I was kneeling before sister Lucky and whimpering in tears.
I could hear my father’s voice as he tried to explain.
“Na truth I tell you, I swear. Na relay race she wan teach
me ooo…I tell am say I wan join Olympics and she tell me say she wan show me
how to run.”
Sister Lucky didn’t spare my father a glance, I could tell
she was furious.
“Sister Lucky, na devil work…” I started.
She gave me a sound slap on my cheek and I quickly said.
“I’m sorry, it’s the devil’s work.”

“Are you trying to say that your father is lying?” She
asked.
“Yes ma.”
“Haaaaa! Abosede! Na save I wan save you ooo…” My father
said to me.
“Go away from here daddy, you have spoiled everything.”
My father looked at me in shock, he couldn’t believe it.
“Wetin I spoil? Shebi na de two of us dey run together
before I nor fit catch up again. Na sake of say I fall down na wetin make
Sister Lucky pikins dem to catch us.”
“No, that’s not true….when you fell, I wanted to go
back…” I said.
“Chai…na wetin you do my pikin ooo…dis nor be de Abosede
wey I know.” My father lamented to Sister Lucky.
“Isn’t she better off without you? You have managed to soil
your life with gambling and drinking, and you let that rub off on your
daughter. You taught her to be lazy and to depend on others. All your wife
wants is for her to be cut off from you so that she can face the future on her
own. Don’t you get it?” Sister Lucky spat at my father.
“Wait…so na because of me, my wife send Abosede come
here.” My father asked in shock.
“Not only because of you, she also wants her out of her
former neighbourhood as well and all because you came to drop off her
certificate, you planted a stupid idea in her head.” Sister Lucky said.
“I don vex…see as you dey talk like say I nor be better
pesin? You reach me? You know who I be?” My father spat.
Sister Lucky looked at my father and sighed, then she stared
at me.
“I didn’t send my children to get you back, they did so on
their own accord. They didn’t have to force you because as soon as you saw
them, you headed back to the house. Abosede, I am not going to hold you back
anymore. You’re not a child, you are a grown woman and the day you begin to see
yourself as that, you’ll change for the better. Your mother wants the best for
you, she wants you to be beneficial to yourself, and to your family, that’s why
she begged me to take you in but, I can’t hold you against your will. It is
against the law to hold anyone against his or her will. So, the gates are open,
you can go with your father if you want to go.”
My heart sunk.
“Aha! You don hear am?” My father said joyously. “Oya, come
make we scram!” My father said to me.
“But…sister Lucky, don’t you like me again?” I asked in a
quiver as I desperately wanted her to like me as she did, the other kids in the
house.
“See dis ode ooo…why you dey ask am if she like you or
not? Wetin consign likeness for dis matter?” My father spat.
“I just want you to know that you can leave if you want to
leave and if you had come up to me when your father put the notion to run off
into your head, I would have allowed you to leave.”
I stared at her in complete shock.
“This is not a prison Abosede.” She said to me.
“Ohoooo! You see wetin I tell you for outside? I tell you
say, dis woman nor fit hold you captive for hia…” My father started.
“Go home daddy!” I said to my father.
“Ehn?” My father echoed.
“Yes, I said…go home…”
He looked at me as though I’d just committed an abomination.
“You say what?” He asked me.
“Sister Lucky, I want to stay.” I said. “Even though…this
place hasn’t been very favourable to me, I want to change. I want people to
respect me more, I want to be a better somebody.”
“You mean, you want to be a better person.” She said.
“Yes, a better person.” I nodded.
She nodded and smiled at me. My heart burst with joy, it was
the first time Sister Lucky had ever smiled at me and it felt as though I’d won
a gold star. I didn’t hear my father leave; it was only when the door banged
shut that I turned to see that he was gone.

 

To be continued next week…..

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