It has been almost a month since I have been living with my mother and our neighbors were beginning to talk. This morning as I was on my way to get some water from our backyard for Dare’s bath, these two women who I knew to be the master planners of the compound saw me walking past them, and burst out laughing as if someone tripped on something. They knew I could hear them, and that was what they wanted.
“How long has it been now since she’s been staying with her?” the first lady with a big scare on her forehead asked her fellow mate.
“I heard her husband no longer found her tasty so he threw her out.” the other woman with the overdue hair on her head answered. The other woman laughed, and laughed until she was out of breath. Since something was obviously funny, I decided to joined in.
“Mama Chika, tell me where is that so called husband of yours?” I asked her walking towards where she was seating. “Since he left you, have you even been able to buy relaxer, common relaxer for your hair?” “He has you looking like a mad woman you’re claiming you’re going natural. So tell me what’s funny about that?”
She was about to say something, “Ooh leave me let me deal with this small rat!” she said to the other lady who was pulling her back because she was ready for a fight.
“Swallow it! How dare you even open your mouth to say anything…..” I said to her; I also was ready for a fight. The other lady quickly responded in other to save her friend. “Lola na, it was not you we were talking about oo, na the other lady down the street we hear say her husband leave her and…..”
“And so what? You!” I pointed to her using my bucket “I am coming for you oh. You said you have a husband abi? How many times does he come home at night? How many times does he even come to see the football team you people gave birth to?” I asked preparing myself for anything that comes next.
The two women were now quite. It was as if I knocked the misery back into them. “Next time I hear either of you talk- talk about me or anyone else in this compound you will have me to face!” I shoved my bucket close to her face, and she stepped back in fear. I wondered how she got that scare in the first place. I won’t be surprised if it occurred while she was blabbing her dirty mouth; Husband snatcher some people called her.
I went on with my business. I got my water and went straight to my house with my head held high. As soon as I got to my door, I almost collapsed. All my strength was gone when the realization hit me that I have just become like one of those women. Jobless, well at least one of them was selling akara! I had nothing, common akara I did not know how to make, talk less of to sell it.
Who is laughing at whom here when we were all on the same boat? But I swear if it is the last thing I do, my boat will not land in the same destination as theirs. I picked up my bucket and went inside my house.
“What took you so long? Dare is almost late for school.” My mother asked as I walked into the kitchen. Mama, you do not even want to know the two demons I just fought off just now.
“Demons? Where? Not in this compound. Oya, oya lets pray. Holy ghost fire!!! Where are they?” she was already in her prayer mood.
I couldn’t stop laughing at her reaction. I stood there smiling and said, “Ah mama! It was mama Chika, and that other one. They were doing what they knew how to do best, and I certainly did mine too.” I hissed.
“What did they do this time?” my mother asked.
“You know na, people are talking about my long stay here at your place.” I said to her walking to help her with the breakfast she was making. After she heard that her face and body language changed. “I can fry it myself, you just stand over there.” She snapped at me, pointing to the refrigerator.
“But mom I was only trying to help. What’s all this na?” I grumbled.
“You are asking me abi? Come oh, where am I now? Am I not in my husband’s house? Where are you?” she asked with such a mean tone as if she has been wanting to spit out those questions for so long but it’s only been a month though.
I replied back to her “See mama I am not having all of this oh this early morning, at least not from you. I have had enough of it for one morning.” I turned my back to leave.
“Come back here, you will hear it! You silly girl! I did not leave my husband, he left me. Till death before we parted.” She said.
“Ha-ha, see me see wahala oh. What did my own husband do? He left me too or do you want me to be the one to die in this case?” I asked her. She turned around to ask me the most unbelievable thing no one wants their mother to ever say, “What good are you to me in this house now then?”
“You don’t bring the money for feeding…” she started complaining.
“But I used to before mama, you have forgotten so quickly abi so soon?” I replied.
“I take care of your child!” she yelled.
“Your grandson mama! Your grandson!” I was not going to stand there and have her frustrate me even further this morning. So I asked, “Are you tired of me leaving in my own father’s house?”
“You have over stayed your welcome; I don’t think I can keep feeding you and your child any longer.” She said after a long sigh.
To hear my mother speak to me like this was an eye opener. When I was still married to Bolu, he basically took care of my parents. My mother especially was on top of the money. Everything she wanted and did not need was handed over to her. Throughout those years, I was her golden child but now she sees me in a different light. I guess she will run back to Kate now because she and I were done!
When my son finally came down stairs all dressed, I saw the reason why I was still in this house and I hated it! If only he was not here!