I stood there and stared at my mother, she stared back at me while the tenants stood there, waiting with bated breaths for me to be sent back to where I was coming from.
“Mummy, I have changed.” I said in a whisper. “I have changed.”
My mother looked at me, it was as though she was lost for words.
“Our compound dey peaceful since you comot…we nor want ya trouble again.” Sisi Eko said.
“Yes!” The tenants chorused.
“Please…hear her out.” Gabriel said to them. “I have experienced the change firsthand.”
“If you don experience am, why you nor carry am go ya house?” Another tenant asked.
“Abosede, I send you to Sister Lucky because I want make she help you become better pesin.” My mother said to me.
“Sister Lucky helped me and I helped myself too. I vow that I would never go back to my old ways again.” I said.
“She even dey speak better English sef. You sure say na de real Abosede be dis one?” Mama Ibeji asked.
“Na she…she wan use big grammar confuse us. If we allow make she enter, e nor go tey before her madness start again.” Sisi Eko said.
“What is wrong with all of you? Can’t you give her a second chance? In case you’ve forgotten, this is her mother’s house.” Gabriel shouted.
“We don agree say, if Abosede come back to dis compound, we go park comot. We nor want her wahala again, anyway, nor be only dis compound dey for dis area.” Sisi Eko shouted.
“Sisi Eko, this is my home and even though it belongs to my mother, you and all the other tenants make it what it is. If you all have agreed that you do not want me here, I will go somewhere else and live. I do not want to cause problems for anybody.” I said.
The tenants stared at me, they seemed to be surprised by my speech. They began to discuss amongst themselves in low tones. My mother looked at me and I saw the tenderness in her gaze.
“Okay, we go give you trial of two weeks and if after two weeks we see small skoin for ya side, we go protest.” Sisi Eko said.
I smiled in gratitude.
It was a beautiful morning, a day of celebration, joy and laughter. I lay on the bed in the room and stared at the ceiling. Today marked one year of living in the compound with my parents and neighbours. I had not caused any problems as they’d thought. In fact, I was the mediator in times of quarrels or misunderstanding. I had already applied to finish my education at the polytechnic and I was working with the company where I started as an intern. I am now, a grade one officer in the company and even though the pay was average, it paid my bills and helped me contribute to the family’s welfare as well.
I was still deep in my thoughts when I heard a knock at the door and Jimoh rushed in.
“Sister Abosede!” He said breathlessly.
“Yes Jimoh.” I answered.
“Mummy say I should check and see if you have prepare.” He said struggling to speak good English.
“Mummy wants to know if I’m ready?” I asked.
He nodded and smiled at me.
“It’s still seven am and we don’t start until twelve noon.” I said.
“But if you don’t prepare, we cannot do the wedding today.” He said to me in disappointment.
“It’s an introduction and not a wedding.” I corrected.
“Yes but you’re still marrying brother Gabriel right?”
“Yes.” I said and smiled.
As he dashed out of the room I wondered how time flies, it seemed like yesterday when I had given birth to him while I was still in school. No one knew that he was my son but felt that he was a relation because my mother took care of him for me and brought him up. I only told Gabriel when we started dating and he understood.
So far my life has been a turpsy turvy, I started out wrong but I ended up trying to right my wrongs. I changed not because Sister Lucky pressured me to but because I wanted to be a better person.
After my wedding, I intend to publish my life’s journey and its title will be ‘The Adventures of Abosede’.