CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

Part 4

Franca Uwuigiaren

It was unusual that dad returned so early from work. We took our seats in the sitting room because he wanted to speak with us. He returned looking so gloomy.

I couldn’t ask him what the problem is because mum was around. Mum sat beside him while we sat opposite them. Dad cleared his throat and spoke calmly to us.

“I know what I am about to say will break your hearts” he said rubbing his palms together. “The company I work for is having a huge challenge because the economy is no longer favourable. Costs of raw materials have increased and the company is on the verge of shutting down.

Right now, salaries have been cut down by 40% and it means I won’t be able to afford somethings.” I could see dad’s Adam apple moving.

” What do you mean?” Mum asked.

“I have to cut my coat according to my cloth honey. We just have to manage until things improve. So, the kids will have to change to another school with a cheaper fee. We also cut down on feeding and move to a room and parlour self contain. Honey, we have to work together to make things work.”

Dad had not finished speaking when mum cut in.

“I don’t get you Ikechukwu. Me! From 3 bedrooms to a room and parlour self contain. God forbid! I am sure your village people are at work again.” She said hotly.

“With the situation of things, I can’t pay rent here. Dear, let’s reason together and…”

” Reason with who? You better think of how rent will be paid because I can’t and won’t move to a room and parlour.”

“Alright dear. You can atleast support me. Go and get a job.” He told her. We just kept on watching the drama.

“I won’t! I can’t work for anybody.”

“But you didn’t fair well in business chiamaka. Get a job please. I wear the shoe and I know where it pinches me.” Dad said standing up and moving to his room.

Mum abused him till everywhere was dark. No food was served to him. I was afraid to even enter the kitchen to dish food for him.

“Was I suffering when you came to ask my hand in marriage. I can’t suffer oo. Not this life oo. And you Susan, my daughters will not change school. I will withdraw you from the private school to government school.”

I couldn’t sleep. The words coming from mum were too heavy to bear. I wonder how dad would be feeling.

CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

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Five months after our rent expired, we moved to a room and parlour in a nice area of the city. Dad changed our school to an affordable private school. We didn’t get quality education like our previous school but it was fine here. M

um was never happy about the whole set up. Everything about the area, house and neighbours upset her and she would pour her anger and frustration on dad and I.

Dad being a gentleman will always apologize just for the neighbors not to hear mum’s voice.

On several occasions, she had locked dad outside for returning late. She accused him for having side cheek.

“I now take public transport to work. Have you forgotten I sold my car?”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Please believe whatever you like. My eyes are only on you honey.”

As usual, she would abuse him. One night, I woke up to the sound of mum’s prayer.

“My father my fighter, tonight punish that woman that wants to snatch my husband. May water be bitter in her mouth. May she sleep and not wake.

Anyone in this house that says I will suffer, father kill them. Father, did I do anything wrong by rescuing a dustbin child? I am suffering because of her. Deal with her.

Anyone that says I won’t drink water and keep cup,. swallow them. Those who also vowed that my banga will not ripe, father, let their water not boil…”

The prayer continued. She kept praying different prayer points.

I began to wonder if God answers that kind of prayers. I knew others were awake also listening to her prayers.

In the months that followed, mum became worst. She because a monster without a heart. I hated weekends because she would make sure I didn’t rest.

She would refuse to allow my siblings assist me. My dad knew I was going through hell but he stopped talking to mum about it. Mum would abuse him and pull crowds.

The whole neighborhood now know I was picked from the refuse dump. Dad would beg me to be patient. How can I not be patient when Dad was suffering too. I have met Him severally on his knees crying.

Blaming God for giving him such a a wife. I can’t remember the last time dad smiled. We kept hoping God will change mum.

CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

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I noticed mum is happy these days. She no longer care whether we exist or not.

I have caught her smiling endlessly to herself. Dad began to thank God for the calm and quietness in the house.

Everyday when we return from school, we would fine goodies on the table. She would ask her kids to take whatever they wanted without giving me a second glance.

“Put the ice cream in the freezer. Tomorrow give it to your teacher,” she would tell her kids.

“Put these in your school bags. Make sure you enjoy yourselves tomorrow.”

I was never given anything unless dad does. The day mum saw two hundred naira in my school bag, she accused me of stealing her money. I couldn’t defend myself because she won’t allow me talk.

She beat me black-blue and starved me until dad returned from work. Dad had to tell her I am not a thief. It was the money he gave me.

“She’s not the only one I gave money. Asking Cheta and Blessing, they will tell you. Stop accusing her when you have no proof.” He told her angrily.

Since then, I learnt to give Blessing my money to hold. In that way, she won’t accuse me of stealing her money.

CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

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It was devastating when Dad broke the news that his company had shut down.

The whole family was shaken. Dad didn’t leave his room for days. Mum on the other hand was so insensitive to his plight. She never consoled him.

“I need money to fill the gas, GOtv has expired and we need to subscribe. We need to change food ooo. We can’t continue eating on eba in this house.. we need rice, beans and yam too.

Having sardine is not bad. Are you not aware that NEPA bill will be paid?” The demand kept increasing. I expected her to sit with her husband to plan but nothing like that happened.

“We need to support the church for the year’s anniversary.” She told Dad one day but he didn’t respond.

“Are you not the person am talking to?” She queried.

“I don’t have money Chiamaka. Since I lost the job, we have been managing. Don’t I give you before but I don’t have now. Bear with me for now.”

“I don’t care. I want Daddy to see us as important in the church.”

“I don’t care how he sees me honey. I can’t give what I don’t have.

” How can we not support the church?

“:I don’t have but you can give if you have.”

Throughout that day, mum threw tantrum but he didn’t pay attention.

“Tell your pastor that your husband is jobless and as a man, he will understand. He told her.

CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10

Written by Franca Uwuigiaren

Inspired by the Holy Spirit.

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