“She walked, tears streaming down her face, holding a bucket of markade. It became clear to me today that she’s no longer with us because of the markade that spilled from her skull. She talked so much this morning, seemingly envious. As she approached the attic of their house, she hesitated, fearing that she might wake up Inna, who was up there. ‘What are you doing in the lab? Come in and bring my mark,’ she called. ‘You’re working late, don’t disturb us with the call to prayer; we’re not finished yet. They say you won’t come in, or when I do, I find my room empty. My apologies for bothering you.’ 

‘Mom, that’s why the money was wasted; take it from the fathers! Your father’s son, your father gave me the money and the lion’s share of the loss. So today, I will eat your father until you repay me. You have a terrible attitude…’

“Inna felt the disaster as she entered the house, muttering about an epidemic.

“‘Alright! Alright! I made noise on Tuesday; can you assist me?’ I asked. ‘You said this girl didn’t leave me; she squandered my money, so I paid for my millet, and I won’t pay for it anymore. You said I’d get paid? From today, this girl is in trouble. She works tirelessly in these humble homes, rain or shine, and now she’ll have to deal with her recklessness. But I won’t pay you, and I haven’t hit a girl since I realized we’re not seeing eye to eye. Please keep an eye on your children; don’t they pester you to do their chores? She lay near the bus stop, and he told my mother to get up for the call to prayer and offered her two hundred naira to find a place with a salad shop at the market. Mom stared at him and retorted, ‘Is that what you said, sir? We’ll meet one day!’

“‘Hey, Nana, are you pretending to sleep all day? You woke up at seven to do housework. Did your father tie you up yesterday? Why do you get a chance to sleep today, you foolish person, just like your mother! If it’s not fate, I’ll be cursed with disasters and calamities in this house on Tuesday. ‘Mom, son of God, I apologize. I’m not feeling well today, that’s why I went to bed.’

“‘I’m sorry; why didn’t you ask to stay with your mother and come back later?’ ‘Mom, son of God, I’m sorry. Get up and take care of your mess, your laundry is dirty; go wash it and fix it.’ ‘Then you tell me, son of God, I didn’t know what to do. Last year, you didn’t come to Wani Boko until you stopped all the work in my house. You see, you’ve become a modern girl, right? Will you get up, or shall I silence you with my hand? You’re just a nuisance… I talk about my mother doing all the housework, but her children are growing up and leaving, and she’s still working.’ ‘What about everything, including the laundry?’ ‘Yes, I’m fine.’ ‘Did you put it down and get the mark?’

“‘Nana, when did I last scold you? Are you fighting? I haven’t touched you for two days…’ ‘No, it’s not like that, Mom. I’m sorry; my patience ran out. How much more do you expect me to tolerate?’ ‘Leave the house, or I’ll give you a thrashing with the black bed. This bad behavior runs in your mother’s family; you won’t even shed a tear. You’re just a foolish person.’

“She greeted us as she entered the house and handed Mom her markade. Mom inspected it while I continued talking. ‘I’m off to school,’ she said, hurrying to get ready.

“‘Nana, it’s almost time for school; it’s nearly twelve o’clock now. When will Inna Talutu let go of her jealousy and share with us…’

“‘Well, I’m sorry,’ I said, apologizing to Mom and the others who had gathered. ‘How long will you share Mom with me? Have you forgotten everything now that we’re in SS one… God bless you…’

“‘Now let’s enjoy the day…'”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *