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At the sight of my firm and slant writing, dancing cursorily across the lines of the paper, my legs buckled under me and I had to hold the burglar rails to keep myself from falling.
It’s either my brother didn’t notice or he didn’t care, for his very next words drained my brain of much needed air:
‘Read what is there to my hearing’.
‘This man doesn’t have any atom of human sympathy in him’, I thought before I started reading.
As I read, I could feel my heart hammering against my ribcage, possibly in an attempt to abandon me. I wanted to be strong, but my voice cackled like a military transmission at bad frequency.
When I managed to complete the assigned comprehension, I looked up to hear him ask, with his eyes closed:
‘What do you have to say?’
‘Nothing Sir’.
His eyes snapped open, sending sparks of electricity all over the place. And in one swift, fluid action, he whacked me hard across the left side of my face, for the very first time.
Afterthought: Why exactly do teenagers think they can get away with everything by denial? You want to chop toad, but you dey fear to talk am. Now you don chop slap without cutlery. Mtchew…

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