PicsArt_12_09_2014 22_49_53I am an atheist; an atheist living in a community of Islamist. Do not wonder further because I am going to tell you the tales that led to my present lifestyle. Don’t judge me, as you religious folks do and don’t try to preach or advice; my mind has been made up on this issue. So, my story goes like this: “My name is Maryanne, my Muslim brethren call me Mariam. I was born into a family of four kids, my parents were ministers of the gospel (lol); but my father was more than a minister. Daddy was an extremist! He was amongst those class of people who ‘carried God on their heads, meaning, he was a religious fanatic. Growing up with him was manageable, mum was there to cushion the abuse he literally inflicted on us when we slept off during morning devotion or told a lie or did something really insignificant. But mum died when I was 16, of cancer, and my father lost his mind and his sanity. He became worse. We weren’t allowed to go out and mix with other kids, for fear of being misled. We couldn’t watch Tv because Tv corrupts the spirit. We didnt stay in the hostel when we got admission into the university because daddy feared that some profane gospel preacher would come and whisk us away from our faith; daddy just became unbearable for us all! And I couldn’t stand him any longer. I had had enough of his crap! My siblings and I were miserable because of dad’s idea of living and well, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to live life, wanted to have fun; wanted to mix with my mates and be happy. So one day, six month after my 21st birthday and my final year in the university, I snuck out of the house and went for a girlfriend’s birthday party. She was one of my close friends back in secondary school; she lived three streets away. But I couldn’t stay long at the party because different scenarios of what dad could do to me if he ever found out what i had done, kept playing in my mind. So, when I couldn’t bear the torment any longer, I kissed my friend goodbye and ran home. Dad was home. It was just 6:15pm. He never came home that early on Saturdays, Saturdays were supposedly ‘evangelism days’!But he was home, and he was specifically waiting for me. “Where are you coming from?” he asked. I replied, “Went down the road to get something.” “Where is the something?” he asked again, with a tone as cold as ice. “They didn’t have what I needed.” I answered. Dad simply smiled and went upstairs, but I knew I wasn’t let off the hook; it was too good to be true. When he called for me exactly thirty minutes later and asked me to seat on his bed, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. He was going to preach, afterwards he would punish. Then daddy began to preach on the consequences of lying as expected, and I knew I was doomed. But honestly, nothing prepared me for dad’s next line of action…”

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