Rejoice Igbinovia Aluyi
………..I grew up to know I had just my mom as both my father and mother,she was my everything,my super Woman and pillar of support.i sometimes ask my mom about my father,but she always said she didn’t want to talk about him,but he wasn’t dead.I didn’t have all I wanted,but I had all I needed.though my mother wasn’t educated,she made sure I studied hard,and to make her proud,I did,and always come out in flying colours.
Mother works in a big school as a cleaner,I attended another school which was cheaper,after school,mother sells some fruits at the junction of our street to make ends meet.Mother wasn’t in good terms with her parent,they were angry at her for getting pregnant out of wedlock.After I was born and things didn’t go well with her and my father,her parent had asked her to travel abroad,so she could be useful to them,but she had refused,as i was always falling sick,mother was scared to leave me.her refusal made my grandparents angry at her and called her a useless good for nothing daughter.
I remember one Christmas we had gone to visit my grandparents,we weren’t welcomed and they didn’t even try to hide it,to think they didn’t even care about me being their grandchild baffled me.how can they transfer what ever thing they had with my mom to me,I mean a sin committed even before I was born.After we had stayed for some hours,we went home,that was when I asked mother what her issue was with her parents,and she told me.thats why I want you to be the best,study hard and make me proud.i had failed them, please,do not fail me.she had said.i looked her ,smiled and told her I’d make her proud..
We were each other best friend,we discussed like two adults,even though I was just a little girl ,I was 8,and in primary 3 but my mum could have valid conversation with me.i told her everything about my day too.the more I grew,the bigger the responsibility,so mother had to look for money to do something that could bring more money, wanting till 30 days to have money was just so difficult,and the fruit business wasn’t doing well as before since two other women also started selling thesame thing.
we had to manage for some months so mother could save, after about three months,she had a little cash,and was able to start food business.did I tell you my mother is a wonder cook?.Oh she is,you can’t eat my mother’s food and regret you did,her customers always came back asking for more.her business was doing well,and I was happy my mother was happy.
I envied my friends when their fathers brought them to school,I couldn’t help but wished I had one,of course wishes weren’t horses….
We went on with our lives happily,after mother’s friend had continuously talked to her, she was considering remarrying,at least so I have a father figure in life.i was really happy mother was considering another marriage,at last I’d have someone who will come pick me from school,and attend school’s occasion as my own father,so my Friends will know I have a father like them.
There were two men who were coming to visit mom,uncle Nosa and uncle Clement.uncle Nosa was a widower with two children, having a little business that was taking care of him,while uncle clement owned a car,a man in his early fourties,he was always smiling,and loving whenever he came visiting…..
I soon discovered uncle Nosa wasn’t coming to visit anymore,neither was he coming to Mama’s shop to eat.i wondered why , because I really liked uncle Nosa for mother.i found out her friend aunty Stella,was advicing her to marry uncle clement since he hadn’t marry before,young and doing fine,rather than going for a widower,who has two kids.
Since uncle Nosa wasn’t frequenting our home as before,it was obvious mother had listened to aunty Stella and had chosen uncle Clement….
……. Uncle Clement and mom became an item,they didn’t date for long before uncle clement asked mum to marry him,she asked him to wait a little longer so they can get to know themselves more, but uncle Clement said there was no point in wasting each other’s time. He wanted to marry her there was no need delaying.
What is there to know,eheenn I mean,marriage is a school, you’d get to know him more day by day .see,if you let this young handsome man slip pass you,I tell you,you may never be able to fine someone like him,aunt had said.you are right Stella,see James, that I dated for almost three years, thinking I understood him in and out,did he not still abandoned him and my daughter for another girl,it’s not really by the time, again,aunty stella had made mum accept uncle Clement proposal.
Uncle Clement liked me,he bought me things whenever he came visiting, marriage plans were going on,aunty stella was very supportive,my mother’s parent where all smiles that at last she did them honour by bringing a man to come pay her bride price.
In less than a month,the marriage ceremony of my DEAR MOTHER and Uncle Clement was done.
As we moved into uncle Clement two bedroom apartment ,I didn’t know what to expect,or what to feel,I had never had a father figure before,it had always been mother and I all along., but somehow I managed to see the bright side of the whole situation,I was encourage by the fact that I now have a complete family.
After mother had stayed four a week at home,she had to return to her business before she loses all her customers.
By now I was already in primary four,I thought mother getting married to Uncle Clement would be a blessing,but it turned out to be my biggest nightmare.
i was already use to holding my mother before I could sleep,so mother didn’t stop,she would come to my room at first to put me to sleep before joining daddy (uncle Clement) in thier room,the first few days it toriperi stories was okay.but on the sixth day or there about,mother was taking me to my room to put me to sleep when he stopped her.And where do you think you are going to,he asked mother,I am going to put our daughter to sleep,she said.so she’s a baby, a nine year old child can not sleep without her mother,what nonsense,he shouted at mom and asked her never to try it.i and mom were suprised at his reaction,we hadn’t seen him that angry,never the less,we obeyed,mom stayed back while I went to my room alone.
I was unable to find sleep,I kept rolling from one part of my bed to another,but why will daddy ask mother not to come to my room to put me to sleep,did I or mother offended him,I thought all through,well it’s possible he had a bad day,I just imagined,I was able to find sleep in the early hours of the morning.
Uncle Clement would always drive mom to her shop,and come pick us in the evening when she must have done selling, I’d always go to Mama’s shop after school and we’d come home together In Daddy’s car. Mother at first thought father was being loving and caring by taking her to the shop and bringing us back,not untill father started sitting with mother in her shop, he’d refuse to go to work,he was working as a supervisor in a growing company.mother’s shop became his new office,and whenever we got home it was a problem.He would wear a long face while driving untill we get home . immediately we went inside, he’d start,you are such a cheap useless good for nothing woman,see how you were smiling at that a man, he’d say.honey was I supposed to frown at the man,I sell food,and my appearance and approach is what will make people keep coming to my shop or not, mother would try to explain,shut up I say,which usually goes with a resounding slap.i will stand by and watch uncle Clement beat my mother mercilessly for nothing …
Because of father’s stay in the shop and Mother’s change of attitude as to how she approached her customers,many had to look for another place they could eat where the cook’s husband will not give them attitude neither will the cook herself be unfriendly,with that mother lost all her customers and she had to stop the business as she was wasting her finance cooking and eating it by ourselves or throwing them away because they had gone bad..
In a space of three months,mother had become a shadow of her former self,I couldn’t help but wished she hadn’t married uncle Clement, because our lives were better and peaceful before he came in…..