The gracious way of looking a house is to pretend that it’s the first time that you have set foot in it. This feat was difficult for Anthony Jones, who – together with his three siblings – been abused by his bi-polar father as a child.
When he walked into his childhood home, a place that had now become a historically protected home, because it was such an old building, he froze when he saw the house painting hanging up in the foyer. His father had shoved him against it when he was eight years old.
He had been standing in front of the house painting at the time and admiring the bumps of the paint that the artist had done deliberately. It was something that had caught his eye on the way back to his bedroom. The family had just finished having supper. In less that two minutes, he heard his father’s footsteps behind him, coming up the stairs. The steps sounded far from friendly, but the painting still had Jones zoned out.
All of a sudden, he was pushed violently against the painting. “What the hell are you standing in the middle of the hallway for, you little runt. Get to your bedroom already.”
Without a word Jones rushed to his bedroom and closed the door quickly behind him. He’d wanted to lock it but did not want hid father’s rage to increase if he tried the door and it was locked. He heard him cursing in the passage and prayed it would stop. He thanked his lucky stars when he heard him leave the vicinity of his room and climb up the other flight of stairs to his own room.
That day he closed his eyes and went to sleep as fast as he could. His head had hurt from the incident but he made no effort to seek help for that, lest he beg for more abuse. He promised himself that night that he would find a way out of the madhouse that his father created. There must be a way, he thought, and I will find it.
He’d run away from home at fifteen and had found solace in a shelter. It cost him ZAR10 to stay there, and the living conditions were awful, but at least he was fed. He found a job as a waitron at the nearest restaurant and began saving up money to rent an apartment. Eventually he found a job as a salesman.
His return to this former home of his was to let go of a deep-rooted pain, once and for all.