I had just finished a compulsory national service and everyone was expecting me to land permanent employment. My parents were convinced that since I had a very good degree, I had no business staying home. Having what is regarded by society as successful parents is very difficult. My Dad was a retired military officer and my mum was on the road to retirement after serving as a Civil servant for years.
Even though we weren’t the richest in the community, we commanded so much respect to the extent that making friends in the community was becoming extremely difficult. They were either scared of my Dad or were unsure whether they would be accepted in the house. It got to a point where I was unable to live my life like any other child in the community. It was as if they regarded me as an angel of a sort. As soon as I start doing what everyone is doing, you will see people looking at me weirdly. To them, I wasn’t a normal kid. It wasn’t until I got to SHS that I understood their reservations.
I didn’t report to school on time because there was an accident in town and I was in traffic for almost 2 hours. When I got to school, Mr. Eric, a mathematics teacher got so furious and beat the hell out of me. It was so bad that I had obvious scars. When my Dad saw me, it was as if he became possessed by the devil.
He drove me to school, something he has never done before. Took out his spare leather belt. He obviously hid it after mum took all other equipment he was planning on using. I wasn’t sure what he wanted to do and in as much as I wanted him to take action, a voice kept telling me to stop him. I knew it was too late to stop him so I followed his military commands. I led him to the staff common room and pointed out the teacher. Without saying a word, he walked over to him and started beating him mercilessly. Mr. Eric was helpless, nobody could hold or convince my Dad to stop. Looking at how embarrassing the scene was turning, I jumped in and he stopped.
“Nonsense, you beat someone’s child as if he is a donkey. Next time, I will lock you up….!” He said and stormed out of the room. I buried my head and went straight to my class. Throughout the day, no one spoke to me and I couldn’t also do the same. That was the beginning of the end for me. No teacher spoke to me directly. It was very disheartening to the extent that I had to change schools for the 3yrs in SHS. My final year was a lot better because I insisted on going far away from home.
I had the breathing space to do whatever I wanted to. No one knew my identity so I did blend in perfectly. I made some amazing friends and had a very happy time.
My life has always been nicer without my parents’ shadow hovering around me…. (Story Continues)
Written By: Benard Makafui Mordedzi