SHORT STORY: Let’s Hurt Together

“I heard love is pain… come on, let’s hurt together.” xXx Confusion spread across the little children’s faces as her teacher gasped “Sorry?” yet her answer wouldn’t change “I said, my daddy is a drunk. That’s what he does, he isn’t a Doctor like Akin’s daddy, he isn’t a lawyer, singer, pilot, or engineer no.…

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“I heard love is pain… come on, let’s hurt together.”

xXx

Confusion spread across the little children’s faces as her teacher gasped “Sorry?” yet her answer wouldn’t change

“I said, my daddy is a drunk. That’s what he does, he isn’t a Doctor like Akin’s daddy, he isn’t a lawyer, singer, pilot, or engineer no. My daddy is a drunk, a good for nothing drunk, with no Job or future.” The six year old Shalewa paused when she noticed her teacher’s face which was visibly distorted with fear and disgust

“At least that’s what my grandma says… ”

xXx

There was a thick line between discipline and abuse and Daddy Shalewa had long since passed that line; cries and screams were heard throughout the Adeyeye household as Shalewa’s dad rained the belt on his daughter, her breathing was slowing down and blood was very much active but he didn’t care –

“she was his daughter and he would deal with her as he pleased”

Shalewa wasn’t the only recipient of the belt as her mother joined the party when she dared beg for her daughter’s life, black and blue was a snack compared to what both Shalewa and her mother looked like when he was done with them.

But he didn’t care “She was his wife, he would deal with her as he pleased”.

Shalewa’s mother was used to this, she knew the procedures; make up, scarf and long sleeves were only enough to cover the signs.

She knew this life all too well and she was damn sure he’d come tomorrow; sober as ever with an even more creative apology than the last.

She looked at her daughter as she cleaned the last spot of blood away; “You shouldn’t have said that in class Shalewa, your daddy isn’t a drunk, he is a hardworking man that provides for the family”

Her mother grimaced as unconvincing lies rolled off her tongue, lies so sour, it left an aftertaste. But Shalewa was six not stupid.

“And Shalewa” she paused to grab her daughter by the chin and tilted her head upwards “your father only does this because he loves you” she paused again “He does it because he loves you” she repeated trying to convince more than her daughter.

And like I said Shalewa was six not stupid “Then daddy must love you too much”.

He does it because he loves you; at such a young age of six, Shalewa had accustomed to confuse anger with kindness, abuse for love.

So growing up when Grandma made a comment about her father; she would jump to his defense.

Daddy loved her and no one could change that.

This started off as a good thing, when she was little it was cute, she grew older and it was caring, people looked at her and saw a girl who saw nothing but good in her father. A girl who looked at the devil and saw a pair of White wings.

Things were all good until Shalewa grew up not knowing what safety looked like; things were all good until Shalewa constantly and consistently dropped the weight of her heart and trust in the hands of men that reminded her of her father.

Because Daddy loved her and no one could change that, not grandma, not aunty Nike and certainly not her friends; who have taken it upon themselves to have an intervention on how Kitan wasn’t shit.

How he’d never amount to shit.

“Kitan loves me, and you should all learn to accept that” she said keeping her shades in place; they had no business with what was beneath them.

But in every 5 girls, there’s the watcher.

Sadly for Shalewa; Diogo who was present and very much watching. She sat up and cross her hands across her baby breasted chest “Shalewa, take off those glasses”

Shalewa continued like she had not heard anything, if she ignored Diogo long enough, she’d mind her business but today was not her lucky day.

“Shalewa, take off tho…” Diogo stood and yanked the glasses of Shalewa’s face revealing the horror beneath.

Her eyes were swollen and bloodshot, the color purple was more than evident around her eyes and no they didn’t depict royalty.

“Shalewa??!!!” Diogo exclaimed, unluckily for Shalewa Diogo was also a lawyer who never knew how to keep quiet.

“Shalewa, the man needs to go jail. And I swear to God I’d make sure he not only does but dies there. I mean what nonsense??!! ”

Diogo was creating a scene and Adunni who was both their friends was pinching her to keep her voice low

“Adunni I hope you are not mad?? Why are you pinching me?” Diogo snapped at Adunni.

But Adunni wasn’t the least bothered “Shalewa, this has to stop. How long would you let this man treat you like this ehn? Is it until he kills you you’d know? ”

“You people have come again ooh, Kitan loves me, and he didn’t touch me” Shalewa said.

“If he didn’t touch you then explain your swollen eyes” Diogo said shameless letting her eyes eat Shalewa up and down.

“I have Apolo that’s wh… ” Diogo couldn’t let Shalewa finish that smelling statement “Come on keep quiet, you have Apolo” she paused to eye Shalewa to her satisfaction before calming down and continuing” Look Shalewa we love you, we care about you and we can’t help you if you don’t want to help yourself ”

Shalewa paused for second then held her friends hand “I don’t need help. I’m fine where I am, Kitan loves me and I love him and that’s all that matters.”

That night, Shalewa went to bed with a tear soaked pillow, and a tear stained heart, because Kitan loved her, she just wished Diogo and Adunni would see it too

Kitan loved her and that all that would ever matter.

If only she knew it was saying things like that, that killed her mother even before she died.

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