Flash Fiction: Papa Is A Beast (Domestic Violence)

Short Story: Papa Is A Beast (Domestic Violence) Written By Akintobi Jimoh

Mama closed late because she'd to finish the customer's braids. Before we could leave her Beauty shop where I retire after closing from school, it had rained heavily. We had to wait a few hours before we eventually got a bike home. Commercial bikes were the only available transportation back home.  

I wore a short and singlet. We didn't come with our sweaters. My younger sister was shivering on the bike. The road was wet and free of cars. As we approached the middle of the major road, a car was been pushed by three men on the roadside. All of sudden, the bike man lost control, the bike skidded, and we rammed into the car been pushed.

In a matter of seconds, we were on the ground which was a tarred road. Bruises appeared on our bodies immediately. I noticed my Mama trying to hide hers while she checked our injuries. It was evident that she had more injuries because she sat behind and her body covered ours. I felt my Mama's pain, and I fought tears from my eyes. I knew there was another hell waiting for us at home. 

As we arrived home and made our way into the house, my Papa sat close to his musical tape with his favorite music playing. 

"Good evening sir", we all chanted. 

He didn't reply. I sensed the atmosphere will soon become volatile. 

Mama had us shower and clean our bodies. My sister had been put to bed, and I was to join her, but I waited. 

Mama was still in the bathroom when I heard a struggle. My father had pounced on her like a crocodile jumping on its prey that came to the river bank to drink water. 

Punches. Kicks. Cries. Curses. I had witnessed this atmosphere before, and as usual I do nothing than cry so our neighbors could maybe hear and come to my Mama's aid. 

More kicks, slaps, and punches. Clothes torn. Mama eyes swollen. Her lips broken. She was writhing in pain but won't let go.

Papa is a beast, and he always act as a possessed being when landing the heavy punches. He would have done well as a professional boxer. 

Finally, someone was knocking. I bolted for the door and opened. It was our neighbor and a beer-drinking friend with Papa. He dashed in to separate the one-sided fight, but I'd other plans. 

"My Papa is not my friend. Anyone who beats my Mama is not my friend," I thought to myself and just hit the street. I couldn't stand seeing my Mama tend to facial injuries all week. I didn't want to see my Papa anymore. "Was he even my Papa?" I asked myself.

A few weeks back, I'd followed some friends to a nearby stream to swim. It was my first time, and when I attempted a dive, I immediately got bruises from underwater strong plants roots. I got out and wouldn't try to swim again. 

I headed to that same stream. I got on the bridge that crosses over the flowing water and stopped in the middle of the bridge as I knew it was deepest part, and my friends that were already skilled swimmers wouldn't reach there. 

The time must've been around 11:30pm. I wanted to dive again. I looked around and saw flashlights aimed at my position. 

"Stop there, stop!" Said the person with the flashlight. Fear gripped me, but I hastily jumped. 

Next morning, I woke up to see my Mama asleep at the edge of my bed. I recognize the environment, it was the same hospital where I came to visit her when she gave birth to my younger sister. 

My head ached. I couldn't move my body. I felt someone was watching, then saw my Papa come nearer to the bed. I pretended to still be unconscious. 



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