“So let me get this straight. You were kidnapped, imprisoned, then abused by your rescuer?” Maureen summarized.
I wanted to prove her wrong. I had to show her that it wasn’t quite like that. She mustn’t reduce my smart, worldly parents to such shocking terms. But as I searched unsuccessfully for proof to support my feelings, I had to accept that she was right. Being flown first class to the best schools in the world does not change these facts.
My mother left my dad just before my ninth birthday. She dropped me off with friends who were instructed not to let me go outside, then disappeared. After a week or two, I was taken to an uncle’s home where I was locked in a room. Suddenly and unexpectedly, my dad walked in. I was thrilled to return home with him! That is, until he moved his girlfriend in. Continue reading →
The rumor was that the woman my father married used to be a prostitute. “Look her up,” someone apparently said, giving father a note as he prepared to leave my mother at home and fly to New York. “She’ll show you a good time.” Wink, wink.
I couldn’t care less about race, class, or social status. And anyway, I wonder now about the word “prostitute.” If the person speaking English also speaks Yoruba, perhaps they are referring to another meaning. The Yoruba translation for prostitute is ashewo which also means woman with loose morals. Maybe my father’s set just didn’t like her.
My prejudices generally lie around things like pronouncing nuclear NUKE-U-LAR. I also never got over the guy who put his fork and his knife in his mouth at dinner. I probably didn’t look too good myself as my mouth fell open with food in it! Continue reading →
I listened in horror to my voicemail. Somehow, it had recorded a conversation between my father and a friend of his. The incisions on my tummy had only just become painless in September 2005. But no longer. Apparently, my body couldn’t take listening to less than flattering words from my own parent.
Later his friend tried to justify my dad’s behavior. “Devin” had expressed anger because my father was nowhere to be found while his daughter prepared for, then underwent, major surgery. Father was only reacting to that anger. “At any point in all this, did he ask how I am?” I inquired. Silence. Continue reading →