I knocked and pleaded with uncle mike and his wife, i cried,i screamed, i promised never to hangout again, i promised never to disobey them, i even coffessed to the sin i never committed, i told them i stole the money and i promised never to steal again But nobody listened to me. If only mom was here. When i had no strength to shout and cry anymore,i sat by the door step and “Goodbye’s the saddest word” by “celien Dion” came to my mind, i sang with my last strength.
“Mama you gave life to me turned a baby into a lady mama all you had to offer was a promise of a life time of love. Now know theres no other love like a mother’s love for her child. And i know a love so complete somebody must leave must say goodbyes. Goodbye’s the saddest word i’ll ever hear. Goodbye’s the last time i will hold you near someday u’ll say that word and i will cry it’ll break my heart to hear you say GOODBYE”
Tears filed my eyes as i was singing, mom said her Goodbyes in the middle of nowhere and that made my life a living hell. I was still singing when a heavy wind started, i was so scared because the wind was so heavy, i moved closer to the door and covered myself with my bare hands. Few minutes later i heard sound of argument within the house,i could hear aunty nike screaming “Dont open” ontop of the voice. The door was opened and somebody offered me a hand. I looked up and i saw lizzy, she was in tears. Her parent were shouting at her from inside, they were telling her to let me remain outside where i belong but lizzy did not listen to them, instead she pulled me up and led me inside.
I stood by the door in fear while lizzy locked the door. When lizzy was done locking the door,she faced her parents and said
” even if she were to be a slave, you are not expected to treat her thia way talkless of your blood dad , am so disappointed in you. Mom you call yourself a mother but you have the heart of stone, where is the heart of a mother that you ought to posses? What are you people passing on to me?” Lizzy yelled at her parents and led me to my room. I knew uncle mike and his wife were angry with me for turning their daughter against them but i was equally surprised cos even though lizzy was nice to me, she do render assistance in the absence of her parent. She was the calm and gentle type that never goes against her parents.
Lizzy made me lay on my bed and covered me up before leaving. I slept with many unanswered questions. Did the wind start to blow because of my song? What took the gentle lizzy away and made her bold enough to defend me? Probably did my mom heard me when i called on her? Do ghost really exist? Is mom still hanging around somewhere?. Those were the questions i could not answer.
Lizzy woke me up the following morning and prepared a warm bath for me, she made me breakfast before leaving for school. When lizzy left i dressed up for school and went to greet my uncle and his wife. They did not respond to my greetings so i just left for school with no hope of how i will get to school. I called kelvin and explained my predicament to him,he was so pained that i could feel it in his voice,he told me he was out of town and not been able to help me, made matter worse for him, i consoled him and ended the call. My last option was Jordan, i called him and he promised to come immediately.
Jordan got to my gate 30minutes later and he drove me to school, he left with the promise to come for me at 2:00pm. I had alittle fun with Nelly and after school, Jordan came. Nelly rushed to hug jordan and i wondered if they have met before i introduced them to eachother. They had alittle chat before Jordan decided it was time to go. I said my goodbye to nelly and left with Jordan. Jordan parked in front of our gate and i was about to alight from his car when i saw aunty nike coming from God knows where in my mom’s car. She came down from the car and rushed at us,she knocked on the door and Jordan opened the door. Aunty nike started shouting in public
“so you are the friend she always hangout with? You influenced her badly and taught her to disobey and steal. The next time i see you here, i will get you arrested!” aunty nike shouted and left. I rushed out of the car and ran after her. Immediately she got inside she went to uncle mike and told him that a guy came to drop me off. She told my uncle that i do not even go to school anymore and all i do is hangout with men. My uncle stood up and made to hit me but he stopped half way and said
“you will remain in this house and prepare for that Jamb, no more school for you till you gain admission into the university,ok!? I shook my head and ran to my room. That was the end of school for me. I had to coach myself for the exam. The following day, i called Jordan and apologised to him. He said he did not know that i was going through hell and made a slave in my own house already. He also said he thought i will be living like a queen now that my mom is dead and am left with all the wealth but reverse was the case. Even though Jordan’s words came as an insult than concern to me, i did not react to it. He accepted my apology and i ended the call. I also called kelvin and he said i should not be depressed instead i should read and make sure i pass the exam.
Lizzy came to my room and promised to plead with her parent to allow me continue with school. But i refused, in order not to cause conflict in the house. After lizzy departure to school everyday, i would wait in my room for uncle mike and his wife to leave the house as well. Once they are gone, i would go to the kitchen, make breakfast and keep some for lunch. I read mostly in the afternoon when am alone in the main building. Sometimes i read at night when am not too scared of the dark. This was my daily routine until one Thursday, Aunty Nike came back early that day from shop and met me cooking. I was making yam and egg sauce for myself. Immediately she entered the house she came to the kitchen. I greeted her but instead of responding she rushed toward the pot on fire. She checked the yam then the egg sauce and she started to scream.
“Jesus! I had ordinary bread and tea for breakfast this morning and here you are making yam and egg sauce for yourself? I can see you have been growing fat on what you did not work for. This laziness must stop today. Go inside right now and dress up! You will start working as a sales girl in my supermarket till you gain admission! Ok?” Aunty Nike ended her speech, but i stood, rooted to a point. I heard her perfectly well but i could not believe she could be so mean to make me a sales girl in my mom’s supermarket.
