With one hand he held me
And with the other he held the kettle
My fore head broke out in cold sweat
As the steam escaped from the opening.
Dragging me along with him to the back of the house
He poured the hot content on my bare feet
Even as mama watched
Begging him with tears in her eyes.
My step father was as mean as the devil himself.
He hated me so much and he didn’t hide it.
I had grown up knowing the back of my house as a place of my perpetual torment
If he wanted to punish me
He always did it at the back of the house
My poor mama was helpless against my huge, imposing step father
Mama was just a little woman compared to him
Nnayi Biko! Osiso!
She begged and begged
But my step father was deaf to her entreaties
He ordered me to put out my foot
Taking turns, he poured the hot scalding content on my bare feet.
Nne mo! Nne mo!
I shouted feeling the heat pierce through my tissues
Dissolving my supple skin into an unhealthy mass of bulbs
Mama carried me on her back when the deed was done
Laying me on her bamboo bed
She cried with me
That was all she could do.
Two months after the incidence
I had recovered but not without some ugly scars
Scars that we’re not only printed on my flesh
But deep within the muscular fibers of my heart
I had just clocked fourteen
And my step father’s attitude had taken a strange turn
He suddenly became nicer
I thought he had seen the foolishness of his actions
And had decided to love me
But I was soon proven wrong
He had entered my room
One fateful night
The room was dark and my lamp had gone out
I saw the form but I wasn’t sure
Then I felt a huge hand on one of my breasts
Squeezing hard like there were some hidden treasures within the tissues
And another hand clamped over my mouth
My eyes widened in terror
I became frantic
When I felt his weight over me
This was it
I had had enough
It was time to teach this lousy bastard a lesson
I reached out for an object
And brought it hard against his head
He screamed and then fell off
I grabbed my wrapper and rushed out of the house
By morning, it was crystal clear
I had killed my step father
My mama cried her eyes out while the neighbors
Called me a witch
I stood there glaring at all of them
My eyes tear free
I was just fourteen
Yet I had lived torment
At the hands of my step father
I was just an innocent fourteen year old but I had committed murder
I wasn’t proud but I wasn’t regretful either
I had endured enough
And when push comes to shove
Even the goat bites .