The drive was quite long as my mother and I sat at the back
of the taxi cab in silence. I refused to talk to her, or look in her direction.
She was sending me away as she didn’t want to be embarrassed by my actions so, I didn’t
see the need to start a conversation with her. After an hour of being on the road, the
car slowed down to a halt and I watched as she alighted from the cab and asked
the taxi man to open the booth. I too alighted, staring at my surroundings in
surprise. We were faraway from home, somewhere towards the outskirts of Lagos.
I watched as my mother told the driver to help us take my things inside the compound and quickly tell him to wait for her as she intended on returning as
quickly as she could. I stared at the compound that my bags were taken into and I
cringed. The house looked so old, it had a very low fence and no gate. I stared
at the dirty compound and compared it to my mother’s compound and sighed, my
mother was throwing me into the jaws of poverty. She walked ahead of me and I
sluggishly followed her inside, grumbling under my breath and wondering why she
was being cruel to me. She got to the door of the house and banged at the
wooden frame.
“Sister Lucky!” She called out. “We don come ooo…”

The door opened and a very thin woman looked at us in
surprise then her lips widened to form a smile when she saw my mother.
“Sister…how you dey na?” The woman asked with a wide
smile.
“I dey ooo…how family, how’s work?” My mother asked.
“Work dey kampe.” The woman said then looked at me. “Na she
be dis?”
My mother nodded.
“Come inside…” She said beckoning to the taxi driver to
carry my things into the house.
We stepped into the house and I was almost taken aback by
the neatness of the place. The compound was a heavy contrast to what was inside
the house. The fan was on and it spun around in circles, making some kind of
creaky noise as though it was about to fall on our heads.
“Welcome my sister.” The woman said again.
“Thank you so much for welcoming us.” My mother said in
smiles.
“Hmmm…what is your name?” The woman asked me.
I looked away, I wasn’t in the mood to get chatty with
anyone least of all with the skinny woman.
“Her name na Abos…” My mother started but the woman held
up her hand to silence her.
“E don do….thank you for dropping her. We go talk later.”
The woman said to my mother.
My mother stood up from the chair she’d been sitting on and
cast furtive glances at me. I could tell that she was a tad worried about me
but I was engrossed in my self-pity that I didn’t pay attention to her.
“Abosede, I dey go now.” My mother said to me.
I faced the wall, as though telling her to leave already and
not waste anymore time.
“Sister Lucky na my school mother and our house captain for
secondary school. You go stay hia with am for small time and after everything,
you go fit return house.” My mother continued.
“I nor go ever carry my leg enter dat ya house again. Since
you don carry me comot, just cancel am for ya mind say you get pikin wey her
name be Abosede.” I said to her.
My mother heaved in a heavy sigh and turning around, she
left the house. Sister Lucky followed her out of the house and when they’d both
gone, I had the opportunity of glancing about at the house. It was asspick as
span and there were pictures on the wall indicating that the woman had grown
children. There were also recent pictures of young adults as well. I turned to
stare at my bags and hissed, there was no way I was going to make life easy for
this woman. I vowed to myself.
I was still seated on the sofa when the door opened and
Sister Lucky walked in. I expected her to try to talk to me, to try to coax me
into telling speaking with her but at home
but she did none of those things. Sister Lucky went about with her chores
around the house as though I didn’t exist.
I was still seated in the same position an hour later when
Sister Lucky walked out from the kitchen with a plate of food in her hands. My
stomach sang for joy, it was jollof rice and it looked delicious too. No doubt
she had some saved for me and would soon ask me to go to the pot to serve
myself but she didn’t do any of that. Instead, she took her place on the sofa
and pulled a small stool before her and began to eat, slowly and very
temptingly. I felt my stomach protest as I watched her from the side of my eyes
as she wolfed down the meal. When she was done, she cleared the place she’d
eaten and just as she was about to leave the sitting room, there was a knock at
the door. The door opened and two teenagers walked in.
“Good afternoon ma…” A female voice greeted.
“Good afternoon ma…” A male voice followed.
“School has dismissed?” She asked them as the teenagers
walked into the house and didn’t even spare me a moment’s glance.
“Yes ma…” They said.
“Go and have your baths and eat your lunch. Keep some for
Jeremiah and John because they are going to be a bit late because of exams.”
Sister Lucky said to them.
The teenagers nodded and hurried into the house while I sat
there like a mannequin. I didn’t know what to say to break the ice, I was so
hungry, I was tired of sitting there on the sofa and I desperately wanted to
eat and lie down for a while.
I sat and watched as the teenagers ate their food and soon
went to pick up brooms and headed outside the house. It was while they were
still outside that I walked out to meet them. They didn’t even lift their heads
to acknowledge me.
“How una dey?” I greeted with a smile.
No reply.
“Weldone ooo…I see say una dey sweep. When I come hia for
morning, I nor know say pesin dey sweep dis compound but as una don dey sweep
am so, I don realize say pesin dey sweep am.”
No response.
“Hellooooo…una weldone ooo…” I greeted again.
Still no response.
“Una deaf?” I asked.
No response.
“Na wah for wahala ooo…see as dem bone me like say dem nor
dey talk.” I said to myself “Abi I nor reach to talk to?” I spat at them.
They both began to pack the rubbish they had swept and
fill it into a bag with they disposed at the entrance to the compound. As they
walked up towards the house, Sister Lucky opened the door and called out to
them.
“Make sure you sleep before you read….I am going out for a
while.” She said to them.
“Yes ma…” They answered.
My eyes widened, what was the meaning of this? I wondered.
“Sister Lucky…” I started as I wanted to let her know that
her children had been totally disrespectful but Sister Lucky didn’t act as though she’d heard me, she
walked right past me as though I didn’t exist. I was afraid, who are these
people? I wondered.

 

To be continued on Wednesday…..

4 COMMENTS

  1. Abosede, sorry o! You have just come to the right place where you'll learn.
    It's surprising that you noticed your mother's compound looks better than Sister Lucky's. You'v not seen anything yet. Your eye go see "wen". Lol but don't worry, by the time Sister Lucky is done with you, you'd have become a new you.

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