“Will you move it before i decend on you!” Aunty nike’s voice brought me back to reality. I hurriedly turn off the gas cooker and rushed to my room. I was yet to dressup when i heard Aunty Nike call my name. I pulled my dress over my head quickly and rushed downstairs, i got into the car and the driver zoomed off to the supermarket. I was going back to my mom’s super market, the same place my mom was heading to before she met her untimely death. In the past, i would go there either to shop or to be with mom but that day, i was going there to start working as a sales girl.
Tears rushed down my cheek as i thought about the irony of my life. We got to the super market and i discovered that just the way our house workers were sacked, the workers at the super market were replaced as well. Aunty Nike called the other girls and said ” I called you all here to introduce a new employee to you. Her name is Nancy and she will be the errand girl. She is spoilt and lazy,but make sure you report her to me whenever she disobey you. You can all take your leave” Aunty Nike ended her speech and all the girls went back to their duty post.
I was made a massanger in a supermarket owned by my mom, that was the effect of death. I did not know what more to expect but i planned not to give up. During lunch all the girl dropped different food container size with different order and instruction for me to get them food. I did not know where to get food from so i asked one of the girls and she described the way to a local food canteen along the road. The food containers were too heavy for me but i managed to carry them after getting their orders. I was still struggling with the containers when i heard someone call my name, i turned and it was ‘Aunty oyinkan’ (khole’s mom).
” Nancy what are you doing here? Are not suppose to be in school? Who sent you all this?” aunty oyinkan questioned. I did not know what to say, i just started to cry. Aunty Oyinkan collected the food conteiners from me and led me to her car where I narrated my predicament to aunty oyinkan and she was furious. She wanted to drive down to the supermarket and battle words with my uncle’s wife, but i pleaded with her to let peace rein. Aunty oyinkan then held my cheek and said
“Nancy i know you are trying to cope,but if you ever think you are too tired and cant take the pain anymore, do give me a call, i promise to be there for you. This was the same promise i made to you when lillian died and am not backing off now”. Aunty oyinkan took me to a resturant and ordered food for me. She watched me while i ate. After eating she gave me her card and dropped me close to the super market before leaving. This was how i started working as an errand girl in my mom’s super market and i was left with limited time to read for my exam.
It was a week to my jamb examination, but i was yet to cover most of the areas i ought to have covered. Every morning i would go with aunty Nike to the supermarket and run erands on foot. Most of the time i come home lately and tired which makes me unable to study. My jamb examination was fast approaching and i had no idea of how i would transport myself to the examination center. I was scheduled to have my exam by 8:00am which means i had to arrive the center early in the morning. Kelvin was out of town so i had to call Jordan. I called Jordan and asked for his help in transporting me to my examination center and he promised to be in my house on time to pick me up.
On the day of my examination, i woke up very early in the morning and went through my book before i dressed up for school. I said my prayer and went to inform my uncle and his wife of my departure. I met lizzy preparing for school when i went to bid her goodbye, she asked if i needed anything and i said no. I called jordan to inform him that i was waiting for him and he said he was on his way. Minutes later Lizzy left in her car. I waited for thirty minutes without seeing any sign of Jordan, i called again and his line was switched off. I was baffled and confused on what to do. He was my only hope and i had no money with me. I thought of who to call again and Nelly came to my mind. She picked the call after the third ring and I informed her of my present situation. I asked if she could help me get to school and she said her exam was not scheduled for that day and she was with a friend not at home. I ended the call with Nelly and i checked my wrist watch, the time was 7:40am. My exam was scheduled for 8:00am and i was yet to get a transport down to school by 7:40AM. I was scared of missing my examination and confused on what to do. I could not call khole or aunty oyinkan. The examination would have ended before they arrive my house. I had no other person to call than Lizzy. Lizzy picked my call at the first ring and immediately i told her i was stranded, she said she would turn the car around. I was checking my time as i continued to dial Jordan’s line without luck of reaching him. This was an examination i could not afford to miss. Missing this examination will cost me another year of slaving in my mom’s super market. I doubled my step and started to trek toward the examination center. I was almost at the junction of my street when i sighted lizzy. She pulled over beside me and i got into the car. Immediately i got into the car, lizzy zoomed off without us saying a word to eachother.
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Lizzy was speeding so high that i would have cautioned if i was not late for an examination. I knew she was doing everything because of me but i could not bring myself to thank her at that moment. I was sad and lost in thought. We got to my center and i quickly alighted from the car, i got to the examination hall and the other students were just going into the hall. I joined the line hurriedly and made into the examination hall.
We started the examination by 9:15AM after which the computers were been checked. Most of the questions were difficult and unfamiliar because i could not study hard for the examination, i did my best and left the rest for God. I came out of the hall and to my surprise lizzy was outside waiting for me, immediately she saw me, she rushed at me and hugged me before asking how the examination went. I sincerely told her i did my best but could not answer most of the questions. Lizzy told me not to worry and in a bid to console me, she got me lunch at Mr.biggs before taking me home. I did not go to the super market that day, so i had the whole afternoon to myself.
During my free time,i called kelvin and told him about the incident that happened to me in the morning and he asked if Nelly and kelvin were close friends. I did not know why he asked that question but i told him they were not really close. Kelvin changed the topic and consoled me, he told me not to worry about anything apart from my education. I took kelvin’s advice and hoping to do well in my examination.
To be continued..
God Bless Lizzy