Should I just slap myself? I think I need to, O di mkpa. My name is Chizaram Pearl, I’m 15, the last born in a family of six; my sisters, Kosi Doris, 20, our first born, Ebere Evelyn, 18, the second child and my brother, Kelechi Samuel who appears to be the first and only son, but we love calling him Kaycee, he’s 13 years old. We are all under the parental care of Mr and Mrs Chikwado Okoh. Daddy is the principal of Kandi Comprehensive College where I and my brother are presently studying, my final year in the secondary school sha. Kosi was already in the University studying Fine and Applied Art, she’s in her second year. Ebere is still waiting for admission. And mummy works at a radio station, no wonder she wants me to study mass communication so that I’ll be a broadcaster. Fah, I want to study business administration. She has really done her best convincing me to study mass communication, story for the gods.
In our family, we have two trouble makers, my brother and I. I remember the day we fought till we got tired. I can’t really remember what caused the fight but it was on a Saturday. We were fighting and mum pushed us into a room to fight without being separated. After some minutes, she came in and locked the door. The devil succeeded in making us fall into his trap sheepishly. She flogged the hell out of us, opiafulu anyi my God. I’ll never forget that day and also the day when we nearly broke our plasma TV, we were dragging soup and we ended up littering the sitting room with soup. How I escaped from punishment, I don’t know but I just succeeded in heaping the blame on Kaycee, after all, he caused it, onwerozi respect for ndi toro ya.
Friday, my favorite day of the week. I was preparing for school, my uniform was rumpled and the NEPA people no wan bring light. Just as I was about leaving the house, power was restored. I pulled everything off and ran to the ironing board, unfortunately, my brother had taken over the iron but he wasn’t going to school that day. I begged him but he refused and started ironing one mufti like that. I surged at him and started dragging the iron with him and in the process, I burnt his cloth. In retaliation, he grabbed my shirt and tore it. I was enraged, I pulled him by the neck, tore the cloth he was putting on, I slapped and kicked him, he did the same, add biting join. The thing pained me, I hit him on his lips and blood started gushing out. Unfortunately, he lost a tooth in the process. I started digging my grave, I wondered the kind of punishment I’d receive, maybe only beating. I won’t be killed, would I? I felt remorse, I started apologizing, which kain devil be this kwanu? I regretted my actions, honestly, I did, wasn’t that a stigma? I guess he’ll always hate me whenever he remembers I’m the reason why he lost a tooth.
Nobody spoke to me for the whole day, Saturday and Sunday come worse. Mummy pretended I never existed, it was hurting. I wondered what was in store for me. Monday morning, I prepared for school, a new uniform had been sown for me. The deputy senior prefect conducted the assembly that day, it should have been me as the head girl. Daddy was there, a usual thing because Monday is the first day of the week. After special announcement, daddy took over. He called me out. My heart sank into my stomach, I felt like digging a pit for my self and falling inside.
“Chizaram Pearl Okoh!” His voice thundered, he had a horse whip in his left hand and a tall slim cane on the other. I had already started crying within me, fear of the unknown gripped me. The trumpet should kukuma sound, the wind should blow people into confusion. I saw the embarrassment I was about to face just like St Stephen saw his crown when he was about to be stoned to death. I thought I was dreaming when I received the first hot lash on my back.
“That one is for being sluggish and delaying bringing yourself out here.”