It was night. I was watching something on TV in the living room. My smallest sister was at a birthday party. My mum was in the kitchen. My dad came into the house, into the kitchen from outside. Words were spoken.
Those words were about ownership documents for a car, that should have been dealt with in a particular way by my mum, but were not. It was something as insignificant seeming as that.
But it was not insignificant to my dad at that time. Something had obviously magnified it in his mind. Had he been drinking? Was this the butt end of a really bad day? Was this a straw for a camel’s back? Or were there other things at play here that I had no knowledge of? I have no idea. I never thought about it.
Whatever the case, it meant that the car that Dad had just sold to the man was still in Dad’s name.
So, if the man had an accident, then he could walk away and say that it was not his car; that he was not in the car at all. If someone was killed, then he could leave the scene and the police would come looking for my dad. If the car were witnessed committing an act of genocide, then the consequences would have rested entirely on my dad’s shoulders.
Whether all this went through his mind as he hit my mum is something I’ll probably never know. All I understand is that he seemed to hold her responsible, and he hit her.
I heard the sound of it from the next room. I was too afraid to move. I was eighteen and so was technically a man. But at the time, I felt like a small child, scrunched up in a corner waiting for a storm to blow over. I could no more have moved from that seat than I could have changed the path of a tornado with the fluttering of my eyelashes.
And everything has consequences. I can feel them running through me now – as wild and free as the wind, despite a lifetime of building windbreaks like a crazy man. Possibly it’s time to let them all blow to smithereens. Maybe it’s time that I let all of this go now. Probably it is – yes.