There was a boy. He saw a girl; she was beautiful; all he ever wanted. For a long time he was haunted by her; she affected him in a way no other girl did, so, one day, he summoned courage to talk to her. He walked up to her and said “you’re going to be my wife. Pray about it.” The girl was naturally taken aback by his confidence, but, she prayed and slowly, their relationship blossomed and they got married just like the boy had told her. Their wedding was nothing spectacular; just family and close friends at a civil ceremony. Their union came as a surprise (and sometimes a disappointment) to many; perhaps because he was the ladies man and she was a more serious minded girl. If there was a honeymoon phase, I cannot say, but, this I can tell you: for a while they were happy together.
I haven’t mentioned that the boy had children already; well, he did. Naturally, the children were hostile at first. The girl treated them nicely and did everything she could to make her seem less like an enemy and more like a friend. She treated them as she would here own children and after a while the younger children came to refer to her as ‘mummy’. It wasn’t as easy with the older children who saw her as a threat to the bond they had with their daddy. They were hostile and refused to see any good in anything the girl for them. The boy often took sides with the older children whenever there was a misunderstanding. Let’s just say that at the time neither the boy nor the girl had the experience to deal with the situation and both reacted: she, to protect herself and he, to make sure his children never felt insecure or threatened. Thus, enemy lines were drawn and a war that would rage for years after that was declared. Everything was an avenue for a fight. Now, the younger children were at peace with everyone and the fact that they were oblivious to the battle around them only got them caught in the middle. Soon they were taken away from their daddy by their mummy’s family. The older children and the girl could now face each other squarely. There were a lot of fights and insults; some uglier than others, but, they all managed to live under the same roof without killing each other.
One day, the girl found out she was pregnant. The boy was elated when she informed him. The older children? Their feelings were mixed. The girl secretly hoped she’d have a boy. For her, it would signify the end of the raging war and her victory. The boy couldn’t care less for the sex of the child; he just wanted a child. The girl went shopping for her unborn baby and seemed to float whenever she moved. Everything she bought was blue (stereotype male colour). Soon, it was time for the baby to be born. She had the normal contractions that come with the labour of childbirth, but, hers was going to be a LONG one; a forty-eight hour long labour to be precise. In this two-day period, she went in and out of consciousness; the boy almost went crazy with the fear that he might lose but his love and their baby. Let me make it clear that this unnecessary pain she was made over the course of two days may have been prevented had the medics been more professional. To cut a long story short, the girl birthed a healthy baby girl; a very big healthy fair-skinned hairy baby girl. The boy was relieved and the girl went to sleep. She slept for a whole week. When she finally woke up, she saw her baby for the first time. I don’t know if she was disappointed that it was a she, but, she was alive and so was her baby and she was proud. She had defied all medical knowledge and so had her baby. She was proud.
They went home soon after and the older children were at least happy that the girl and their little sister were safe. Swords were sheathed for a while. They all showered love on the little girl and made her happy. The boy took joy in his little girl and made every effort to spoil her. Things seemed to be going well for everybody; the tension in the house eased and they got along more often, but that didn’t last for very long. Soon the swords were drawn again and the battle was on again. This time, the little girl was caught in the middle. The girl was always trying to protect her little girl from the older children. What the older children felt at this time isn’t really known. All we know is that they also tried to protect themselves. The boy was also in a dilemma because his love and his children were against each other and supporting one against the other made him a villain, but, not supporting one during a fight also made him a villain so he just did what he thought was best whenever times like that arose.
Fast forward four years and the battle was still raging and the girl had another baby. The boy was happy once again; the arrival of his new son served as a distraction for everyone. The girl was proud once again; she had proved everyone wrong and the arrival of her son was a victory for her. The little girl was happy to finally happy to have a little brother to play with. She had waited anxiously for him and she was perhaps the happiest that he was finally around. She played with him all the time and she wished she was able to do more but she was only four: ‘still a baby just like your brother, so how can you carry him? You’ll drop him’ her mummy would say to her each time she asked if she could carry him. Maybe that was where the problem started. While the little girl was happy that she had a little brother, she was a little sad that she wasn’t allowed to carry him and that mummy and daddy didn’t seem to have time for her anymore, but, she said nothing; innocent soul that she was. Later, times like that would come back to her remembrance. For a while, just like when the little girl was born, tension reduced, though, it was never completely gone. Everybody got along and again the swords were sheathed. The little girl and her baby brother played together and seldom fought.
As they got older, the little girl and her baby brother fought more frequently. The boy and his love were almost always at loggerheads and the children were always in the middle of their fights. The little girl was always hurt and sad when they fought like that. She didn’t understand why she and her baby brother had to be protected from the older children. They were siblings after all; no matter that they had different mothers, but, they shared the same father and that’s all that mattered to her. Her mummy would always get angry with her when she heard that she spent her day with any of the older children. Nobody understood the little girl’s desperation to be closer to her siblings including her irritating baby brother. Though they fought more often, she loved him more than she let on; she loved her baby brother dearly. The older children did their best to avoid the little girl and her brother. If the boy knew what this battle between his love and his children had to done to his family, he kept it to himself. The girl on the other hand let out her feelings and her stand against the older children out in calculated amounts; most times when the war got bloody and verbal bullets were being hurled in every direction. The baby brother did everything his mummy told him to do and seldom spoke to the older children. When he did sometimes, he was rude and it always caused a fight between the two enemy camps with the boy and his little girl caught in the middle. Sometimes, the girl blamed her little girl for being the reason why the older children sometimes had the upper hand. This always saddened her. All she wanted was a normal relationship with her siblings; was that too much to ask for? She knew she had two other siblings apart from the older children and she had seen them only once in her life and she didn’t think that was fair to any of them; siblings were supposed to live in the same house and love each other and watch each other’s backs and make each other laugh and even fight sometimes just like the stories she heard from her friends at school. Why was hers the opposite? She hated coming home. She withdrew into herself whenever she was home. She developed two personalities: herself (crazy, weird, funny and the lifge with her friends when the world was happy and uncomplicated and a silent timid child when at home in an angry unfair world. Sometimes she felt ending her life was the only solution and she tried to, but, she could never actually go through with it. She felt unloved and inadequate at home and she longed to tell someone, but, who? She couldn’t tell her mummy for fear of her reaction. She didn’t want to be made to feel guilty because of what she felt. She kept these feelings to herself and pretended that all was well. When it seemed like she was going to burst with all these feelings she was harbouring, she’d find a way to motivate herself. It was best that way…