His father had 5 children.

From one wife.

4 girls.

1 boy.

He called the boy.

“My son.”

And the girls when he addressed his wife was.

“Your daughters.”

And when he addressed his son.

“Your sisters.”

He had no term of reference for them.

And when they called him father.

He responded with a heavy grumble.


His wife was brow beaten into silence to maintain her family.

His son copied his father in character, deeds and words.

The girls received it all in good faith on the tide of their mother’s words.

“‘The life of a woman is filled with pain and tears. The wise woman is the one who uses her silence as a weapon and her cunning as a protective shield. Do not reveal your hand until your enemy is defenceless neither show your umbrella until the rain is falling.”

They practised it to the letter even as they loved their father and brother deeply..

Even though their father said without failure at the slightest provocation from his wife or the girls.

“It is because of my son that I am tolerating you all, without him, I will rather die than be in this same house with you scalliwags.”

On his way to NYSC camp.

His son died.

And even in their grief.

They fulfilled their fathers wish.

And sent him to his grave.

By their deafening, heart breaking, spirit shattering silence.

source: Jude Idada


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