The Scar: The Kids Are Watching
Written by Sonia Okehie
They say “history always repeats itself” and to be honest, there’s an atom of truth in that harmless statement. Have you ever wondered why kids that were raised in abusive homes and environment sadly turn out to be abusive as they grow older, while kids raised in a loving home and environment turn out to be loving and affectionate as they grow older?
Domestic violence is a very sensitive issue and practice that is unfortunately passed from one generation to another without any atom of hope for this sad practice ever coming to an end. Ever wondered why they say “an apple never falls far from the tree”? Well, that’s because behaviours and practices don’t just spring up from thin air, but are rather nurtured and groomed. When next you raise your hands to beat your wife or husband, pause for a minute and realise that the kids might be watching that act of anger and it can permanently damage the moral standards and mindset of a promising young boy or girl. Grab your pop corns and get ready for a lesson-filled tale. Your ready? I bet you are; now gently enjoy the ride down the reality check of an abusive couple.
Several years ago, Dominic and Lizzy tied the knot in the presence of their family and friends. It was such a dream come true for the couple who barely courted but rushed into marriage because they were head-over-heels in love with each other then. After what seemed like a heart warming wedding ceremony, the newly weds eloped to an unknown destination for their Honeymoon.
The honeymoon lasted for two weeks and during that time, the couple could hardly get their hands off each other. It was 2 weeks of blissful intimacy and erotic moments. There and then, their union felt as though it was ordained and blessed by God, but how long did that bliss last? Well, not for too long.
Years passed and the couple were blessed with a handsome son. Just when we all felt their union grew stronger as the years went by; sadly, the reverse was the case. From little arguments every now and then, to bigger and unresolvable quarrels.
It first started from mere shouts and snapping of fingers but later graduated to throwing slaps and punches. A once happy family now turned into a deadly war zone. One unfortunate thing about the situation was the fact that both couple were too hot headed for one another. None was humble for the other and also, none was willing to summit to being at fault whenever there was a fight.
You know what they say about “two wrongs never making a right”? Well, that was the case with Dominic and Lizzy. The abuse came from both sides and not from one party alone. Due to this, it was hard for the circumstance to be curtailed and controlled. The slaps and punches came from both sides and this usually left the couple with bruises and cuts on their bodies.
As time went by, Lizzy began to feel weak and unable to compete with her husband’s strength due to her feminine nature. Due to this, Dominic always had upper hand and power in their fights. He would drag her hair and throw her on the sharp furniture edge whenever she tried fighting back. What initially seemed like a subtle abuse grew and developed into a serious domestic violence case in the union of these couple. I wonder why divorce wasn’t an option of escape from the hell they now found themselves in; maybe they just didn’t want the outside world to have a glimpse of their troubled marriage.
Little by little, Micheal ‘their son’ began to sense the negative and hostile atmosphere and energy that surrounded their household. As at the age of 7, he had already witnessed series of fights from his parent. Most times, the tender boy would come to the defence of his battered mum by holding her from behind; in the bid to shield her from the mighty punches of his dad but his innocent efforts were always in vain.
Most nights, the emotionally tortured boy would hide himself in his room with his hands forcefully pressed against his ears to prevent himself from hearing the shouts that came from the living room or his parent’s room. It was such a nightmare for the little boy to grow up in such environment but sadly, there wasn’t any way out.
As years passed, Derrick’s mind began to get messed up due to the constant abuse that played out almost everyday in his presence. Gradually, the teenage boy began to feel that women were weak and ought to be manhandled as a way of propelling them to get things done. Another sad thing was that he felt violence was the perfect and only love language that women understood.
Now without any reasonable doubt, it’s apparent that another beast was breeding to be unleashed into the outside world very soon. Too bad there was no one close enough to the troubled teenager to be able to correct the wrong mindset his abusive parents had successfully instilled in him. Too bad indeed!
Just as we felt the worst had happened, it’s clear we weren’t ready for what was ahead. One fateful day, something highly unfortunate happened while Lizzy and Dominic were in a severe fight. It happened that Dominic was trying to free himself from his wife’s grip after she accused him of sleeping with a close friend of hers. That fight initially started like one of their numerous previous fights but no one had any clue that something drastic was about to happen.
