Mommy always loved but she was very strict. She always enforced a spirit of working hard in us and always made us responsible for our failures and successes. When she would get angry, she would be quick to discipline and quick to hug the pain away. I would always remember the lesson she taught me not the pain that came with the learning lesson. My mother hated stealing and always taught us that we should be content with what we have and aspire to achieve more. However, Gary, have you ever taken something without asking? Yes, I have. How did it feel when you did it? It felt wrong at most. Right you are Gary, right you are. I had an uncle of mine. A very prosperous uncle of mine who I looked up to as my father. He got married and he would always invite me to his house for weekends so that he could spend time with me. He would always take me everywhere he went. I remember how he would come to get me when I am covered in mud and put me in his Mercedes Benz. He would take me to all the places he had meetings. He even took me to a meeting at the bank and held my hand as we ascended the stairs. One day he left me at his house while I was playing on his waterbed (I wonder how that bed survived my wrestling moves). I bumped into his wife’s gold watch. I looked at it and liked it, I tried it on but it was too big, obviously. I then looked at it again and smiled. I put it into my pocket. I kept it to myself for a week. I then called his wife just to see how she was doing and she asked me if I had seen the watch. I denied having seen the watch and then cut the phone on her. She then called my mother and asked her about the watch. My mom then searched my room and found it. My mother was very angry with me and disciplined me heavily. She then drove me to my uncle’s house so that I could apologize and give the watch back in person. I did so and then rushed back into the car feeling ashamed. My mother then drove us home and comforted me hoping I had learnt my lesson. My uncle did not think too much of it because he knew something was plaguing me. He continued to talk to me and offer comfort in my little 9-year-old world as if nothing had changed.
My father came into my room the following morning and asked me why I had taken the watch. I replied “I wanted to wear it”. He looked at me with such disgust and closed the door on his way out. I had replied just to buzz him off. I never really knew why I took the watch. I never knew why I chose to take it and keep it to myself. I remember how I would stare at the golden bracelet of the watch. How beautiful it was, so pure and fine. My reflection bounced off its purity and its colour shined so bright in my eyes that I never wanted to let it go. Why did I take it? I wish it ended there. However, I did it again. This time my siblings and I went to visit my cousins. We got there and spent the day watching TV and horsing around. I went into my cousin’s bedroom and saw a $100 dollar bill. I took it and went and bought fast food for everyone in the house. I was so pleased to see everyone happy. After the weekend, we came back home and my mother had spoken to my aunt her sister about the money I had taken. My mother was disappointed but not angry. She told my father hoping they could all ascertain the problem that was causing this. My father being black took to his usual and beat me up. I ran away and he followed me and stripped me naked and continued to beat me up like a dog. My mother could not say a thing because she was silenced. I looked at my father, tears flooding my eyes and I began to hate him. I began to hate him so much at the age of 10. The hate, so real that I could taste it. So real!
Looking at him filled me with so much rage, an uncontrollable desire to want to unleash upon him the atrocities he had unleashed on me. I could not stand to be in the same room as him. I became confined to my bedroom. I only spoke to my siblings and my mother. I hated that man, I really dreamt of his death. I hoped my mom would divorce him and leave him to eat the dirt that he deserved. Talking to him was hard enough. I remember when we went on a family holiday my mom had been saving for, for most of her professional life. I remember how cold the place we were staying in was. My father would sit in the rocking chair in front of the fire and I would sit far away from him even though I was freezing. My mother knew that there were issues and she would ask me to play checkers with my father. I would refuse then she would persuade me and I would end up playing because she asked me. Those were painful moments. Was it that he never cared or he stopped caring when I came along. I always used ponder about why I took the money, why I took the watch. It’s not that I wanted to gain materialistically but I just did not understand why.
That man scared me, he scared my heart, my body my soul. That man, that man, oh how I hated him. His sight was as repulsive as the stench of a skunk. His eyes hidden behind the sophisticated look of spectacles made me view him as nothing more than a snake rolling on its belly. Even in high school, he would beat me and beat me and beat me. But now it was different. Every time he lashed me I hated him more. My eyes would grow red with anger. My heart would be burned with rage. My soul would cry lustfully for his blood. Everyday, I had to endure torment at school and torment at home. Everyday I was called a sissy at school, a woman. Everyday I hated the person I was. I blamed him for all of it. Everyday I would stare into the mirror, everyday I would get more and more carnivorous. I took what I took because I wanted appreciation. I wanted to experience appreciation and also give appreciation. All that he had taken from me was all I tried to regain. He lashed me for it, for trying to regain what I had lost. He lashed me for desiring something he was not man enough to give. He got all of his desires, alcohol, money, a loving wife and three kids. Why did he rob me of my desires?