The D-day was saturday, the day my mom was buried. I woke up sad but i gathered all my strength and i tried to stay strong. I was able to hide my tears as we all left our compound dressed in white, heading to the cemetery to burry my world. I thought i was strong,i thought i gathered enough strength until when my mom’s coffin was brought out of the ambulance, i wanted to go crazy. I released myself from jordan’s grip and ran to the coffin, i screamed,requesting to see my mom’s lifeless body but nobody listened to me, i cried my eyes out, if only mom was there, she would have listen to me, she always listen to me!! I shouted. Kelvin carried me away from the coffin and consoled me. I was calm for a while and when the coffin was taken away, i became more calm.
We got to the space provided for my mom to be buried and the coffin was brought out again. My mom was lowered to the ground as the priest ended his sermon with “From dust we were made and to dust we will return”. I was called upon to pour sand on her coffin and i could not bear it any longer. It was so difficult, so difficult for me to see my mom,my world, my present and my future been buried while i stay put. I wanted to jump into her grave but kelvin and jordan were too strong for me to escape their grip. what wil be my reason for staying behind when the reason for my existence was been buried? Just like yesterday, dad was been buried but mom was here for me and she gave me a shoulder for me to cry on, now that she is gone, on whose shoulder will i cry on? My mom the most loving Mrs.williams was covered up with sand and that was the last i saw of her.
After the burial, a flamboyant ceremony was organised, people ate and drank as if mom’s death was been celebrated. I stayed in her room throughout the ceremonial period. Khole,kelvin,au
nty oyinkan,jordan and nelly took turn to visit me but none of them could feel what i felt,i lost a mother while they lost a family friend.
By the third week of my mom’s death,most of the visitors left and the house was empty. I was left with kelvin and the other workers. Kelvin did alot for me and he tried all his possible best to console me but my mom is irreplaceable.
On monday afternoon of the fourth week My uncle seek to meet with the workers and myself. We all settled down in the living room and my uncle said ” I greet you all for honouring my invite and am greatful for your support during my late sister’s burial. Without beating about the bush, My reason for calling this meeting is to inform u all that your appointment with this family has been terminated, you all have been relived of your duties. The sum of a hundred thousand will given to all of you now and you are to vacate this premises latest tomorrow evening. Ones again Goodafternoon”. My uncle ended his speech and he left. I looked at kelvin and he looked back at me, i did not know what to feel anymore as tears rushed down my cheek. I met with my uncle and pleaded with him to allow kelvin stay but he refused and said,this is now his house and his bussiness. He is the only determinant of who leaves and who stays. I left in tears and rushed to mom’s room.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and i looked up, kelvin was infront of me. He smilled at me and asked if i was crying because i wont find a great cook like him. I forced a smille and he sat beside me. Kelvin took my hands and said “Nancy, i want to offer you my penny, please listen attentively. You need to be strong but you should not fight for yourself Nancy. Look around you, everybody is hungry for you mom’s wealth, if you play hard, they will end up using you as a stepping stone. Sometimes you have to play the fool to win the world. Now is not the time to fight for yourself, just watch, play along and learn…” kelvin ended his piece of advice and i went into his arm. He released himself from my grip and i offered to help him pack his bag.
Early tuesday morning, kelvin and all the workers were ready to leave, they all offered their condolences and promised to check on me. Kelvin was the last person to leave and before he left he took my hand and dropped some naira note and said “this is fifty thousand naira,you will need it, remember be strong and i will keep intouch”. I could not hold back my tears when kelvin left, the sacrifice he made got me emotional. Even though he was brooke,he gave me half of his pay off.
As soon as the workers were sent away,new workers were employed by aunty Nike(uncle mike’s wife). The first day she came, she respond casually to my greeting and she parade the compound,showing each of the workers their duty post as if the house belong to her. I watched her through the window from my mom’s room,i could not help but remember my mom,she would not have been doing all this if mom were to be here. Mom where are you? I need you now more than before. Death why my mom? I wept.
