It’s been a while….
Things started settling into a routine. Every second weekend we would be at Mom’s, and every other weekend and during the week at Dad’s. Weekends with Dad started meaning weekends in Boksburg at FSM’s house. It just seemed more convenient….she had the space, and the mall was within walking distance form the house, so us kids kept ourselves busy.
I distinctly remember two incidents from the same time as the drug episode, though I don’t remember exactly in what order they took place, or exactly how old I was at the time. This is the first one.
The first one is the most vague. FSM had come over sometime during the week to visit. Most likely after work, as our house was closer to her office than her house. We were all sitting in the lounge watching TV , and having short conversations in the ad breaks. One of the conversations did leave an impression though. I don’t remember what it was about, but I do recall saying jokingly to FSM that she’s not my mother. In hindsight, I can see how that could be seen as disrespectful, but I was also a teenager…which should tell anyone not to take what I say too seriously.
Whatever I said and how, all I know is that it must have offended someone, judging from Dad’s actions the next morning. Up until that point, my father had woken my brothers and I up every morning with coffee in bed. He’d been doing it for years, long before my parents finally separated. He would wake up every morning at 5:30 to go to the kitchen and switch on the kettle, setting the cups as he waited for the water to boil. Then he would come to each of our bedrooms, to wake us up. He used to come to the side of my bed, put down the coffee on my dressing table, switch on the light, and gently put his hand on my shoulder to wake me up. But not this morning.
At 5:30, Dad came into my room, switched on the main light, and told me to go to the kitchen. He did the same with my brothers. I understood the tone of voice he used when he woke us up. He was angry.
I stumbled into the kitchen, still half asleep, with my brothers following closely behind. We knew better than to upset my father too much. We weren’t to old for hidings yet. My eyes weren’t even adjusted to the bright light yet, but my dad was standing there. I remember his tone of voice better than his words or his face. With more rage than I’d ever heard from my father, he told us in no uncertain terms that we were to make our own coffee, and take care of ourselves in the morning….(and these words I remember clearly)….seeing as we didn’t want him to be happy. Why should he bend over backwards for us.
That afternoon when Dad came home from work, he told us that he and FSM had broken up, because we didn’t want her around and we didn’t respect her. That’s why he had done what he had done in the morning. He didn’t say why he had punished my brothers, or if it was my comment that made the two of them fight. I still don’t know what it was.
Less than a week later, they were back together….and happy.
To be continued…..