Dedicated to Everyone who didn’t do well in this past Jamb.
It was cosy. Death was cosy. She loved the feeling she was having. At that point, nothing felt sweet any more. Nothing felt bad as well. Everything felt numb. She needed to feel something and that thing must be death. Her body should soon start jerking and her lungs should soon start hurting her due to lack of oxygen. She wasn’t even thinking of herJunior in school that just got admission into Babcock University. She could only enjoy the taste of death. The fragrance and coldness it emitted was strong enough to hold her still.
She dangled from the fan as she gave in to the power of the rope. The way the fan rolled her felt like heaven in itself. It took her back to those days in primary school when she went to an amusement park. The rope was strong and held her neck firmly. The plan was mapped out well. She would die the day no one was at home. To die in her room was better than walking on the street with shame.
Just three days ago, she was so sure she would be one of those destined to make it to the University. Her father had insisted that she compromised and just pass this examination.
‘ You’re growing hold’, he said some months before.
‘ Yes’, her mother said, staring at the wall as if she was reading from the words from it. ‘ This is your sixth time. Even those you bullied, those in Jss class would have gotten admission by now’.
After many deliberations and analysis, she considered their efforts and succumbed to do their wish. The guy that helped her was an expert, they did it smoothly. However, things went haywire when she saw the result, when her parent learnt she made 178 again.
Her mother didn’t talk. Her father was the only one lamenting about how she was suffering, about how she should have gone to learn trading or any other craft.
She adjusted in her seat. ‘ Me? No. So that my juniors will now see me and call me what?’
That spooked her mother. She sat up like a cobra whose tail had just been crushed. ‘ You’re a crazy. You’re a fool. I think the doctors changed my child in the hospital. This irritating imbecile couldn’t have popped out of me’.
‘ But mummy…’
‘ Don’t you dare mummy me…’
‘ Darling’, her father said as he slumped in the sofa.
‘ Dear, leave me o. You made her stay in the state. You allowed her do her wishes”.
‘ She’s my daughter for crying out loud. Old enough to make decision for herself’.
Her mother fiddled with her neckpiece as she stared at the ground.
‘ That’s just it. This is the height of it. You, Susan have been riddled with bad luck. My pastor said it but I didn’t believe. ‘
Susan was shocked. Even if the world believed she had bad luck, should her own mother also make such pronouncement.
Her father sighed and sat up. ‘ I told you not to ever bring this up’.
He rolled the newspaper in his hand and rose to leave. Her mother moved to the edge of the sofa and the colour of her face began to change as she got ready to spit venom with her mouth and words and badgers.
‘ You gave her what she asked. When I told her to go to Mountain of Fire, she said no that she wants to go to Winners. That she would do confession and this and that. Confession be damned. If you can’t go to CAC at least you can go to mountain of fire. This is a spiritual matter.’
‘ CAC my foot’. Susan said as she clambered out of the seat. Whenever her mother started to rant, no one could get the last of it. And the most painful part of it was that she wasn’t ready for such useless banters.
‘ Let her be. She just saw her result. Let her recuperate before you tell to do anything’.
‘ Hear wretchedness streaming out of your mouth. You’re flooding her head with mediocrity. I told you to pay some people to make her enter any school. There are people that pay’.
‘ Mummy…’ Susan said and turned with her arm stretched. Anger spiralled through her vein. ‘ That’s a sin’.
Her mother widened her eyes. ‘ A sin. You’re stupid. You that wears trousers can call something a sin. You better go and see where your mate are making it. Go to the ant thou sluggard. See Vanessa. That fine girl, may God bless her. Ah! I wish I was her mother. She too. She doesn’t have her parents that are willing. He who has head doesn’t have a cap and vice versa. Didn’t you see how she made it to the University’.
‘ Mummy!’ She was so surprised at what her mother was saying. Her mother used to align with her belief. So she saw no reason her mother would suddenly find her actions repulsive.
‘ It’s her belief. You have to…’
Her mother rose and stomped the ground. ‘ Oh … Leave me o. You people are bad luck. She took it from your gene.’
Her mother stormed out leaving both of them in shock.
So as death cuddled her breathe and played with it, she knew she had to just give in to it. No one understood her.
Suddenly, the door burst open.
‘ Susan I’ve killed him. I’ve’.
Princess, her best friend, stopped in her track. Susan breathe that was already tuning into the rhythm of her jerking body suddenly began to hyperventilate as she hoped to hasten the death. Her body was beginning to lose consciousness. Susan loved it. Before Princess would have a chance at helping her, she should have given up the ghost.
However, Princess had training in taewondo. Within ten seconds she had helped her catch her breathe again. Frustrated, Susan hanged on to the rope but two punches from Princess weakened her. She grunted as the pain surged through her body. Her energy depleted.
‘ Leave me’. Sheo fought hard when Susan had removed the rope from the fan.
They crashed to the ground sending the plastic chair to the other side of the room.
They laid beside themselves for some times and Susan burst into laughter.
‘ I almost died. Death is sweet.’
Princess, still panting and staring at her, said, ‘ I’ve killed him. I’ve killed my Uncle’.
Susan froze for some seconds, then scrambled off the ground. ‘ You did what?’
Princess nodded and tears flooded her eyes.
‘ Did he try to rape you again. I thought he overcame that?’
‘ Me too. I just saw my result. I sent it to you on WhatsApp. I’m staying home too. I’m staying in that damn house with my aunty.’
‘ My phone was off’
‘ Yes. The message didn’t get delivered. So, I was still crying when he came again. And I kicked and he was sprawling on the ground. I should have left him. But I didn’t. I should have left him there. God!’
‘ What did you do?’
She sobbed again. ‘ I killed him. I stabbed him. I rushed to the kitchen, took a knife and stabbed him and it felt good. It felt good. I loved it and I stabbed him some more. If he was Jamb official I would have been more happy.’
‘ Don’t cry.. what do we do?’
‘ I have to run away. That’s the only solution. My Aunt will return tomorrow. I have to run away.’
‘ Don’t… We will find solution. We will…. We will tell them he raped you, that….’
‘ We can’t.’
They stared at the themselves.
‘ Then, I’ll follow you.’
‘ No. You won’t’
‘ I’ll follow you. If I don’t go with you, I’ll kill myself. I can’t live here alone’.
‘ You will suffer o’
Then, a facebook update entered her phone. Susan checked it and saw Kike’s Facebook Update.
‘ I thank God. See my result. 308 baby.. I’m so going to the University’.
Susan burst into tears and brought the screen to show Princess. She glanced at Susan’s face and joined her in weeping.
They hugged each other, sobbing.
Princess, still panting and staring at her, said,