Suicide Note

A short story of domestic violence, betrayal, and an abrupt life stoppage worth reading.

I stare brazenly at the note before me with contempt devoid of anger or regret as life drifts out of me, every inhaled breath choking bringing my long-awaited visitor closer. It was my suicide note, I had just sniffled life out of my very self and I wait patiently for death to come knocking. As my breath meddles with the chirpings of the night’s insect, the gossiping breeze of the evening filtrates papa’s and mama’s voices to my room. Of course, they are at it again! This time I cared no more for yet a little while all this shall lay low with me in the abyss where not even the faintest memory of family or any shall tarry. Only the haunting face of Onyinye shall linger even to the land beyond. There I shall lay low in eternal rest-resting in perfect peace.

As I tried to keep my mind off the turbulence in the living room, a deafening sound infiltrated my room. Puaah! I needed no one to tell me it was a slap, the sound of that slap resounded all through the whole room reechoed by the silent whispers of the night. Mama’s enthralling agonizing wails follow thereafter. It was papa's usual way of enforcing obedience and making sure his ultimatums are not challenged. Bruises on mum’s body are ways of reminding her men are the head and have the final say. “I have told you times without numbers to leave my house” papa's raging voice reminded me.

“If it were for me I would have been long gone” mama replied melancholically “why won’t you consider this children baba Chinedu” “To hell with you and your evil of children” papa yelled at the top of his voice “you are the one that is evil, my children are not….” Kpai!, Another slap intercepted Mama’s innocent defense speech, “when I propose, no one I mean no one disposes” papa reminded. Later on, Mama’s sobs commingle with papa’s loud snores, pretentiously or not, I care less.

The house has always been like this, as the first of six children, I had struggled with this reality. My family is a battlefield where Mama and Papa are the two opposing forces. Mama suffers papa’s constant blows all for our sake, she wouldn’t leave the marriage cos she couldn’t afford to make her children motherless while she is still alive. Even when papa subjects her to all kinds of inhumane treatments, for our sake, she remains adamant about holding on to the marriage. Mama passed through thick and thin to see me through school even through my undergraduate studies. She sold the best collections of her wrappers and even slept days on empty stomach to achieve this.

Education to Mama is viewed as the only dynamic leverage to escaping poverty in the presence of a shaky economy. Little wonders, Mama’s joy knew no bounds the day I came home with my white but boldly inscribed shirt- MAMA I MADE IT. Mama had thrown a little party killing her biggest cock, that night her Thanksgiving to God trailed my mind even to sleep. I served my Nation vigorously with so much passion but yet when I was done, after four years of roaming different cities seeking employment, it was a futile effort. I returned to the village and the only thing I could boast of is my thatched house built with local bricks.

So, whenever Papa reminded Mama about wasting her resources on me, hot rods passed through my heart. Though Mama had never accosted me one day I see the silent pains in her eyes, I was supposed to be her strength and defense against dad. Today was not any different, Papa had come home again beating and yelling at my younger siblings reminding them how useless their elder brother is and how naive their mum could be. I had rushed out of the house to meet my only solution provider- Onyinye. Onyinye is the lady after my heart and the only one who has given me reasons to hold on to the struggle. Her smiles are beyond relief, she offers me shoulders to lay on and a pillow of a lap. Her listening ears are beyond comprehension while her words of advice would sink deep into my brain reminding me living alone is hope. This thought pervades my mind as I dragged my feet lazily to her house only to meet the shocker of my life.

Without knocking I had turned the doorknob to behold my beloved Onyinye under the warmth of the blanket with another man. I ran home with torrents gushing down my eyes as I gulp Mama’s one-liter phosphate herbicide she collected on credit to spray her cassava farm tomorrow. As I ruminate on all this, with my last breath I muttered “I love you Mama” even as my eyes shut to infinity




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