Face of My Father | By: Calvin Lewis | | Category: Short Story - Despair Bookmark and Share

Face of My Father

The Face of my Father

My hands were around her throat, as anger and rage filled my eyes. I wanted to hurt her; I wanted to inflict pain. My heart was pounding very fast, and my body felt extremely cold as I looked into the eyes of my wife. This horrific event happened about four months ago, between my wife, Alexandra, and myself. I met Alexandra in high school nine years ago, and since then we established a strong and loving relationship. We finally got married on August 1st 1998. I had lived in New York a year before transferring to ABC College, while Alexandra completed her studies at SDU College in Maryland. An argument occurred over an affair she had while she was in college, at SDU College, that changed my view of life totally. This was the first time in my life that I actually physically abused Alexandra. It was not the first time we had Ďheatedí arguments, nor was it the first time we argued about this affair she had. However, I had never gotten so angry before. The event has had such an impact on my life, as I have now become more negative towards life and it is now affecting my relationship with Alexandra.
Growing up in a singled-parent household on the island of Tobago, located in the Caribbean, was very difficult. I had one cousin and one sister. I was the oldest of the three and was perhaps the only father figure to them. The only parental figure I knew was my mother. My mother told of my fathersí cruelty towards her, and lack of support for his children. He was never supported us both financially and emotionally as children. He had other children outside their relationship. My mother constantly told of his attitude towards us and towards her. He had physically and emotionally abused my mother, until they finally departed two years after I was born. After the relationship had finally dissolved he had traveled to another country, and had gotten married and started another family. I knew very little of him, apart from what my mother told me, which were all negative. I was told he was a gambler, a vagabond, and a nasty person.
I was eighteen years of ago when I first met my Dad on a bus in the country of St.Maarten. My mother, cousin, and I had traveled to St. Maarten on a small vacation trip after I begun to work. And while we were on a bus, my mother had joked about an area where she thought he lived. Then a man stopped the bus and to our surprise, it was he. I was delighted internally to finally meet him. However, he immediately confirmed the Ďvagabondí stories I had heard of him, as I looked at him trying to con his way of paying the bus fare. I still wanted to know more of him, so we visited his home the next morning. When I saw his wife and two little children, I felt so ashamed for my father. His wife had marks all over her skin; the side of her mouth had stitches, and the children also had marks on their skin. All the stories of how he had physically abused my mother rushed though my mind. Those stories were all true. His wife eyes appeared permanently red, perhaps from all the hurt she had endured. After we left his home, I vowed to myself never to be like him in anyway.
I had promise myself to obtained a solid education and secure a financially stable job, and ensure that I develop a happy home. I wanted to remove all associated aspect of my Dad. I wanted nothing to remind me of him, or his ways. Hence, I refrained from any substances that would cause my to lose control of my thoughts. Thus, I refused to drink, smoke, or experiment with drugs. I wanted to prove that I could resemble nothing of him.
When I met Alexandra in high school our attraction was very strong, and developed a close-bonded relationship. Alexandrasí parents were going through a separation, but her situation was nothing in comparison to mines. However, we both knew what we wanted in a relationship and a family. When our relationship had developed into a serious and committed one, I promise and swear to her that if ever I become physically abusive, she should leave this relationship. It is now nine years since I made that promise and had kept that it until now.

Nine years Alexandra and I had built a power relationship. Envied by our friends, and sometimes I think envied by our families. It was difficult in the beginning, because I grew up in a different social class from her, so her family except her mother and dad had a difficult time welcoming into the family. They had heard about my cousinís incident, and thought I would become abusive towards Alexandra at some point. And now I felt they were right. I felt I had failed myself, I saw my fathersí face reflected through Alexandra eyes. As I held my hands around Alexandraísí throat, I did not want to let go. I wanted to squeeze and apply more pressure. I looked into her eyes as she fought me back, but I saw no love at that moment for her. I had so much anger towards her that hurting her would have made me happy. I immediately realized what I was doing, and ran to the bedroom. I was becoming like my cousin and father. Alexandra continue to fight with me, but I totally refused to respond. My hands begun to shake, and I felt light-headed. I sat on the couch and cried, thinking that I had failed myself, and my wife.
Even though I held her less than a minute, it felt like hours. Alexandra has assured me that it was nothing, and married couples do have serious arguments and fights. But she will not understand what I was feeling that night. I lose all my dignity and felt as though I have become a failure. Although we have resolve the situation, and Alexandra has forgiven me, I am still scared and fearful of that the situation would re-occur. It has now become so serious that I am hesitant about starting a family, in fear that I would loose my temper and hurt my kids. I canít handle that. Alexandra think I am over reacting, but that day I saw a different person through my eyes. I canít handle the thought of hurting children or hurting my wife again.
I remember looking at my fatherís wife and kids, and promising never to have a family like that. I donít wish to be part of this abusive trait. I am sure many people would assure me that it would never happen again, but I canít accept that way of thinking. Since, that incident we have never had any serious arguments, when I do get upset all I just continue talking and talking. Alexandra gets really annoyed by this new style I have developed of arguing, she is accustomed of me not saying anything or just shouting. But I canít risk losing my temper at that level again. I know she wants to start a family, but I need time to ensure that I can be the husband and father I want to become. My father has left me with memories of pain and sorrow. I do not want my children to have any of those images or memories. And I will do what it takes to ensure this is the case.

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