The time was 5:45 pm. I was going for an evening walk. The hectic day had drained me of my energy. As I went out of the compound gate I switched on my ipod and soon my favorite R&B filled my ears.
As I reached a bend I thought I heard a sound. I paused the music and rounded the corner, with my earpiece was still in place. There was a man and a woman, both apparently drunk. A child of boy (maybe 4 or 5 years old) accompanied them.
Apparent they were discussing something because when they saw me they became silent. The man paused in his steps, while the child pushed the mother, coaxing her to move forward. I could register something wrong. I glanced at the man as I passed him and I could see a farmer; hands chaffed clothes soiled, hair unkempt, lined face. The woman also had the same look, but with a tinge of anger. The child looked at me with his innocent round sad eyes as I glanced at his. I passed them at a quick pace because whatever was happening there, I certainly didn’t want to be a part of it.
I resumed my music and continued onwards. I rounded the corner, the next and the next, then the screams started.
I turned around and tried to see them but couldn’t. I waited and waited, and waited still more. Now I could hear the child screaming, as the parents exchanged heated arguments.
Slowly the cries and screams got louder as they emerged round the corner. They were apparently arguing about something, maybe the wife was being too impulsive because the husband was shouting “not to do”. They were wrestling in the dirt and occasionally I could see the husband’s hand slapping on the wife’s face. The child was crying and clinging on the father’s hand, trying to stop him from hitting the mother but to no anvil. The wife was not crying but she still had her hand hooked on her husband’s shirt. Thus they continued, as my heart went out to the child. How frightening must he be? What scars would today’s incident leave in his life? Some people who were stacking logs nearby went over and tried to reason with them. I slowly walked away.
I was an alien here, in this society. I didn’t know them. I knew nobody here, so I didn’t want to bother them.
The last sound I heard was their argument, but no blows. The child was now sobbing.
I went home. I cried.