“You are a big fool, I regret the day I married you. Today you must kill me or I kill you…big fool” Lizzy flared up as she held Dominic with all her strength. “Leave me alone you mad woman; C’mon leave me!” he struggled to free himself while throwing punches at his wife. As they kept dragging themselves up and down, Lizzy mistakenly pushed Dominic too hard that he forcefully fell on the glass centre table and the glass shattered on his body. Sadly, a large part of the glass wasn’t completely shattered and that sharp edge pierced through his back and punctured his belly.
Immediately after the incident, Lizzy’s eyes cleared but it was too late because Dominic was gasping for his last breath. Confused on what to do, the devastated lady picked race and ran out of the house; leaving her dead husband lying on the cold parlour floor.
As Lizzy nervously ran out of her matrimonial house in a bid to escape, a motorcycle on speed that wasn’t alert collided with her and that was her instant end. Passer-bys gathered the scene and everyone began to shout on top of their voice for help. On seeing Lizzy lying helplessly on the ground, one could tell straight-up that she was dead on the spot but they still managed to rush her to the hospital.
There was double fire on the mountain but no one was aware yet. The neighbours ran inside the couple’s house in hopes to alert Dominic that his wife had just been involved in an accident, that was when they saw the man lying in cold blood in the living room. It was at that moment that hell broke loose.
There was screaming from every angle and the more the neighbours screamed, the more others gathered the scene. The police were alerted and they came with an ambulance to carry Dominic’s dead body to the mortuary.
A day that started off as a usual day for another quarrel episode, sadly turned out to be a day that Derrick lost both parents and automatically turned into an orphan. What a sad reality to digest indeed for the teenage boy who just got back from school that day.
Now, the most shocking thing that happened that day was after the sad news was broken to the 17 year old boy, he didn’t shed a single tear. Mere looking at Derrick, you could tell that he had already been broken and rendered emotionless long before that day. It felt as though he had a substantial amount of shock absorber; hence the reason he was able to stomach his parents death without letting a single emotion show.
All through that day, Derrick was quiet and didn’t say a word. Well wishers and neighbours broke down in tears as they saw the little boy sitting quietly without saying a single word. All they could do was imagine what was going through his head; if only they knew!
After that incident, Derrick was taken in by his grandmother from his mother’s side. The burial arrangements were made promptly and the couple were buried alongside each other. The energy at their burial was off to the extent that the clouds were dark all through. Derrick was indoors all through the burial ceremony and didn’t come out for once to pay any respect to his dead parents. It was such a sad day but the worst was yet to come because Dominic and Lizzy had succeeded in killing any chance at a normal and happy life for Derrick. Too bad!
Days tuned to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Thankfully, Derrick did extremely well in his academics because he didn’t have a social life at all. He graduated in flying colours, which landed him a well paying job at one of the best telecommunication companies in his city. Since his grand mum was aging gracefully, she began to bother him for a grand child.
Initially, Derrick felt he could dodge his grandmother’s numerous questions but couldn’t do so any longer as time went on and the persistence continued. In order to grant her wish, he finally settled down with a beautiful lady he had been seeing for sometime.
They didn’t date for long before getting married. The naive beautiful lady felt as though she hit a jack pot by marrying Derrick because at that time, he had so many ladies that were crushing on him. The eligible bachelor was a spec and everyone wanted him to be theirs. If only they truly know who was behind those dry and faint smiles; if only they did!
Sadly, a lot of people skip the dating stage these days and just jump straight into marriage; which is why they are usually in for a great shocker as time goes by because a person’s character can’t be hidden forever. The dating stage would have been the best time to spot any red flags so as to know your final verdict. Too bad Derrick and his Beau ‘Naya’ skipped that stage. Few weeks after the newly weds got joined together, the dark hunted side of Derrick unknowingly surfaced.
One fateful evening, Naya stayed out late due to the workload she was tied down with at the office. As a good wife, she informed her husband via text about the development but didn’t get any reply from him. She waived it off as though he wasn’t with his phone and carried out with the work she had to attend to.
After about 7pm, Naya returned home but wasn’t aware that Derrick had been waiting for her in the living room with the lights turned off. Immediately she entered inside the parlour and turned on the lights, she almost dropped dead when she saw her husband sitting just beside the door.
“Oh my! Baby you scared me” she innocently said but before she knew it, Derrick held her neck very tight till she almost chocked to death. “Don’t ever stay out this late again” he coldly said and release his grip from her neck. Without uttering another word to his wife, he walked away.
Devastated and shocked to the brim, Naya sat on the cold floor, held her chest and nervously muttered; “What just happened?”