Spare the Child

IkeNwosu By IkeNwosu, 14th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

There is always a limit to what a man can tolerate. For a child, the limit is not far away.

Father and I

The headmistress called my name and I walked to the front of the assembly amidst claps and cheers from the students. I came 3rd in my class, primary 3. The sound of the applause and cheers sounded like a call to crucify me because I knew I had failed. That was the way father would see it.

Father was a very strict man and he loved education. I thought he was obsessed with it. For him, academic success meant only being top of the class, nothing less, not a position less. I had never topped my class and father was always furious about it. I had always been 2nd in class since primary one and each time father would go on and on with how his father, a retired army officer, had whipped him like a criminal with a 'koboko' the only time he came 2nd in class. He would narrate it with pride and fury.

Last term, primary 2 third term, when I told him I came 2nd again while handing him my report sheet, he flared up like a bush fire in harmattan season; his left palm sent a rush of pain to my cheek as he flung the result sheet back at me. Disappointed the sheet didn’t cut me in half, he stormed into his room. Even mother got a taste of his fury that night when she served his supper.
“So YOUR son cannot come first in his class! I don’t know what you teach him in this house.” He lashed out at her and rejected supper.
Mother was hurt. I saw her sobbing in the kitchen later that night and I felt a hot blade of guilt slice through my heart.

After collecting our result sheets I walked home with Evans my best friend. He kept on talking about what he hopes his father buys him this time. He came 5th. Last term he came 7th and his father bought him a water game. Father had never bought me any gift apart from the usual 'efe krismas', Christmas clothes.

I feared to imagine what father would do this time. It was bad enough that I didn’t come first, but it was even worse that I dropped a position lower. Tears welled up in my eyes and I clutched my report sheet tighter. We came to a junction and were waiting for an oncoming vehicle to pass when the thought came.
“You don’t have to see father again”, a voice kept repeating in my head. The car was coming closer. Then I shut my eyes and stepped into the road. There was a loud screech and then quiet. After a couple of seconds which seemed like forever I opened my eyes hoping to be a spirit walking out of the body, but I saw the driver rush out of the familiar grey 505 Peugeot. It was father. I was shocked, so was he. He was visibly shaken up with fear, and he was trembling as he hugged me. I had never seen him that afraid before.


Abuse, Depression, Failure, Father, School

Meet the author

author avatar IkeNwosu
I'm currently a 5th year medical student.
Today I want to be a good writer: tomorrow I know I will be a good writer.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Jul 2015 (#)

Very poignant ending. I know some parents just overdo it.

Each child has innate ability and as long as they are useful to society it should be more than enough - siva

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author avatar IkeNwosu
16th Jul 2015 (#)

Well said Siva.
Thank you.

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author avatar kanu
21st Jul 2015 (#)

My friend you are admirable writer already. Your writing is aesthetic.

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author avatar IkeNwosu
22nd Jul 2015 (#)

Thank you Kanu. I'm encouraged.

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author avatar Helen Thomas
4th Aug 2015 (#)

Very interesting read ~ IkeNwosu. Thanks for sharing.

Be Blessed.

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author avatar IkeNwosu
5th Aug 2015 (#)

Thank you Helen.

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