CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10
My dad isn’t a lazy man. He overcame his moodiness and was ready to move on with his life. He has mouth to feed and bills to pay.
One day, he went out and drove into the compound in a motorcycle popularly referred to as Okada. He was very happy and we shared in his happiness except mum.
“You could have looked for other business to do Ikechukwu. I don’t like Okada business. How will people see my husband riding Okada? What kind of rubbish is this” she fired at dad.
“I don’t care what people think. Will people put food on my table?” He asked mum. “Listen, I intend to work hard so I can take care of my family and save up for something else”
“People are going to laugh at me. From three bedroom to a room and parlour self contain. From one of the most expensive car to Okada. Chaiii! You’re embarrassing me Ikechukwu” she said wiping tears from her face.
“Let them laugh.”
“We’re sinking into poverty.”
“No! I am bringing us out of poverty gradually.”
The argument went on and on but dad didn’t listen to her. He was going to make meaning out of his life.
“I know what I am doing honey. Please support me with encouragement, not criticism.”
“I can’t and I won’t. I am not happy. I am not doing the things I love doing or wearing good clothes.
My mates have their own ride. I am tired of this kind of life. You’re not giving me enough money to spend.”
“Please bear with me. I will try and make everything right.” Dad said trying to hold her hands but she pushed him. He just shook his head sadly.
The day Blessing started menstruating, mum was overjoyed. She went to the market and bought chicken and other things for her.
“This is for you bonafide daughter of this family.” Said giving her a plate of fried rice and chicken. “You’re now a woman just like me” she was smiling.
She dished for Cheta and herself except me. She handed a polythene bag to Blessing which she thanked her mum for. She empty the content on the table, lots of pads and some clothes.
Whatever I know about menstruation was taught by my dad and teacher.
After my first menstruation, mum never cared to buy me pad. She doesn’t know whether I use pad, tissue paper or piece of clothes. Here she was pampering Blessing.
This made me realized that the love of a mother can not be taken for granted. I sincerely craved the love of a mother.
CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10
I have been home for the past four days because I have malaria and typhoid.
Dad refused I go to school but I would have preferred going to school even though I am sick. Even on sick bed, mum doesn’t allow me to rest.
” Is it not only typhoid? Quickly go out and fetch four buckets of water.
Run to mama Cynthia and buy me airtime. So many errands to run. Before dad leaves for work, he ensures I eat and take my drugs.
He told me he would have loved coming home in the afternoon to check on me but mum’s nag gives him heartache. He doesn’t return home until evening.
I have noticed three times that mum would leave home and return before her Children returns from school.
She would return with lots of stuff from clothes to bags to jewelries and shoes.
On another nylon, ice cream, snacks and plates of fried rice and chicken. She would enjoy herself with her kids but she never gave me anything.
On an occasion she told me to clean the table. Her purse was on the table, so I raised it and it slipped from my hand to the floor.
Apart from the new one thousand naira notes, I saw lots of dollars. I quickly gathered the money and returned to the purse.
Sometimes when she’s very happy, she would ask us what to prepare for dinner.
“Don’t think I am cooking with your money. The money you drop in this house is chicken change.
Not enough to buy me bra or pant.” She would tell Dad. “I am just supporting you out of my kind heart”
Dad who was already tired from the days work would take his bath and eat his food silently with sad expression on his face.
Since started this Okada business, I noticed he bought a Bible which he looks at whenever he returns from work.
CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10
I was almost better thanks to dad who bought my drugs and fruits. I wanted to return to school but dad won’t hear it. He wanted me to rest more and resume school the following week. Even though I didn’t agree with him, I obeyed.
Dad had gone to work and my siblings to school. I had been alone with mum for the past days and I wasn’t at ease with it. What was I supposed to do? I did the house chores as my strength could permit. Most times I fall asleep on the chair because of the drugs.
I hadn’t slept long when mum tapped me to wake up.
“You can’t sleep here Susan”
I stood up to enter the room but she stopped me.
“Don’t go there. Your father’s elder brother in the room. He just came in.”
That means I slept deep, I thought to myself.
“Is it uncle Peter? Let me go and greet him.” I said excitedly.
“Hush! You don’t need to raise your voice. See, he had a misunderstanding with your dad and all these years they have not been able to reconcile.
PI requested to see him so we can know how to settle the issue with your dad” she whispered.
“Stay outside Susan. I don’t want you or anyone to hear our conversation” she pushed me towards the door and I went outside.
Sometimes, I would here laughter. I stood outside for long. There was no chair. I was thirsty and I needed water. I have been thirsty for long but afraid to knock on the door. I decided to try the kitchen door whether it was opened.
Fortunately I opened with little push, I tip toed in and drank water to my satisfaction. I was about sneaking out of the kitchen when I heard a male voice talking.
“I am a better man than your useless husband. What are you still doing in this poverty stricken marriage? I want you to leave him. I love you Chichi”
“I know my darling Chinonso” I heard mum say. So it wasn’t father’s brother after all. I knew something was fishy when mum asked me to stay outside.
“I want you to leave him. Just break the news to him, let him go and hang himself.”
“I am afraid my darling. How do I break the news that the kids he thought are his are not. Aaaah! He will kill me.”
” I don’t care. I want my kids. You can show him the DNA results if you want but I want my kids.”
I stood there transfixed. Was I dreaming?
“I know you are worried. If he makes any trouble for you, I will kill him. He is no match for me. Are you going to waste your life with him? He doesn’t have a house to his name or a car. Just motorcycle” he said laughing.
“Make sure he doesn’t touch you.” He warned.
” The day he lost his job, I made it clear to him never to come close and he has done just that.”
“Good! You’re mine and mine only. I am going to give you and my daughters good life.”
“I have never loved my husband Chinonso but because things were hard for you and he was taking good care of you. Whenever I became pregnant for him, I flush it and I went for family plan.
Today I am happy. If I had given him children, my suffering would have increased.”
My eyes were clouded with tears. What kind of wickedness is this? Can one be so wicked like this.
“Nonso, come and leave. My kids would soon be home and that miserable girl outside may be suspicious.”
“Alright. Give me my trouser.”
” Let me botton your shirt” mum told him
“Take care of yourself and don’t open your legs for the idiot again. Manage this 38k. I will transfer more before Sunday afternoon.”
I sneaked outside with my head the double of its size. She came and met me outside.
“Go through the kitchen door”she told me smiling. Before I got to the kitchen, she had opened the parlour door for him. I went to the parlour window and peeped.
I only saw the back of the man. He father’s brother is Peter and not Chinonso.
He of average height but this Chinonso is very tall. I watched with heavy heart as she escorted him out of the compound……
CRY FOR ME: Part 1 – 10
Written by Franca Uwuigiaren
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
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