I find the door to my home closed as I exit the lift at my floor. I take the keys out of my bag and enter my home.
My parents have been waiting for me. I haven’t spoken to my father in months and my mother sometimes send me messages to make sure I am alive. I am a stranger in my own home. I can see that my father’s breath is erratic, fast and furious, his eyes bulging out of their socket.
I stand up straighter.
“What time is it?”
“You think it’s ok to come home at this time? That it’s still early?”
“Yup. I think so.”
“You think you are the only one who works?”
“Who said anything about work? I was having dinner with friends.”
I can see his vein ticking at his neck. Suddenly he stands up from the sofa. He comes towards and starts to raise his hand as if he can hit me. I stand still and defiantly look back without saying a word, daring him to slap me. My mother comes to her senses, and tries to restrain him.
He keeps yelling but I don’t hear a word. I see two strangers whom I don’t recognise anymore. People who were supposed to love me and care for me, but all they ever did was try to control me and the moment I started making my own decisions, labelled me ungrateful, a whore, and worthless.
I walk to my room, and as he continues to shout nothingness at me, I keep chanting,”I don’t care.”
I close the door to my room and burst into a fit of giggles.
I have done it. For the first time in my life, I didn’t back down. I didn’t end up in tears. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I feel no guilt. I see my reflection in my mirror and I say, “Hey there babes! You did it! A small step, but a step nonetheless.”