When Patricia got into the guest room, to her utter disarray, she saw Aunt Lucy by the bedside, crying.
“Aunt Lucy, what happened, why are you crying?”
“Don’t worry, dear, it’s nothing,” she said, sobbingly.
“Aunt Lucy you can tell me,” Patricia pressured.
“It’s your Uncle.”
“What did he do to you? Did he hit you again?”
Aunt Lucy looked at Patricia with surprise that spoke volumes as to how she knew.
“Don’t worry, Aunt, I know he hits you.”
Patricia used her pyjamas sleeve to clean Aunt Lucy’s tears.
“He has to pay this time, more than you’ve made him pay before. This time we have to make sure we cure him of this evil. He has to hurt the same way he hurts you.”
“No, Patricia,” Aunt Lucy’s sobs increased. “You don’t understand. He’s working on it, he’s changing, he’s trying.”
“Aunt Lucy, he’s going to kill you if you don’t realise the demon that he is. Look at your face, what are you going to tell Mum and Dad happened to your face?”
“I don’t know. I’d use makeup or something,” Aunt Lucy said, wiping off tears from her cheek.
“That’s not going to do, Aunt Lucy,” Patricia pressed. “You tried to change him before. You used scare tactics on him. I know this, because I’ve been in this room before at night. I watched Uncle Pat sleep. I guess you played the witch role quite effectively, but as we both can see, it hasn’t worked. People like Uncle Pat, wife beaters, they only respond to one thing. Pain.”
Aunt Lucy stopped crying for a moment in awe of Patricia. ‘How could a child conceive of these things?’ was what she asked in her mind. Patricia huged her around her waist.
“We can do this, trust me. He will never hit you again.”
It was dinner time and the family gathered around the table, food was served and everybody jollied. Uncle Pat had the now-and-then smile each time he gazed at his wife, and it hurt Patricia to her bones. ‘Wife beater, has the guts to smile at his wife after committing such atrocity. He has to pay,’ she thought.
In the middle of the night when everyone was fast asleep, it was time for Patricia and Aunt Lucy to carry out their plan. They just had to teach Uncle Pat a lesson. Uncle Pat was fast asleep, but his wife wasn’t. And so Patricia tiptoed in the room and together they woke Uncle Pat up.
“What is this? Patricia–” Uncle Pat made to say.
“Shh,” Patricia whispered.
“Lucy, what’s going on?” Uncle Pat asked, confused.
“You’re not going to touch me anymore, Patrick, we’d make sure of that.” Aunt Lucy replied.
Uncle Pat chuckled for a while and then said, “Have you lost your damn mind? She’s a child,” gesturing to Patricia.
“I’m no child, wife beater. Oops, should a child be holding this?” Patricia brought out a kitchen knife from the back of her pyjamas.
“Jesus!” Uncle Pat exclaimed. “Patricia, what are you doing with that?”
“Just what you did to Aunt Lucy.”
She drew close to him and he recoiled. She used the tip of the knife to travel his skin slowly.
“Now, wife beater, where do I start?”
“Patricia, you don’t know what you’re doing, drop that thing.”
“Shh,” she whispered as she moved the knife up his belly.
“Why do people always think I’m a child, I wonder. Can a child do this?”
She pricked his chest with the edge of the knife.
“Ouch!” he uttered as blood eased out of his chest.
“Look at that, the wife beater bleeds,” Patricia chuckled, looking to Aunt Lucy.
“Do it, Patricia, teach him a lesson,” Aunt Lucy said.
Uncle Pat began to mumble words like “You-you-you just a kid, you don’t know what you’re doing” and “We can talk about this. Lucy, we can talk about this.”
“It’s too late for all that now, Uncle Pat. You should have talked about it before you hit her,” Patricia said as she moved the knife toward his face.
Uncle Pat knew he had to do something quick, so he tried yanking her hand away and the knife got a bit of his neck, a red bloody line on his neck. Patricia fell back.
“Argh!” he grumbled, “Stupid kid, look what you’ve done.”
He walked toward Aunt Lucy.
“Did you put her up to this? You psycho bitch.”
He slapped her and she fell to the ground. Patricia held the knife out.
“You can’t do this, you can’t hit her. I’ll stop you.”
He dragged Aunt Lucy around the other bed in the room and jerked her against the wood work so that she hit her head and made a loud cry.
“I’m going to teach you a lesson, after which I’m coming for you, kid.”
“You. Can’t. Hit. Her!” Patricia cried.
She ran, full force, knife outward. And before Uncle Pat could look her direction, she met him. And everything was still for a moment.
“What. The. Fuck…” Uncle Pat counted in total shock.
A red map spread on his singlet, just the way an artist dapples a canvas with red paint. He looked at Patricia, weary, then he fell to his knees amid distant cries from his wife. He gazed at his wife and then at Patricia, and fell on his face.
Patricia knocked the guest room door after travelling chilling storylines of possibilities.
“Come in,” Aunt Lucy’s friendly voice said.
When she got in, Uncle Pat was in the bathroom prepping for work and Aunt Lucy was sitting on the other bed in the room.
“How was your night, dear?”
“Uh… fine. You said we were going to talk,” Patricia said.
“Yes dear. Your Uncle told me you came to the room in the night…”
‘What the fuck,’ was what ran through Patricia’s mind, ‘he knew?’
Aunt Lucy smiled at Patricia’s displacement.
“You see dear, I know you’re a smart girl, so you’d understand. Your Uncle and I have been through our ups and downs. Some things he did that he isn’t proud of, but we have worked it out. There are scars, yes, but these scars are not objects of torture but of a reminder of our mistakes. Maybe soon enough you’d understand fully what I mean. But you can’t play on his mind, Patricia, it’s wrong. Okay?”
“Okay, Aunt Lucy.”
Patricia was still flummoxed at what she just heard. Funny thing when you think you’re on top of the world with your moves.
When she got downstairs to her room, Georgina looked at her like she had just come out from an interrogation room. Patricia was not herself after hearing Aunt Lucy’s meltdown. ‘They knew all this while.’
Her phone rang, it was Vanessa, her classmate.
“Hello Vanessa, I’m not really in the mood to–”
“Patricia, you would not believe what I just saw,” Vanessa cut her short.
“What is it, Vanessa?”
“I just saw Thomas in the football field close to my house. He was with Abigail. Patricia, they kissed.”
Thank you all for following my series, Uncle Pat. It’s been a wonderful ride with you. Writing sometimes has its challenges, but knowing that people read my work out there is just gratifying to say the least. Be on the look out for more engaging series. Cheers.