Life I have heard is hard out there in the big cities, father has been gone for the past ten years in search of greener pasture after the death of mother.
Uncle John my fathers brother has been good to me, but then his wife, Iya Uzo is my biggest problem, she treats me like a slave, I cook, I clean, I eat less, I sleep outside the house, basically am a slave.
My name is Raliat but my best friend Nku named after the biggest river in the world, calls me ‘The Sugar Girl’, don’t be deceived I don’t sell sugar cane, its just a way to say ‘The Happy Girl’.
“Nku, wait up” I ran after my best friend bare footed, news have gone round the town that her father was back, her mother always told me how close our fathers were, practically they are brothers, they went both to the city together. I tried to keep up, pushed forward by the thoughts of father only, its been almost a year now since he last wrote to me.
“You are too slow, keep up!” Nku shouted back, never slowing down she ducked under their bamboo fence, and straight into the house, breathless I followed her inside, in one quick second I swept around the room for that person that could be my father. Out of impulse I asked “Where is my Father?”
“Raliat” a man who had Nku on his lap called my attention, “You have grown up, you are becoming a woman” is that her father? I asked myself.
“Did he send words?” Not wating for an answer I rushed on.”When is he coming?”
“Your father is fine” he said “He asked me to give you this” he reached into his pocket brought out a letter, I grabbed it from him before he could say ‘Sa’, opened it in one swing.
I read slowly at first but the contents of the letter prompted me to read faster, I took one step back, tears streaming down my eyes as I read his last words, I ran out the door holding the letter I ran.
I ran breathlessly towards the river Amo, the only comforting place I could think of, the words of the letter play slowly in my head.
I am sorry it took this long to write to you, but an incident has occurred over here that’s going to cost you something special. By the time you are reading this I would probably be dead, I know its a harsh way to write to you, but you have to be strong, because the next incidents will define you. Be safe my child.