said.
Mama Gift: “ah Gift, you are a wicked child. So you want to give our enemies the opportunity to laugh at us right? You want mama Toke to laugh at us when you get pregnant right? Why can’t you just be like Toke for once in your life? You want to get pregnant and then people will say I am the one who didn’t give you the right home training right? No problem, just come and kneel down here” she said and pointed to the floor right below her.
Gift: “mama please, I will not do it again” she pleaded.
Mama Gift: “that is if you will survive the beating that I will give to you. Just come and kneel down here o, if you allow me come and meet you there, I will make sure I pieces this shoe on your head. I am your mother, I will kill you with my hands and bury you and nobody will ask me anything”
Gift knew better than to take her mother’s words for granted and so she approached her mother gently and knelt down. With all the pent up anger in her, her mother gave her a slap that sent her crashing on the floor. The next thing that followed were series of beatings and slaps that was so serious that Gift thought she was going to die.
After her mother had beaten her to her satisfaction, she commanded her to kneel down in the sitting room, with hands raised high above her head and eyes closed.
Her mother went into the room and brought out a heavy log of firewood and placed it on her outstretched arms.
Mama Gift: “this is where you will remain till the end of today. If you dare to bring your hands down, we will repeat that beating all over again” she threatened.
Mama Toke knocked on the door but even though she could hear voices in the sitting room, there was no response.
She knocked again and again.
Mama Gift: “who is that at the door? I am sure it is all these our aproko neighbours who cannot mind their businesses”
Mama Toke: “it is me”, she said her heart beating wild.
Mama Gift: “you who? Anyway, come in” she said and mama Toke entered. She was surprised to see Gift kneeling down with all bruises.
Mama Toke: “ah, what happened to you, my daughter” she said and drew near to touch Gift but baba Gift’s baritone voice stopped her in her track.
Baba Gift: “don’t you dare touch my daughter with your hands. I don’t even know why my wife allowed you to come in” he said .
Mama Gift: “yes, what can we do for you? I am sure you didn’t come here to ask after our daughter so mind the business that brought you here, get done with it and get out!”
Mama Toke: “oh no, this is not right now. How can you do this to your own daughter. I mean this girl is about 16 years old and there are better ways to correct her than flogging and giving her such punishment” she said out of mother sympathy.
Mama Gift: “do you know what she has done? What is your own business with how I treat my daughter? This woman you are looking for my trouble again o. That thing you are looking for in my house, you will see it o…ehn”
Mama Toke: “my sister, there are better ways of correcting the children of this generation if we don’t want them to start seeing us as their enemy. Even my daughter that is not as old as yours, I sit her down and talk to her rather than beating her all the time and then pampering her afterwards the way you pamper Gift. If not, she will get so used to the beating that it will not make the impact anymore”
Mama Gift: “I knew it. I knew that you must rub in your daughter in everything. Have you not read the portion of the holy Bible that says spare the rod and spoil the child? In fact, come and leave my house” she said and got up to push her out but…..To be continued..