″...AND JOY SHALL BE RECONCILED WITH OUR HEARTS”
Maybe it was his silence at the moments when we'd cried out to him for help, or the resigned expression that hopped steadily across his gaze when he'd take in the scene of our pain like a chilled cup of coffee. Whatever it was, I wanted it dead and gone.
His refusal to help, to say something, to save, had caused more grieve in our hearts than mother's frequent abuses. The tears in his eyes were never enough to end our troubles, and his permanently troubled gaze was never enough to dry our never relenting tears. Father was a weakling.
"Take this knife and stab your mother before she wakes." he had said, on a day when the desperation of a failed manhood had threatened to tear him wholely apart. "We would say it was an act of suicide. We would move to a new city. I would marry a kinder woman, I would...".
Maybe it was the gush of excitement that ran boldly through his veins, the kind of excitement that was meant to exist only within little children, or his mouth odour. Whatever it was, I wanted it dead and gone.
"Why did you kill him?" My brother would later ask, I was certain, with tears in his tender eyes and an unending stream of cataah flowing from his bruised nostrils. "You were supposed to kill mama" he would whisper a little too loudly, in my right ear, as father is being lowered into the underworld. The person next to me would hear him say this. The person next to him would hear him say this. Brother was terrible at whispering. The word would spread amidst the people Mother would hire to mourn for a man they did not know. The word would get to Mother.
Mother's greatest fear was a stained reputation. "It kills me" she had once confided in Uncle.
On the day Father would be buried, mother's reputation shall be ruined, and her greatest fear shall bring us peace. Brother and I shall smile again. Our inner quiet shall come to life, and joy shall be reconciled with our hearts.