During my early childhood, I was convinced my mission here on this earth was clear. It was my Godly duty, “To rebuke everyone I caught lying.
I didn’t do it in purpose. I just did not understand the concept of lying. So, I could not comprehend why people had a thought time to remember what they really meant to say. So, my natural instinct was to help them remember the truth. But, I guess like all my other values, this one was not part of the family I was drafted into. Therefore I got a few whooping, here and there, actually, quite often. Although I never understood why?
Like the afternoon when the milk lady came to collect her monthly payment. When she asked my brother for my mother, who was standing right behind the door, my brother answered, “She’s not here.”
“Why are you lying?” I reprimanded him. “Auntie is behind the door Lady. If you pull the door toward you, you should see her standing right there. She even saw you walking, so she’s probably waiting for you.” When the milk lady pull the door and saw my mother, for the life of me, I couldn’t not understand why she had given me what I call today “The Look.” As if she was telling me, “I’m going to get you later on!” And, she certainly did.
Yes, I used to call my mother Auntie. I never understood why. Till this day, I ask myself why I thought she was my Auntie, instead of my Mom? I must have been six when I was finally hypnotized to start calling her “Mom.” But to get back to the story, the second incident I recalled rebuking her for lying was when that gossiper stopped by our house. At least, that’s how my mom always referred to her. So one early morning while I was minding my own business playing with my doll, I heard:
“Hello “Ti Chouchou!” She said. (Meaning: “Hello little darling!”) “Where is your Mom?” After I got up and kissed her, (since it was our custom to kiss the adults who visited us.) I asked her: “Are you the lady who like to talk about other people’s business? If so, you are a gossiper, and my mom does not want to see you, so you can go now.”
In Haïti, all the neighbors were given the just right to discipline a child. I guess they believe in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child!” So imagined the woman who grabbed me by my arm, as she attempts to turn my back toward her. And, just when she was about to give me the first slap in my butt, I yelled:
“You are not going to touch me you gossiper! You must first learn how not to talk about other people’s business before “YOU TOUCH ME!”
When my mother who was still inside the house, heard the whole commotion, she rushed toward the patio to see what was going on.
“Hi Linda, I, I didn’t know you were here! What did she do wrong this time?”
Linda as furious as she can be answered: “She called me a gossiper, while being very disrespectful.”
My mom acting as she was “SHOCKED!”
“How dare you Nadège? Go put your knees down so I can deal with you later!”
“But Mom, she’s the gossiping lady you said you didn’t like when she came around. So I told her to go back home!”
Do you really want to know how this story ended?
The honest truth is “I don’t know how it ended between the adults. But years later, I could still feel the pain from my mom’s belt from my butt!
As for my father whom I never expected to lie. Unfortunately for him, I was fifteen when I finally caught him lying. One morning we were getting ready for church, when the phone ring. It was a friend of the family, but she always ate alllllll of our food, whenever she came to dine with us during Sunday dinner. Although, I loved her very much, because the fact is, she was a very nice lady, and a closse friend to my father and step Mom. But, to this day, I recalled inventing a special corn soufflé for her to eat, by adding extra sweets, which in turn prevented her from eating too much, then burp and fart while I sat next to her. She even said it herself. Whenever she ate my soufflé, she could no longer eat as much… “Thank God!” My sisters and I whispered between us.
So that morning when I answered her phone call, and she had asked for my father. I placed the phone on the night stand, before I called my father,
“Papy!” I said. “Ms. C is on the phone for you.”
He answered me, “She’s probably calling for Sunday’s dinner. Tell her I’m not here, but we will be eating by 3:00”
“But Papy, “You are here!” I answered, a bit disturbed.
“Yes, I’m here, but we are late for church. Just tell her what I just said.”
So I picked up the phone back and told her the following:
“Did you hear everything Papy said, or do you want me to repeat it to you?”
She busted in laughter. I mean, to the point, if I had travelled all the way to China, I would still hear her voice echo in laughter. Meanwhile, I was trying to grasp the humor in what I had said, since I didn’t think it was funny.
So she finally said:
“Go head Nadège, amuse me! What did your father said?”
With a serious tone, I answered her:
“Papy said he was not here because we are running late for church. But since you were probably calling about Sunday Dinner, to tell you, “Will be eating dinner at 3:00.”
Again she started laughing. Then she said: “Tell him I will see you guys at 3:00.” And, kept on laughing.
And, for the life of me, I kept on asking myself, “What was so funny?”