#50DaysCountDownTo2015 – DAY 22, Written by ife Olujuyigbe, she blogs at www.ifekleva.wordpress.com
Today is my birthday. Miss B doesn’t remember, and Aunty Nancy doesn’t either. They are treating me like every other day, like every other child in the home. And it’s so painful.
I’m close to tears. If anyone says anything even slightly emotional to me, I know I would explode into a wreck of tears. I’m now officially the oldest kid in the home, and birthdays have become a thing to dread. I feel that maybe there’s something wrong with me, if not, why won’t anyone want to have me.
Last year, just before Titi was taken away, she told me I wasn’t pretty. She said everyone wants pretty children with long hair and big bold eyes. Like her. That night I cried and cried and wiped my eyes with my wrapper, only to cry and cry again. I didn’t talk to God often, but that night I just kept on shouting ‘God, why am I not pretty?’.
When Aunty Nancy saw me the following morning, she knew something was wrong with me because my eyes were swollen and red. I told her I was crying because I wasn’t pretty, and she gave me a sad pitiable look that confirmed all my suspicions. Though she kept assuring me that I was a very beautiful girl, I could never believe anything she said because her look had betrayed her.
All my friends who I grew up in this home with have been taken. I find it hard to relate with the new kids, and the younger ones because they don’t respect me. It’s hard to even go through each day in this home, and a new birthday doesn’t help matters one bit.
Mr. Wilson and his wife came last week. They seemed nice and friendly; I silently hoped that they would like me and choose me. I know I was shy during the interview. I kept feeling like I could never fit into their family seeing that I’m not pretty, and his wife is really pretty. I also had a running stomach from the beans we ate for breakfast. I kept scrunching up my face with every sound of my stomach. But I was hopeful. Hopeful that they will look beyond all my imperfection and just like me. For whatever reason there was in the world, I just hoped they’d choose me over Bianca, Eddy and Salome who they also interviewed. I badly hoped.
But today is my birthday. Today, I am nine years old. Today, I’m more conscious of the truth that I am not good enough to be adopted. I’m more aware of the truth that I am not pretty, and maybe not so smart as well. Nobody wants me. My parents didn’t, so they dumped me here. Miss B and Aunty Nancy probably don’t want me either, at least, forgetting my birthday is proof enough. I have considered many things to do about my situation. But I think I have the perfect idea.
Last night I had a dream. I was in a beautiful place, and everyone was all smiles. I had on a lovely gown that reached my ankles. It was sky blue. No, it was white. Maybe close to white, but it was bright and radiant. There was music, instruments only. As I walked into the room, everyone stood up, beaming and clapping. For once, I felt like I mattered. It felt like they were waiting for me. I was so glad. Everyone was on their feet clapping, and it must have been the clapping that woke me up. I opened my eyes to find Aunty Nancy clapping, standing at the centre of the room, and shouting that we wake up. It was disappointing to realize that I was only dreaming, but all day today, the dream won’t go away.
Today is my birthday, and I think I know how to get to that place, that beautiful warm place from my dream. That place where everyone wants me. I have bought a blade, and while I excuse myself to use the bathroom, I will use it. No one will know, and then all these will be over in no time. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson will surely not want me, and then it may take another year to find someone who wants a child over six years old. This is my only chance to be happy, and by God, I will take it.
I’m in the bathroom now, seated on the floor. I have locked the door from within. I have begun using the blade. I want to scream because the pain is much, but I have brought my wrapper to tie my mouth so no one can hear me. There is no going back now. This is my only chance.
I can see my blood flowing out of my wrists. But I’m also hearing faint sounds from outside. I hear Aunty Nancy’s voice, I think she’s looking for me. She’s knocking now, asking me to come out quickly because Mr. Wilson is here to see me. She sounds excited too. I’m shocked. What does he want to say to me? Has he come to take me?
Oh, he has come to take me!
I can see the blood from around my ankles seeping out onto the concrete bathroom floor. I want to stand up now and open the door, but I find I’m already too weak to stand. I remove the wrapper from my mouth and attempt to call out to her, but I’m so weak now, and my voice falls flat on the ground. I’m certain she cannot hear it.
I can feel my body growing weaker and weaker. There’s blood everywhere now. Why did Mr. Wilson not come yesterday? Why did Aunty Nancy not remember my birthday? Why is my face ugly and my hair short? Why does anyone not want me? Why…?
Today is my birthday, and I think I’m am about to die.