“Teach me how to forget Lord, Amen”, Mama whispered by the window that night. She never prayed there. All the time, she would kneel down on the rough carpet and ignore the pain it marked on her knees. I guess she needed the wind to carry the prayers directly to God this time. because this time, we needed an able miracle, something to dissolve all the fears from us, even just a bit of them away. I did not know I had to pray. I never knew how. But once, I did try to ask God to take Papa. Yes I once asked him to. When Papa came in and found Mama and I praying and she slapped her in front of me. With no regret or shame, I was raged to see him without any remorse and so I went in and took the beatings for her. I thought only adults had the permission to speak to God. And as I made Mama to think I was sleeping, I saw tears leaving her eyes quickly. What could I have done? I had grown numb to Papa’s beatings. Though the scars told stories each time I looked at them.
“You have to tell the court how you go that scar,” Moagi looked at me. Trying to assure me that it was safe to tell the world what Papa did. But I thought of his people, how they may be in the jury and I go scared. So I said, “I fell.” They knew it was not true. They could see from my shaky hands and lowered voice that they scared me. They scared me and they could see that.
So the night I fought with one of my fathers people was the time I got the scar. I was hiding under some worn out blanket in our tool shed. He took the blanket from me and closed the door. He asked me not to scream but I did try to and no word came from my mouth. He had an elephant task in his right hand. It was polished and pointy and I immediately thought of ways to leave the shed. “Does your father know you are in here?”, the man asked. I did not respond. My mind was racing, thinking of how to get back to the house.
I thought I could run past him quick enough, but he was too quick on his feet.
I looked at my arms and I wished that God could make me forget how I got this. And in that instance, I remembered Mama’s prayers, I prayed too.