Favor was a misfit from the get-go. He was naughty, incessantly dirty and never followed the rules. He was also a sickly child and always seemed to have a running nose. He was an only child and his mother never appeared to love or care for him. He always felt the resentment geared towards him and could never understand it! Wasn’t a mother supposed to love her child? His mother would constantly get mad at him for no particular reason and call him all sorts of names. She once angrily told him that she wishes she had aborted him, that he was useless and wished he was dead. In turn, he walked around with a lot of resentment in his heart. He never experienced love, never felt it, and could therefore never give it. All that surrounded him was hate and negativity, and so he carried a burden that he shouldn’t have had to at such a young tender age! The pain he carried in his heart, we will never understand!
At age 8, his mother just upped and left; never said goodbye. Their relationship had been a strained one, but come on, he was still her son. She could have at least said bye. But on the flip side, life became a bit brighter because his mother’s toxicity was gone. No more noise and berating and he slept more soundly every night. Life with his father was strange. He, too, never showed him any affection but at least never scolded or made him feel useless and always provided his basic needs. But just as life was settling to a good and workable routine, in enters his father’s new wife. A woman sent straight from the gates of hell. And just like that, it was de javu all over again. Only this time, he didn’t share the same genetic composition with her. Filled with misery and pain in his heart, he learned to retaliate and never really cared if he hurt anyone; because no one cared for him either. He wished he never existed. His stepmother always gave him a thorough beating for being rude and disrespectful. She seemed to enjoy it, but this never bothered him; he was living a dark, cold and miserable life and always felt an irrepressible pain. A pain we will never understand!
At age 11, he was having difficulties at school; a learning disability that no one cared to look into. He had difficulty in spelling, reading and writing words. He could not sound or pronounce words either and this gave him a rough time with not only his fellow pupils but with teachers too. He was laughed at, ridiculed and shamed and this continued to eat away at his already beaten and bruised ego. He could never stand in front of the class to read like other kids, he couldn’t bear the bullying that came with it. One time, his English teacher asked him to stand and read out a page of a storybook. He immediately panicked when his name was called out. His hands became sweaty, his heart raced and the rest of the class started giggling. He took in a deep breath and was determined to read with all the confidence he could muster. But as soon as he opened his mouth, the words got stuck in his throat and he started to stammer and as expected, the whole class burst out laughing. His English teacher immediately pounced on him and started raining blows and insults at him calling him stupid and retarded. He felt anger rise within him but he couldn’t react, so he just endured the hurt and humiliation. That day, he went home beaten and broken, both physically and mentally and continued to harbor the terrible pain that was now living in his heart. That pain, we will never understand!
At age 13, his stepmother brought in a house help to help around the house and care for his stepsister who had been born the previous year. The house girl immediately took a liking to him and was always kind and gentle. This was the first time he was getting an ounce of love and affection from anyone in his life. He started feeling appreciated and always looked forward to going home because of her. She always ensured that he had enough to eat, always did his chores for him so he wouldn’t get into trouble and that he always had clean clothes and a warm and clean place to sleep. He started to know and understand love. As the months wore away, she started becoming touchy-feely with him which left him confused. One weekend, being just the two of them in the house, she approached him as he was watching TV. She sat next to him and placed a hand on his thigh, rubbing him and looking at him suggestively. But he was still a virgin and didn’t know what to do with all the attention he was getting. He tried to run but she held him tight and shoved her hand down his sweat pants. He felt confused because he didn’t want to do it but then, this was the only person who ever truly cared for him. So he gave in and lost his virginity. When they were done, he went to the bathroom and for some reason, broke down and cried. He felt a stab of pain course through him, one of betrayal and being used. He had never felt this way before; it was a sharp pain, a pain we will never understand!
At age 15, he was now sexually active thanks to the sexual relations he had with the house girl. He had started making a few friends who were also misfits and eventually started drinking and smoking; which he immensely enjoyed. But he still didn’t know how to love and had already left casualties in his wake. He had tried being in several girlfriend-boyfriend relationships but nothing ever stuck. For him, it was all about the physical and nothing more. As he was still experimenting with life, he impregnated a girl and all hell broke loose. The girls’ parents wanted him to take responsibility but his father and stepmother wouldn’t have any of that. They scolded and berated him and made it clear that they didn’t want him in the house. That he would be a bad influence on his young toddler sister. He tried to plead with his father to let him say but he outrightly said no. He didn’t seem bothered to see that his son was hurting, that he needed his patience and guidance. That was the first, and last, time his father had ever been cross and confrontational with him. No amount of pleading and begging could make his father change his mind. He had been given twenty minutes to leave the house and his stepmother watched him as he packed lest he stole something. As he walked out the door, he glanced and looked at the family, watching TV like nothing had just happened. He closed the door to leave but the house girl was right behind him, she gave him a big hug with tears in her eyes and quickly rushed back inside. As he walked away from the place he called home all his life, heart beating rapidly, feet heavy, he felt a pang of pain, one that surpassed all pain he had ever felt; the pain of rejection. His pain, we will never understand.
At age 18, his uncle told him he had to leave and fend for himself since he couldn’t anymore. He had been living with his uncle and his family ever since he had been chased away from home. His uncle and aunt were poor and lived hand to mouth but were kind to him and had taken him in despite their own deprived situation. He had gotten along with his cousins and life was bearable for 3 years. His uncle’s firstborn was a year older than he was and had left home right after he turned 18. He knew he would have to do the same but those three years had almost been magical for him and he wished he could stay longer. His childhood trauma and the emotional baggage he had always carried around had seemed to start lifting up. The family sometimes slept hungry but that never bothered them much because they always prided themselves at having one another. You see, his uncle was a polite and kind man. He always encouraged his family to always work hard to better their situation. He wanted everyone to attend school and despite his less to nothing earnings, he made sure that Favor was enrolled the moment he set foot in his house. Favor had a hard time getting used to the love and care his uncle’s family showed. He couldn’t understand how people could be this kind; this gentle. They always laughed, joked and wanted to know how each person was doing. So understandably, he never wanted to leave the humble abode he had come to treasure deeply. He had mixed emotions, he looked forward to starting a life on his own as an adult, but he didn’t want to let go of the relations he had built with his uncle’s family. Not just yet. So he walked around feeling lost and confused. He never wanted to leave the one place where he was loved, cherished and respected. He felt scared because he would have to be by himself for the first time in his life. He was nervous about this new chapter, anxious about what awaited him, and he struggled to hide his worries and fears. His emotions, a whirlwind of nostalgic and frightening emotions, we will never understand.
To be continued…