I remember it all.
The way you would come home angry in the midst of the afternoon. I remember this one time so clearly in my head and I don't know why this instance is ingrained in my brain.
That afternoon, I made Adobo and I was so happy because it was my first time cooking. I thought you'd be happy but you got mad in an instant.
"Why did you cook that chicken?" you yelled.
"I wanted Adobo, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to" I answered, my voice quiet, suddenly disheartened.
"That chicken is for tonight. All your Tito(s) are coming for a drink" you said again, this time angrier. You grabbed something and before I knew it, you threw it in my direction.
At that time, I was so thankful that my reflexes were quick and I was able to dodge that object. But I couldn't avoid what was coming next. You removed your belt and I admit, I didn't see that coming.
"Ahhh" I whimpered. "What did I do? I'm sorry.. Please stop" I cried.
You didn't answer. Instead, you kept hitting me until I finally couldn't feel your hits anymore. Not because you stopped but because I am finally numb from it. I fell down on the kitchen floor, making myself small, shielding every possible part of me from my dear friend, your belt. You then stopped hitting me and you left. I just cried and got up, stared at my Adobo and said "At least it tastes good".
I told someone about it and they got mad at you. Of course they did. I was just a little girl, and you hit me for a petty reason but I hated you more when you hit someone younger than me.
She was just two years old at the time and I heard her crying in her room. I rushed towards her door and saw you, hanger in hand. You were about to hit her and I ran to shield her. How could you? She was just two and you were hurting her. Her cries sent daggers to my heart--she is my baby sister, you have no right to hit her. But you felt like you did, as always.
"Get out of there" you yelled.
"No.. stop hitting her" I begged in between my cries.
"Move or I'll hit you"you yelled, even angrier this time.
I didn't move. I shielded my younger sister from all the pain you were about to cause her. Staying true to your words, you hit me. You hit me until the hanger broke. You hit me until me and my sister were just crying. And then you left. I just held her in my arms, and at that moment, I asked God how could anyone hit someone who screams so much innocence in them.
But you never cared, did you?
I remember when I was seven. You tied his hands with a rope and hanged him in the washroom by his hands. I couldn't do anything so I just cried in the corner. I was seven but he was just eight, a child.
I remember. He was in the dark washroom because he pissed you off somehow. You wouldn't let me turn the light on for him or untie him. You threatened that if I did, I will end up joining him too. And of course, your threats always scared me. So I sat by the washroom door hoping my brother could feel my presence there. Then you started pulling the rope and I knew my short brother's legs are starting to be lifted off the floor. I can hear his cries so I cried with him and I think that somehow pissed you off. So you decided to call me by your side and I thought you would finally tell me my brother is free. But I was wrong.
You asked me to hold the rope. For a moment I was happy because I can make this not so hard on him. But I was wrong because you asked me to step back.
"Three steps back" you asked.
I didn't want to but then you got your belt and decided to hit me. So I naturally step back trying to avoid the sting of your belt. I moved back and as soon as I did, I heard my brother cry even more. I hated you then. You made me hurt my brother.
I remember the endless nights I would pray and ask Him to finally free us from you.
How could you hurt us? From the moment we were born, we have loved you. But you... you hurt us.
I remember at night, you would come near us and say sorry. You said you did it out of love.
And that was the moment I knew, love is pain.