A boy's difficult childhood


I was too young to handle the incidents that changed my life. It all began on a chilly harmattan night, mid-December 1995. My mother and older sister Rose were busy in the kitchen cooking dinner while my twin brother and I lay side by side (beside my father’s old rocking chair) gazing into the starry night sky. I was hungry, but I dared not say it lest my mother scold me for being a foodie. Consequently, I tried to divert my mind from food, thinking instead about our recent relocation to the village. I thought to myself- we have returned so early to Igbere for Christmas; does this mean we would be leaving for Aba before New Year?

My effort to distract myself from the hunger pangs was futile, especially with the delicious aroma of my mother’s cooking drifting directly into my nostrils. I just couldn’t help myself, so I complained quietly to my brother who reminded me that I couldn’t have the meal if it were ready the next second because my father wasn’t home yet. This made my heart sink with sadness but not for long because my father walked in soon afterwards. I wished he never did!

Trouble started the very moment he walked in. I could tell from his staggered movements and slurred speech that he was drunk. Moreover, the smell of alcohol that reeked from him as I embraced him confirmed my worst fear. He was a mess each time he got drunk and I hated to see him that way. Although I was just a ten year old boy, I knew about the tension his drinking caused within the family. Unfortunately, that harmattan night was no exception...

These are the beginning paragraphs to my soon to be published novel #ForlornGaze. This is intended as a sample. Feedback is anticipated. Thanks.


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