Part 3 - Confessions Of a Changed Person - On Fathers Day 20 June - MVK

We ultimately reached our eldest sister's place three kilometers away at around five or so. Our journey from our home to there was the longest I have traveled so far in my life. The longest in the sense that I was only 11, afraid and full of questions as to why was all these were happening to us. What happened to our family? or was is it all a bad dream that I would wake up from. All these questions shot through my mind like bullets from a machine gun and none of them hit the target anyway instead they left me as blank as a they found me. The next thing I vividly remember asking again and again in my head was; was there really a God out there? I used to hear my parents talking about God in our home and my dad was himself a preacher, and we used to have Church at our home ever Sunday. At that time I must confess that I doubted the existence of God simply because I kept asking questions and for some reasons only known to him, He never felt obliged to reply. On reaching our sisters place we did not even know how to explain our sudden unexpected arrival, moreover in this bad weather.

We were soaked to the skin and shivering, and we did not have any spare clothing so logic prevailed and my sister stripped us bare and hung our clothes around the coal stove to dry them up, as for ourselves we sat between the wall and the stove and our raw goose bumped flesh very much welcomed the heat. I managed somehow to tell our story and my sister let us stay. The next morning we woke up around 9 as it was Saturday. And as a child you don't really know what the next step shall be but it does not mean that you have no questions. Back then kids our age were not as expressive as children are today as a result it made communicating with elders quite difficulty. So the obvious happened; we let life elders decide what was going to happen with us. Around 12 in the afternoon my father came to my sisters place. Seemingly he was aware that this would be the most obvious place for us to seek refuge. At that time I knew that I hated with perfect hatred if there was such a thing as that. I did not even care about him and I pretended that I never knew him.
We thought that He just came to see if we were there but instead we would later realize that he brought us more trouble instead. In the house he spoke to my sister and her husband for some time and by the time he was leaving he called my younger brother who was eleven and left with him. To me this seemed quite odd to because I though if he was ever going to take anyone back home it was supposed to be us both, and not just one. I learnt later that I was the more fortunate that he never took me but opted for my younger brother. My sister went to our home over the weekend to fetch my clothes and it was obvious that I was going to stay here. But what about my brother; what happened to him? no one said anything about him and I concluded that since he was younger and the last born of the family maybe my father felt that he should at least keep him.

My life at my sister's place started to become a nightmare within a week or so. I began to wake up at 4 in the morning; make the fire; clean up the house; sweep the yard and polish the stoeps etc. When such things happen to you for the first time you don't normally panic a lot as a kid, especially if a family member makes you do them. This went on for weeks and slowly but surely more tasks were added to my daily schedule until I ended up cooking for the family; I did the washing for everyone; and became a full time nanny to my sisters three kids. Within a month I was no longer going to school officially because I could not go until all my tasks were done and this would normally be at around 12 midday.
I tried hard to adjust to the situation and also to let my mind conform to the new pattern. It took just over a month before I could realize that I have never seen my mother. Was she okay or did she abandon us as well? Well, as a kid who do you ask when it's obvious that you are alone. You wait for whatever shall come up. I waited.

One Saturday morning I was awakened by something I never imagined. I heard a very distinctive and familiar voice; it was my mothers voice. I thought to myself; it can't be her, I must be dreaming and maybe I should not let the excitement go to my head. I decided to go and investigate the source of the voice and there was my mother in the kitchen with my sister. She did not look very happy at all I could tell because even the sound of her voice was not friendly at all. At least there shall be some answers. I cried uncontrollably and ran to her, she pulled me to herself in a very aggressive motherly gesture that made me know without words that my deliverance had come. She started asking questions about my younger brother as well. apparently she went to our home last night and found that we were no longer staying with my dad. At that moment I think I came out of my "overdrive" and became a kid. I did not care about anything or anyone else in this whole world, my mom was here and I was not going to let her go. MVK

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