The following sunday, uncle mike moved in with his family. I came back from church (i realised i need God now than ever) and met a full house. Uncle mike was in the living room, i greeted him and headed to my mom’s room. I was about opening the door when i heard someone say “where do you think you are going?”. I turned back and saw aunty Nike,i greeted and told her i wanted to stay in my mom’s room. She laughed and said “which room? You this spoilt rat, dont you know that this is the master bedroom? All your late mom’s leftover have been taken care of. This room now belong to my husband and i, in you miserable life dont you ever step your foot in that room” she ended her speech and walked away. Aunty Nike’s words were so painful and unbelievable. They did not allow me to see the last of my mom, how can they deny my seeing the last of her personal belongings? Those things are suppose to be my last hope! I could not bear not seeing my mom’s belongings,the scent from her clothes brings me to believe she is still around,even if its one i need to get her dress. I made to open the door to mom’s room without realizing that Aunty Nike was still watching me from behind. She rushed towards me with full speed and landed a slap on my cheek. I saw stars,my eyes turned red blood, i was yet to recover from the shock when she pulled me by my hair and she dragged me to the living room. “Mike come and see this stupid girl o,she want to enter the master bedroom,our room! for relaxation” aunty nike shouted. Uncle mike stood up and asked if his wife already told me that my mom’s stuffs were no longer there. She replied yes and he said “So after telling you that your mother belongings were burnt, you still have the mind to go into my room? The next time you disobey my wife you will starve to death,ok?” uncle mike thundered. I noded and he left with his wife. I fell to the ground and for the first time i did not weep for mom, i wept for myself. I wept for the sweet days have had and for the awful days am about to start,all i could say was “why me God?” I questioned my creator.
I was still crying when i felt a tap on my shoulder,i looked up me and it was Lizzy,uncle mike’s daughter. She pulled me up and led me to my room. She laid me on my bed and left. After her departure, I stopped to cry and gathered enough strength to get my phone and i dialed Kelvin’s line. He picked immediately and he asked if i was ok and making use of his advice. I brooke into fresh tears and told him about the afternoon’s incidence. He consoled me over the phone and told me to forget getting mom’s personal belongings. He said my lock chain is available when ever i miss my parent. Kelvin told me to resume my jamb coaching the following day and make a beautiful future out of my life. We talked for a while before i ended the call. I gathered enough strength to get food,since nobody cares if i have eaten or not, i eat whenever i do not have the strength to cry anymore.
The following monday,i woke up early and dressed for school. I was fully dressed by 7:00am,so i went to the dinning room to get breakfast. Aunty Nike came out of the kitchen and asked me to follow her. She went into the kitchen and pointed at a big bowl filled with dirty plate and asked me to do the washing. I almost cried and complained of been late. She slapped me, saying i should never defile her orders. With tears i started to wash the dirty plates and minutes later i noticed someone beside me, she took the plates and started to help. Again it was lizzy.
It was 8:30am when i finished with the plates with lizzy. I hurried to the living room where my uncle was sitted,greeted him and asked for a driver to take me to school,he laughed wickedly and said “young lady i did not employ a driver for you,from now onward,you have to trek to school” i could not believe my ears,i explained to him that my school was a thirty minutes drive from home talkless of walking. He frown and shouted “do not disturb me! Am not forcing you to go,if you cant trek, go and help my wife at the super market. Now get out of my sight!” I picked up my bag and went into my room and wept for my life again. I remembered kelvin’s words and brought out my chain lock, i looked at our family picture and i summon the strength to make my parents proud,where ever they are. I took from the money kelvin gave to me and hurried to school with a heart filled with determination to succeed.
I took a public transport to school, it was a strange experience but not really a bad one. The only bad side of it was the driver stopping almost every five minutes for a passanger to highlight or to pick up a passanger,that made the journey slow.
