I don’t really know how or when they met but what I do know is that they were madly in love. Their families did not approve of their relationship but that didn’t stop them. They had an introverted daughter. As reticent as I was, as their daughter, I noticed the struggle my mother faced. Both her mother and mother-in-law didn’t like her. I asked her why and she just said, “When my mother was pregnant with me, my dad was abusing her. She’d go sleep in the forest just to protect me. Now whenever she see me her memory just flash back to the misery she went through because of me, it creates anger in her. As for my mother in law…I don’t know.”

My dad took care of us. A few years down the line I had a sibling. My dad found a job and worked as a taxi driver. He became a womaniser and an abuser. I remember this other day he strangled my mother and tried to stab her with a knife. I was too young and afraid to fight for my mother. I felt helpless. If I knew then what I know now…Their relationship ended and we spent two years without him. They got back together. My dad abused her even more. Being the first born, I became her friend. I was the only one she could talk to. Unfortunately, I couldn’t advise her as I’ve never been in a relationship. The only advice I could give her was to leave my dad. She didn’t want to. I blamed her for neglecting us because of a man. I blamed her for allowing my dad to disrespect her. I love my mother so much that it hurt seeing her sacrifice her happiness, together with mine, to please a person who didn’t love her. I know every cloud has a silver lining but I didn’t see the end of my mother’s dark tunnel.

Through it all my mother still believed in God. She always loved and cherished those who didn’t care about her. Even after my dad hurt her so badly that he killed her with a heart attack, my mother loved him. I saw it in her eyes: she hoped for a better future with my dad and hoped that he’d change. She loved him from her fathomless heart. Her death was my worst nightmare. It made me a mother to my little sister at the age of 15. Whenever I see my father’s home, my world falls apart. I know I have to forgive him at some point like my mom would do, but unlike my mother I hate him and won’t forgive him. He didn’t even bother paying the last respect to the woman who loved him. Growing up without a mother is something one can’t get used to, especially without aunts and uncles to look after me and my little sister. That made me a better person. I vowed to myself that I’d do anything to ensure that my little sister has a better life. I will become successful against all odds and show my sister that it’s possible.