At 02:00 am, 5 children are standing outside the 3 bedroom house. The youngest boy is between 4-5 years old. He is shaking. Crying. The sister, 14 years old is holding his hand. She too is shaking, but silent. The man. Husband. Father. is beating his wife inside the house. Shouting obscenities.
She is a slut. A whore. He should never have married her. She is useless. a nobody. He should never have had children with her. He could have had better children with someone else. She is uneducated. Stupid. Dirty. Cannot cook. Even her sisters are whores. And her daughters, 2 of them standing outside, will be whores.
After about 15 minutes, the wife manages to run out, by the back door. She runs to the nearest neighbor. As she has done before. The neighbor lets the beaten wife in. Closes the door behind her. The neighbor stands outside waiting for him to come huffing and swearing. As he has done before. She advises him without pleasantries: “walk back and come tomorrow when you are sober”. He walks back as instructed. walks by his children without looking at them. gets into the house. locks himself in the house and starts throwing things around in the house. Alone.
The children walk to the neighbor. To their mother. As they have done before. In the morning, the 14 year old daughter requests the mother to not go back.
daughter: “we can go start another life. We can go to your sister for a while, before we start over. we can start a vegetable kiosk and rent our own place. I can help out mom! please”
2nd born son: “I can also help out. We can do it!”
Mother: “I will not leave with 5 children! When he met me I had no children, if I leave him, I will leave without children. Where would I take 5 children?”
This has been said before.
When he comes for her in the course of the day, “sober”, sheepish and “sorry”; she smiles and goes back with him. Takes the children back with her.
Next morning while preparing breakfast:
Wife to a friend: “he always comes back for me. He doesn’t want me to leave him really, it is the alcohol. And when he is not drunk, he is the most wonderful man”
daughter; looking scornfully at her mother: ” wonderful?! when? we can’t even listen to the radio with him in the house. that hurts his head. We can’t laugh loud because only barmaids laugh out loud. You can’t visit your sister, because she left her husband and is therefore a bad influence”
Wife, ignoring the radio & the laugh aloud statements: “what has she achieved by leaving him? she lives in 2 rooms with 3 children and she is struggling to send them to school??! a woman should make her family work.”
daughter: “well, congratulations mom! you are making your family work!”
Wife to youngest boy who just woke up whimpering: “did you wet your bed again??! No one else of my children has wet their bed this late! What is wrong with you?!
The boy continues to whimper. He hides behind his 14 year old sister. The sister hugs him and gets up to go help him out of the wet clothes. The mother. wife. woman continues to speak to her friend about the wonderful “sober” husband. And about the abnormal boy. child. son. who still wets his bed at the mature age of 5.