When I was a child, my Mother would always scare me and my little brother by showing us the Dark Room and saying,”You better behave yourself or I am going to have you locked up in that Room.”
I and Shon would always be afraid of getting locked up in that Room. Whenever we would do something that was not acceptable by our Mother, she would have us locked up in that Dark Room. Being locked up wasn’t much of a big deal. The big deal was what happened to us before being locked up in there.
I and Shon were living with our Mother and her boyfriend, James. James had a terrible temper. Whenever Mother would get angry on one of us, she would look at James. A short glance and few invisible words would be exchanged between the two. And the next thing we know is we were being dragged by James into the Dark Room.
He would take us into the Room and flog us with his shiny black leather belt. The buckle of the belt would leave huge dented blue marks on our tender skin. And the contact the leather would make with our skin would be punctuated with dark purple and black bruises and red cut marks. As if the flogging wasn’t enough, James would then light up a cigarette and burn our arms and thighs with it. He would always call out abuses such as Bitch, Whore, Mothafucka and the like. After he was satisfied with the torture meted out to us, James would lock us in the Room for a whole day. The Room had no lights, no lamps, no windows and no ventilator. Just a medium-sized hole on the ceiling due to an accident that happened long time back. I only remember bits and pieces of that accident. My Father had passed away in that accident.
That hole would be a way of surviving the heat in the Room. Since the Room was devoid of light, I and Shon had named the room as The Dark Room. This treatment would continue with us if it wasn’t for me taking that bold step on a Friday afternoon.
I and Shon had returned back home from school. Mother and James were having an argument. The argument escalated to the extent where James threatened my Mother that he would spill her secrets to the Police if she did not comply with him. My Mother was very angry and was hurling abuses at him. I was standing by the door and overhearing their argument.
“Bitch, do I need to remind you that you are a murderer?”
James was accusing Mother of murder. How dare he accuse Mother of being a murderer? I couldn’t contain myself. I barged into the room and threw myself on James. I hit him real hard on his chest. Of course, James was stronger than me. He pushed me aside. I fell to the floor. James got up and looked at me scornfully. That moment I knew I am going to die.
He pulled me by my hair and dragged me to the Dark Room. My Mother was running behind James to stop him.
“Leave her alone James. She has nothing to do with this.”, screamt my Mother at James.
I could see a terrified Shon looking at me with his eyes filled with horror. My eyes met his and I could not help but shed tears. I was helpless at the moment. I couldn’t speak to Shon but the communication of our eyes was enough to convey to Shon that I wanted him in his room right now with the door of his room locked.
Shon locked the door of his room. James had reached the Dark Room with me being pulled behind him by my hair. We were followed by my Mother. My Mother, who was now screaming at her highest pitch.
“So Bitch, this is what you make of your family, huh .A family of murderers. Wife murders her beloved husband and years later her daughter murders the wife’s boyfriend. But I am not going to let this happen. I am going to teach this little bitch a lesson. And you had better stay out of this.”
Saying so, James banged the door on my weeping Mother’s face. Once inside the Room, James threw me on the floor and started unbuckling his belt.
I was left with two choices: Get myself tortured again like I always do OR Help myself out of this situation.
I chose the second option. When James was unbuckling his belt, in a flash of a second, I got up and kicked James in the nuts. James was groaning with pain and plopped on to the floor like a jelly.
I took the chance and jumped on him and yanked his belt off his pant. And I started hitting him so hard. Flogging him as if there was no tomorrow. He was crying in pain and calling out to me to stop but I wasn’t going to stop. I was screaming my lungs out while I was hitting him. I had tears rolling down my cheeks.
Like a maniac I went on hitting him. After a while his screaming stopped. But I did not stop. I stopped only when my arms had started to ache. That was when I looked down to James. The sight that met my eyes was not pretty. James was covered in blood with his skin cutting into his pink flesh. He was distorted to the point of not being able to recognize.
I opened the door to find my Mother still sobbing. I went and hugged her silently.
Hours had passed and we still hadn’t thought of a way to dispose off James’ body. And then my Mother came up with an idea. We spent a whole day and a half disposing off his body and cleaning the Dark Room of his flesh and blood. After that, my Mother and I slept off on the couch.
Many years have passed after that incident. I am now leading a good life with a good job. I am single. I don’t intend to be in a relationship. Shon was adopted by my uncle and now lives miles away from me. My Mother, after that incident, developed a mental illness wherein she could visualize James coming after her with a lit cigarette and a shiny black leather belt. She was taken in at the home for the mentally ill. I visit her once in a while. I am still staying in the same house. I have redone Shon and my Mother’s room and made into a guest room and office. But the Dark Room is still the same. I wanted it to remain that way. It reminds me of my past. A past that I never want to forget.
I also did not redo the Dark Room because it gave me chance to mock at James. Every night, before sleeping, I walk up to the Dark Room and open the door and say,” Enjoy Mothafucka!”
After all, James’ cut up body parts are probably still alive in the walls of the Dark Room and I do not want to lose out on the chance to show him his worth. You certainly must be thinking I am sick but this is how I take revenge.