Growing up as a child in that family of four still remains the best part of my life. What a wonder! Everything I do seems to remind me of my mother. A Disciplinarian and that’s putting it mildly; You dare not make a mistake. The word mistake never existed, it was one of those “Forbidden” words. It was so bad, I felt all mistakes were punishable by death. You just had to be super careful in doing anything and rather remain mute than utter gibberish. Even now that she Isn’t here to correct me, now that I kinda have this said “Freedom”, I still find it hard to do some certain things . I can practically say she’s omnipresent…. lol.
There are days when it seems like every thing is all coming back to you. Minute by minute. You just get to pause and smile at the memories… Some sort of reminisce. Yesterday was one of those days. I got back from church hungry and tired. All I could think of at that point was food. As I touched down at home, I dashed into the kitchen to help myself with some Sunday rice 😀 . Thank God I had rice in the fridge prepared last night. All I needed to do was use the microwave. Just as I dished out my food, sat down to eat, I heard a voice, My mother’s voice “dirty foolish girl, have you had your bath? You came back from church that you have spent nothing less than 8 hours and all you can do is food, you are just too dirty.”
I paused. I looked left, looked right, smiled and continued my delicious meal.
About 20seconds After that I heard the voice again “why are you this local? Is your food running away? If your spoon hits that plate again you won’t eat that food any more” that was when the reset button in my head came alive. I smiled all through that meal. I reminisced all through.
Then I remembered an incident that happened way back. Not sure how old I was then but definitely not up to 10years old. Some of you might be familiar with something the little children carried around then to get money from the uncles and Aunts called “promise card”
I couldn’t get a picture of it but then I hope my description will remind you of the promise card. (That’s what I remember it being called anyway)
Its usually a blue cardboard paper, cut in a rectangular shape.
It has about 5 column and rows. Where you have the serial number, date, Name, item, and another date.
The first date is for the very day the recipient made the promise and the last date is for when he or she will be ready to fulfil his or her promise.
One of the maids we had in the house, by the name Oluchi. She bought me one of those promise cards and took me out. I was really excited and had everyone making different promises. From money to Biro to pencil to clothes and so on. Not that I lacked any of those but I just didn’t understand the excitement.
We got home late that night and unfortunately for us, my mother was back and was positioned at the only escape route… Sitting majestically of course.
She asked were we were coming from and believe me you, I knew I was dead.
Aunty Oluchi managed to cook up a lie that saved us for 60seconds until I ran to my mum to show her the promise card in excitement.
Sweet Jesus, my mother turned red. These were her words:
“Oh! Oh! Oh! You are now learning prostitution? Eeeeeehhhhh! My God. What did they promise to give you that you don’t have? So when you go back to collect the stupid gift they will start touching you. Oh my God! I will teach you both a lesson you will never forget. Onye iberibe. Wait for me”
Those were her words as she made her way to get the koboko (horse whip). I died before she returned. But you dare not run. I watched her beat the house maid. I was my mum’s favourite and I thought she would forgive me after all my pleading.
But to my red moon surprise, I was deceiving myself. My mother treated me like I was the maid. My beating was more than double compared to what she did to the maid… Well that’s what it felt like.
That day I wondered if she was truly my mother. I put many pieces to the puzzle before I was convinced that night… I was hurt.
I never understood all that then but one thing was sure. I never got near or liked anyone holding the so called “promise card”. Even till today, I never promise any child using that promise card. I don’t judge the children neither do I rebuke them but as far as am concerned, that little cardboard paper is evil and harmful to me 🙁
But here I am now looking back at the times, I understand all of her love and protection towards me, I understand that she didn’t want me to start telling a child abuse tale at this point in my life and I grew up to understand that contentment is the key to true happiness.
Thank you mum
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