By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
Hi, my name is John, Chipo's brother. Right now I am standing in the middle of nowhere and it is dark, and cold. I am in a ditch on the side of the road, standing next to what used to be my father's car. My cell phone is still in my hand because I have just called an ambulance. My father is trapped under the car from his waist downwards. I walk up to where he is and for the tenth time I try to lift the car so that he can come out but as with the other nine times I have tried, my efforts are in vain. I then hold his bloodied hand and say, 'Hang in there Dad, hang in there'. He muffles a response but I don't hear what he says. He's in too much pain and he's too weak. I then walk back to where I was standing and I wait. 'Ten minutes John' I keep telling myself, 'The ambulance will be here in ten minutes'. But then again, ten minutes is a long time when you're watching your father dying.
It all started earlier this evening when I got home from work. I was in the kitchen and I could hear my mother and my father arguing. The door to the lounge was closed. I went and peaked in through the keyhole and saw that they were with another man, a policeman. This got me curious and I stood behind the door and listened in.
I heard my father say, 'Love, please tell me this isn't true. Please tell me that you didn't kill our own daughter?' His voice sounded strained, as if he was fighting back tears. He was holding a photograph in his hand. My mother then burst into tears and said, 'Steve, I, I, I, was angry and I didn't think.'
At this point my Dad got pretty upset and he said, 'What? What the heck do you mean you were angry and upset? Our daughter was in ICU fighting for her life. What on earth were you angry about?' My mother replied, 'The baby Steve. It wasn't Tom's' and she burst into tears again. 'Whose baby is it then love? Whose baby is it?' My mother didn't reply and just carried on crying. This irritated my Dad and he yelled, 'Who's baby is it Mary?! Tell me now!' My mother then stammered, 'It's, it's, it's John's baby'.
When she said this, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest and I started feeling wheezy. I just couldn't believe it. There was silence in the lounge for a few moments. It was evident that my father was in a state of shock, and so was I.
'What did you say?' he eventually asked. 'Are you telling me that our son had sex with our daughter and they had a baby? The same baby we're looking after?' he continued. My mother responded and said, 'Yes. Apparently they mistakenly had drunken sex at a party last year and Chipo lied that Tom was the father because she didn't want anyone to find out the truth.'
The room fell silent again. Clearly this was too much for my father to process. Again, I too was reeling from this new information and I was in a daze. I wondered what was going through my father's mind and how I would never look at him again. One thing was for sure though, that awkward conversation we were going to have about this was coming and I had no idea how I was going to get through it. I had half a mind to just run away and never come back, but that was impractical to say the least.
Suddenly the policeman, whom everyone seemed to have forgotten was there, broke the silence and said to my mother, 'I'm sorry to have to cut you off but Ma'am I'm going to have to take you in.' I heard footsteps of people walking to the door behind which I had been eavesdropping for the past fifteen minutes. I was in such a daze that I forgot to make a run for it and when my Dad opened the door he saw me there and immediately he knew that I had been listening all along. He didn't say a word and my Mom followed behind him with the policeman. As my mother was walking out she was crying and she stopped briefly and looked at me and said, 'I'm so sorry son' then she proceeded out of the house.
My Dad was outside for a while as the policeman took my mother away and all this while I was still standing in the same place that I had been standing during this whole fiasco. I didn't know what to think, or feel. I just had a terrible feeling in my stomach and I was anxious for my father to come back into the house so we could get the awkward conversation over and done with. He came back in and he walked past me into the lounge. I followed him. He took his car keys that were on the sofa and he said, 'Come with me. We're going for a drive'.
I followed him to the car hesitantly and we left. I had no idea where we were going and he didn't say a word for about twenty minutes. He turned onto the highway and I asked him, 'Dad, where are we going.'
He replied, 'Son, you've ruined me. All of you. You, your mother and your dead sister; you've ruined me.' His breathing started getting heavier. 'Tell me I'm dreaming son. Tell me this isn't freakin' happening!' he screamed.
At this point he started driving faster and I said, 'I'm sorry dad'.
He looked at me and yelled, 'Sorry? Sorry? Is that all you have to say? Do you realize what you've done to our family?' At this point he started driving even faster and I said, 'Dad please slow down. You're driving too fast.' He didn't acknowledge my request and his breathing was now short and fast, as if he was having a panic attack. 'I have a dead daughter, a son who has a child by his sister and a wife who's a murderer. No, no, this can't be happening!' he said as he shook his head.
He was doing about 140km/h and next thing I knew he suddenly turned the steering wheel to the left and I remember hearing a loud screeching sound and feeling the car overturn. It was as if it was all happening in slow motion and as it spun I closed my eyes and made what was a yelp at best. The next time I opened my eyes I was about twenty meters away from the car and I could hear my Dad screaming for help. I had a few cuts and bruises and I was a bit groggy but I was generally OK. I ran to him and saw that he was stuck under the car from the waist down. I tried to get him out but I just couldn't. It was late and there were no cars anywhere in sight. As I was thinking of what to do, I saw a light flashing on the ground in the distance. I went up to it. It was my cell phone! The screen was broken but it was working and that's when I called the ambulance.
As I stood by the wrecked car, waiting for the ambulance, there were a lot of thoughts going through my mind. On the one hand I was still reeling off the fact that Chipo's baby was mine, then there was the fact that my mother had killed Chipo but then immediately, more imminently, as I listened to my father groan in pain, I had a question that kept repeating itself in my head: had my father just tried to kill us both?
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