The Ones That Got Away. Essay

1169 words - 5 pages

Growing up in an average Nigerian household meant doing chores, and not daring to question why you did them. Sometimes, if our parents were in a good mood we asked why they were so strict. They answered by saying it is “tough love.” Of course no one understood what that meant, so we just looked forward to getting older and moving out of the house. My grandfather was an Ivorian slave herdsman, which meant my dad sometimes went years without seeing his dad. This made him the man of the house at such an early age. This still has an effect on my dad today with him wanting to be the overseer of everything. Through blood, sweat, and tears, both my parents were fortunate enough to go to universities, and move to the city. Therefore they made it very obvious to raise us in the most humbling way one could imagine. My dad is a very principled, egoistic, and strict man. Without my dad’s knowledge we nicknamed him “the boss”. I sometimes imagined if the saying “actions speak louder than words” was written because of him. The only time he speaks is when he needed something to be done. Therefore communicating, and expressing our feelings in the house while he was around was out of the picture. Our house is always quiet as a graveyard.
We were only two children. I always guessed there were more or less of us, but who am I to question. As kids I could remember that my brother had the hardest time getting along with my dad. They would always bump heads because they were both macho men. One day my brother stole a watch from school, and brought it home. That night my dad was filled with so much anger that he had my brother tied up military style. My dad whipped my brother with a traditional cane made from a cow’s skin called koboko. This was a Northern Nigerian child’s biggest misery. My dad whipped my brother so hard that he cried so much his tears could fill a bucket. All I could hear my mum say was “I am so sorry” repeatedly. She dared not try to stop my dad from whipping my brother. My dad stormed out angrily afterwards, and my brother mumbled something that sounded like “is it because I am not your son that is why you wanna kill me?” My dad had long gone by then. My mum looked at him and gave him the “shut the hell up!” face. I was in so much shock that I could feel my legs caving in. I turned to my mum as said “do you care to explain” she answered by saying, “he is just really upset don’t listen to him.” I immediately told my mum I did not care if he was adopted he is my brother anyway. Truth was; I was really upset. Till today I still wonder if I am also adopted. I got to learn the story later on that “my brother” is my maternal cousin. His mum and dad died a year before I was born. It was my dad’s idea to take my brother in, and treat him like his own. Even at 13 I could tell that my brother was fighting the fact that my dad was his dad, and that was why there was no relationship between both of them.
My brother’s lifestyle was exactly the opposite of...

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