It rained heavily that afternoon, I was a bit bothered because in the next hour I would be going back home. Against my wish for the rain to stop, it increase as if the controller derived joy from turning it high. This time I knew for sure that I was going to be drenched all the way home.
I had gone out with my boyfriend Dapo and some friends to the cinema, I was expecting some cash from him and when he said he didn’t have any, I felt bad, but I didn’t let it show because it would also make him feel bad. I felt bad because no money meant constant trouble at home, because mother would find a way to make trouble with me at the slightest thing because I’m out and will be coming back with nothing for her. This was why part of me secretly thanked the rain because it meant that I would be coming back home later than usual; at least I wouldn’t really be conversing with mom or any of my siblings.
As I walked in everyone awaited my coming like a foreigner that was coming to visit, I greeted mother and gave her some of the things I got and also shared others with my siblings before I went inside for a shower and we all went to bed.
Seyi, my elder brother’s supposed girlfriend was at the house. Trouble was coming; I knew it because I didn’t have money and just as I had predicted, mother and I had a fall out that would have not happened if I had cash on me. On the other hand, I was sick and tired of the whole thing and I had to strike back.
She called me names that a mother isn’t supposed to call her daughter. She yelled ‘’ashawo’’. That was when I couldn’t take it anymore and then I ran to the room and started crying. I cried not because of the words but because of everything I had done for her which she would never see and would never be enough.
I called my aunt for rescue, and she agreed it was okay for me to come over to her place for a while, so I started packing my things to live the house. My mother then called her sister not to allow me come to her place and as was narrating her side of the story to my aunt, she hid the main truth in everything I was battling with.
“She go dey follow boy wey no get money’’, she told my aunt.
“What are you doing with a guy who cannot foot your bills”, my aunty called to ask me, after hearing my mother’s garnished side of the story. Fresh tears, warmer than what I used to known ran through my cheek. This time the tears would not stop flowing as I recalled how mother had compared me with one of her friend’s daughter who was taking good care of her mother.
I decided to get close to her, she would give me clothes and other beautiful things and I told her to find a job for me that was when she hooked me up with this married man old enough to be my father. I can’t go back I told myself I’ve come all this way and I must see it through to the end, there was no going back, mother was in debts and the woman would never stop coming around to embarrass her.
We barely ate once a day, and when my younger sister took ill, it would always be difficult to get her drugs, because there was no money. Her recovery was always a miracle because we knew that we have never gotten her all the prescribed drugs.
I slept with the married man and got twenty thousand naira afterwards. When he handed me the money, he looked at me and said; “I know you’re a good girl, do not allow this bad life to ruin you, you can stop it’s not too late’’.
At that moment I wasn’t ready for a sermon, especially not from the married that just cheated on his wife with me. He gave me extra fifteen thousand naira because he was of the opinion that I was different so something had led to my sleeping with him. I thanked him, took the money and left, gave mother thirty thousand naira and held five thousand naira.
I never did something like that again, but then nobody knew except me how the money came, even though the man calls for me to come, I would give one excuse or the other. I serviced my mother’s monetary desires with monies friends and admirers gave to me, but one thing would always be certain, the money was never enough.
We can always expect the darkness to draw out light from us at any given chance that is why we need to be strong, courageous and hopeful that there’s a better tomorrow where we would look back and say yes! I made it. As things get tough, get stronger you are made of more than you think you are. This is your life we are talking about. Fight because you are all you’ve got. Stand up for you.
Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via [email protected] or Twitter/Instagram: @BlossomObi3