Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday meetings

I met my father's mistress on a Thursday. Contrary to what my mother had so bitterly said, Fouzia was not an ugly, spineless witch with a face pockmarked like a diseased gourd. She was tall, pretty and with skin so smooth, it almost looked like settled dark dust. Her smile was small but pleasant. She was on her guard and so was I.

"I don't want to go with her." I said simply. No, I did not think she was the evil woman that my mother said she was, but the fact was that she was not his wife. That woman was probably curled up in her bed, sick with worry of what similar poison her youngest child was being fed against her. That woman was my mother. And she was very unhappy.

Rekiya, my older sister had slapped me when I told her I would make the trip.

"Fool" she spat in my face, "how can you betray Mama?"
I did not cry, even as the stars swam before my eyes and the pain ricocheted across my face.
"He told me I should come", I said proudly. She was jealous. Papa had told me to come and not her. And I had. And he was passing me off on Fouzia.

"What did you say?" he asked in his soft quiet voice, a voice I remembered being read to with which now dripped with disappointment. I tried not to flinch.
"I will not go with her. I will not go with your whore." I told him.

He slapped me. For the first time in my thirteen years, he raised his hand against me and slapped me. Right there, on the front steps of the balcony where he lived with his mistress. My head was knocked aside and I held it there, lolling to the side, resting on my left shoulder while he stood over me, his hand raised as if to strike again. He didn't.

"You can go back to your mother." he said simply. Years later, I would marvel at how his voice remained steady. I couldn't speak. My heart was racing so fast that had I opened my mouth, my tears would have washed it out of me.

He left me there, hurting, his mistress only a few feet away, standing outside infront of the house. The sun was suddenly so hot that my skin prickled.

"Come out of the sun, " Fouzia said, simply.

I looked up then from the place on the sand where my tears had fallen and immediately disappeared within its heat.

"This is your fault." I said to her. I tried to spit but all my saliva had fled with the slap and my mouth was dry.

Fouzia chuckled. It was a slow and mirthless sound.
"Of course. It was me that slapped you ba?"
It could have been mocking but for some reason, it wasn't.


Then I started to cry.

15 comments:

Enkay said...

A soulful picture you have there at the bottom of the post.
Speaks volumes.

The complexity of human relationships.

But the story just began abi?

Emilia said...

It is always sad when children are caught up in adult relationship.... Was the mom still with the father or he was cheating openly?

miz-cynic said...

this is not a true story obviously....but then again...wht do i know....i enjoyed it thougha nd i think fouzia made a good point N IS PROBABLY A GOD WOMAN.

chayoma said...

Beautiful story ,u've got here...
such breakups in relationships leave the little ones confused!

SHE said...

"you" didnt really feel that Fouzia was a whore, did you?
"you" were just trying to take your mother's side. Probably echoing something you'd heard her say...

Nefertiti said...

I loved this. It was so clear in my head.

So will "you" go back to your mother? Fouzia seems like a nice woman, but I dunno. Maybe "ur" mom knows something we all don't.

gishungwa said...

this story leaves me with mixed emotions. Sad that the child has to sort of choose

SouLBoutiQue said...

This was good! I was rushing to continue reading! sad though, I pray I never have to experience something like this EVER!
Ag

Dante said...

This has a clean thing to it.
Very concise..maybe cos of the simple words used.
I enjoyed it.

Temite said...

I love your short stories. They are simple yet profound. I wish I could write like you. brilliant!

guerreiranigeriana said...

...wow...more!!!...more!!!!...

ibiluv said...

nice.......very noice

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

So, if it wasn't mocking, what was it? Mere amusement?

Nice one though and I am left puzzled as to where Fouzia's last statement came from, emotionally.

bArOquE said...

ok, not knowing where from or where to, but i think i like the story & Fouzia, she seems stressless...please dont cry, you brought it on yourself for speaking to papa that way.

beautiful story

InCogNaija said...

u never let me down. i have missed the hell out of you!!!