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Chapter - 1

 

"Trust is like a paper. Once it's crumpled, it can't be perfect again."

 

Page - 1

 

I was born on April 16th which makes me an Aries.  I am strong willed, ambitious, outspoken at times, creative and I have a great big heart. 

 

My mother is an obedient, quiet woman who stands at 4 feet 11 inches in height. My father is a known tyrant; slender, tall, 6 feet plus.  He towers over my mother and he has instilled in her that he is the superior being. My mother never challenges his authority.

 

His children know that he is the established King and they are his servants.

 

My story begins:

 

I am sitting on the floor of a two-room shack shared by my three older siblings and my parents. It is dark outside, and my mother is cooking dinner. We await our father ‘s arrival with fear in our eyes, evident from the only source of light in the entire room; an oil lamp. The silence is finally broken by the sound of my father’s tractor. My siblings and I retreat to a corner of the room. My father enters the room and immediately addresses my mother. What are you cooking? He asks. “Dinner for the children.”  My mother replies. Without provocation, my father punches her across the face and pushes her down on the floor. He goes over to the boiling pot and kicks it off the oil stove with his large work boot.

 

This was normal behavior for us. The dinner my mother was preparing flies all over the room. He is drunk, again. My mother responds to my father's actions by stating the following: "I have boiled dumplings that I have already prepared, and I am just going to give those to my children for dinner."  My father violently attacks her kicking and punching. My siblings and I retreat to the only safe place we know; underneath the large wooden kitchen table.  We watch in fear and listen to our mother's cries as she is struck repeatedly.  We huddle close together under the table, my sister and I and my two older brothers.  In the middle of the group and protected by us are the two babies in the family.  My mother had yelled out "get the babies!" We range in age from 3 months to 13 years old. My father continues his attack on my mother, punching and kicking her as his children quietly cry; powerless to do anything to stop him.  After what seems like an eternity, he finally goes into the bedroom and falls asleep still fully clothed. My battered and bleeding mother prepares our bed on the floor and tucks us in as the tears roll down her cheeks. She tries to hide her face from us, but there’s no hiding the damage that has been done.

 

I lay in my bed on the floor huddled against my older sister and cry softly, trying hard not to think about the hunger pains in my stomach. The dinner my father kicked off the stove was the only meal my mother had for us to eat.

 

My mother was born in Harlem, NY.  She moved to Antigua at the age of 7 with her Caribbean father after her mother contracted pneumonia and passed away.  Her father re-married and she and her sister lived in the home with their step-mother and biological father.  My mother became a school teacher and an un-married mother to her first daughter.  She later met my father who was the responding police officer in a situation in the family home. She started dating my father and at the age of 26 she married him. 

 

 

 

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