I was just about to take the last bite of my supper when the lights in the kitchen were turned on. I immediately abandoned the food and run as fast as my legs could carry me. I did not even look back to see whether Pee, my brother had followed. Pee is braver than I am. He is also a glutton and will never abandon his food to run no matter the danger. Someway, somehow, he manages to be lucky all the time. He boasts about how well he can dance around Mr. Owusu-Takyi without being killed like our other siblings.
Our siblings…It’s always sad when I think about how each one of them have been murdered by members of this horrible family we currently stay with. We were a family of 12. Mum, Dad and 10 children. Right now, we are just 4. Mum and Dad have been away for a while and left us at the mercy of the Owusu-Takyis alone. I think I have only survived because I am such a coward. Pee on the other hand because he is so brave. It’s been such a horrible time living with them these last 9 months. Yes, I have lost 8 siblings in nine months. It’s been so painful.
I remember the day my youngest sister, Tee was killed. I warned her that day to follow me whenever danger approached. But no, she chose to stay with Pee. He escaped as usual but she wasn’t lucky. Her death was so painful to watch because unlike my other siblings who were killed with some kind of poisonous substance, she was burnt. Can you imagine how it felt to watch my youngest sister burnt to death? The murder was carried out by Mrs. Owusu-Takyi. Phoebe, the youngest child in the family saw Tee and Pee but ignored them. It appears she is the only one who has a soft spot for us, but I am not sure if I can trust her though. When Pee realised it was Pheobe who had entered the kitchen that day, he continued to dance around and enjoy his meal. Tee foolishly stayed behind. I could see the fear in her eyes but somehow, she wanted to be like Pee. He had always been her role model. A few minutes later, Mrs. Owusu-Takyi walked in the kitchen and screamed at Phoebe for ignoring Tee and Pee. Phoebe rolled her eyes at her mum asking her why she hated us so much. “They will make you sick!” she said. The next thing I knew, she picked up a huge piece of hot charcoal from the coalpot Phoebe had just lit and dropped it on my sister. I was in so much shock I couldn’t scream. Once again, Tee escaped unscathed. That was the first time I saw fear in his eyes. You will think that day would have changed him, but no. It made him even braver.
When I finally squeezed myself into my usual hiding place, I looked out to see how Tee would escape today. I froze. Tee lay motionless on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. Tee had been killed. Tears run down my eyes. I had never imagined this could happen to Tee. My head hurt with all the anger in me as I heard Mr. Owusu-Takyi tell his wife with pride that he had finally killed the stubborn one.
My family has been homeless all my life. I was born on the streets. In those days, we lived near a rubbish dump. I really miss that place. The only negative side about living there was having to compete with other families over the available food but we were far safer. Mum and Dad promised to get us a better life. They sought for a new place for us and finally settled on the Owusu-Takyis’ . In fact, they were a very welcoming family. Their rooms were cozy, but best of all, there was an abundance of leftovers for us every single day.
We were there for barely 3 days when Mrs. Owusu-Takyi first saw Ree, my second brother. She screamed as though she had not expected him around. I always wondered how they could leave so much leftovers in the kitchen – on the floor, counter, everywhere and yet be surprised to find us there. Was this some kind of trick?
And that’s when the murders began. One by one, my siblings were killed. After 4 deaths, our parents left to find a new home for us. I have not seen them since. The 6 of us were left to fend for ourselves. It’s been a struggle each day. The rations of food have reduced and the Owusu-Takyis have been more keen on getting rid of us.
I always ask myself why they kill us. The only reason I have heard is what Mrs. Owusu-Takyi said the day Tee died. Apparently, we will make them sick. But my question is, why create such a conducive environment for us and kill us after we arrive? Is this fair to us? We will never have gone to a house that had a spotless kitchen because we would have starved to death. We need the leftover food to survive.
Suddenly, my life feels so meaningless. I have no urge to live anymore.
These wicked humans. Do they kill us just because we are cockroaches? Then why don’t they just keep their homes neat so we don’t come there to start with?