Grace had brought home her result booklet with a smile on her face. She had finally done better than before and her grade this year was an outstanding achievement to her although she still wasn’t the best in her year, she was proud of herself.
Mr Edward Chima, Grace’s father took a second look at the grades, grimacing. Grace didn’t know what she’d done wrong. She had put in her best. She remembered returning home from school in her third year of Junior high school with her thought-to-be ‘great’ grades and had got the beating of her life. Now she thought her father would be proud of her from being the eighth best student to the third best. One would think she had done so well but not Edward Chima a stern professor who had pulled his weight around to obtain his achievements. He was well-respected man at Delta state University where he taught Mathematics and his students were known for their outstanding achievements.
Edward unlatched the belt around his waist and beckoned to Grace who was now melting inside. “Come here. Last time I told you, nothing but first position. You should be the best in everything. I want all my children to be outstanding and now you disgrace me. Oh Grace, what example are you showing to your younger siblings?” he spoke through his teeth and the anger was shown across his face. Grace almost fainted and knew it would do her no good.
Grace tried not to run away but the more she ran, the increase in momentum of the belt that stroke her back. She fell on her knees weeping and finally he got tired.
Grace couldn’t understand what sort of father she had. She wished she hadn’t been born into the Chima’s family. Nothing ever pleased her father.
Her mother returned from work to hear Grace crying, eyes swollen and marks on her face, arms, legs and neck.
Sochi, her mother knelt beside her daughter, upset with her husband and couldn’t comprehend why he’d do that to his first child.
As much as she believed in corporal punishment she understood its limits and this was too much. Grace had been doing well and this result was a brilliant one. Sochi picked up the paper from the floor where it had been rumpled and traces of tears shown on it. She was pleased with her daughter, reading through it she didn’t do as much as this when she was in high school and her first daughter had shown to be more intelligent than herself in Science and Maths and almost everything. Grace had been classified as one of the best in five subjects and would be awarded for it. Why the punishment from Edward? Edward has always been an honours student no doubt but his children would gradually get the grades and be the best. What sort of discouragement is this? This was just mere wickedness, Sochi thought. She had to tend to her daughter. She got a warm towel and nursed Grace while Grace sobbed. She gave her the day off house chores and ordered the others to do Grace’s.