I was coming from school and my mother was busy cooking. I went straight to my room where I changed and then I went into the kitchen to find some food, only to hear my mom whispering on the phone. What she said made stop in my tracks, frozen, I could smell the aroma of baked fish, which is my dad’s favourite.

“Are you sure he will not feel pain after eating this?”

Who ever was on the other end of the line answered, “Yes I want him dead, but I don’t want him to feel too much pain okay. I am not that heartless, he is still the father of my kids.”

Then she kept quiet and she seemed to be listening to the one on the other end. “Okay… Yes, I did that… Okay thanks, you are a true friend.” And then she hung up.

I tiptoed out of there and went back to my room. I couldn’t believe my mother would do such a thing and most of all I didn’t know what to do with this information. I didn’t want my dad to die but I had no idea what to do, when it was dinnertime I still had no idea what to do.

When we started to dish up I came up with a stupid plan, I waited until my mother was done dishing for dad.

“Oh my God is that fish? Dad, I am sorry but I feel like fish today.” I said as I took his plate not waiting for him to answer, but before I could touch inside mother had taken the plate and made a show of it slipping from her hand.

“Jesus Nyiko I had that specially made that for your dad. Now look what you have done.”

My dad the peacekeeper that he is said it was fine and we all ate the chicken feet. After that I volunteered to help my mom with the dishes and I waited until we were alone.

“Mom how could you?” She visibly tensed.

“I have no idea what you are talking about Nyiko.” Then she went on with her washing.

“Stop pretending mom I heard you on the phone, you put poison in my dad’s food. Mom, how could you? If you don’t love him just divorce him, but don’t kill him we still need him.” I moved towards the door, and then I stopped and said without turning to her. “If anything happens to dad, I will tell anyone who will listen to me what you tried to do today.”

And now ten years later my relationship with my mom is still strained but at least my dad is still alive. She tried to fix it of course, but I can never get myself to trust her again. She was willing to do that to the person she claimed to love. It made me shudder to think of what she is capable of if she doesn’t like a person.