I got to school lately and literature class was on already. I greeted Miss.esther and settled down in an empty sit.The class ended shortly after my arrival and miss.esther said i should see her during lunch before she left.Most of my class mate offered their condolence and few of them tried to cheer me up. Nelly came for me during lunch,i did not go to the cafeteria so she came to my department. Nelly hugged me for a while and i felt love, she looked into my eyes with tears and concern and said “Twinny, how have you been? You look lean,what happened” i could not give nelly a respond, as tears started to roll down my cheek,she also started to cry. She engulfed me in a warm embrace as we both cried.
Nelly brooke the embrace and took my hands,she promised to stay with me and i felt love again.I went to the cafeteria with nelly and had lunch which she paid for before i went to miss.esther’s office. Immediately she saw me, she covered the transparent container she was eating from and asked me to take a sit. Miss.esther moved closer to me and said “Nancy am sorry about your mom, please be strong.I noticed you were extremely late today, did you wake up late? Or were too sad to dress up? Please be strong and make yourself proud. You are a bright girl, that is why am been concerned” i could not answer miss. Esther’s questions, i just looked down at my feet as if it will produce answers. I gusse Miss. Esther noticed i was not willing to talk, she hugged me before i left her office for the general class.
The general class ended and it was time to go back to hell, a place i once call home. While packing my bag Nelly came to me and said she informed her mom about my mood, and she want me over for lunch.I did not want to go with her at first but she pleaded and i agreed. We left together in her car after packing my bag.
Immediately we got to Nelly’s house, her mom rushed out and hugged me very tight, later She brooke the hug and looked into my eyes and said “How are you my child?” i could see the love and concern in her eyes, i told her i will be fine and she hugged me again. Mr.stanley was absent so i had lunch with Nelly and her mom. After lunch i went to nelly’s room and she involved me in different activities to cheer me up.We were stil swimming when my phone started to ring at the pool side, i checked the caller I.D and it was Jordan. I accepted his call and he went on and on to tell me how bussy he was, which is the reason he could not keep in touch, he apologised and i accepted his apology. Jordan promised to check on me and call me often. It was when i ended the call with Jordan that i checked the time on my phone, the time was 5:00pm. Nelly followed me as i rushed out of the pool and changed into my dress, i hurriedly said my goodbye and Mrs.Stanley ordered Nellys’ driver to take me home.
I got home 5:45pm and rushed into the main building, i was about going into my room when aunty Nike shouted” where are you coming from?” i turned back,greeted her and told her i went to school. ” is your school not suppose to close by 2:00pm?” aunty nike said. I do not know where this question and answer will lead to but i was hoping not to get a slap again. ” After school i went to a friends’….” i was yet to finish the sentence when a slap landed on my left cheek. I held my cheek as hot tears rushed out of my eyes. Aunty Nike dragged me to my room and she started to search everywhere. She opened my bag and took my A.T.M card, she then searched my wardrobe, where i kept the money kelvin gave to me, immediately she saw the money she started shouting ” O.M.G so you have started stealing, i know you are spoilt i never knew you are a thief as well. Mike must hear this” she ended her rantingand left. I sat on my bed depressed but i could not cry anymore.
Uncle mike arrived home 9:00PM, immediately i came out to greet him, aunty nike rushed at him and said ” Mike can you believe that nancy got home 8:00pm, she said she went to hangout with friends, and she stole my money, look at the fourty eight thousand i saw in her wardrobe”. Uncle mike was boiling with anger, he looked at me and said ” young lady,where did you get that money from? So you stole from my wife?” i was yet to answer his question when a hot slap landed on my cheek again. I was yet to recover from the slap, when uncle mike dragged me outside the house and said ” you have the guts to hangout with friends? You think you can go out and come back anytime you like? Tonight! you will hangout with the mosquitoes. You idiot!”
Uncle mike left me outside and locked the door. I was left outside, in the dark alone with my fate.
To be continued