HOW WE MET thursday:
HIS LOVE COST ME NOTHING BUT COST HIM ALL
Chimo! Chimo!! I heard my mum scream from my father’s room. I was terrified, my younger sister rushed and hugged me, she too was terrified, it was a usual thing. My father was a brut as well as a loot. He would brutalize my mother, loot all her savings from the salon, where she worked as a cleaner. Thereafter he would go out squandering and lavishing it on women and drinks. At night he would come home drunk and start hitting mother. Today was not an exception.My father was nothing to write, not to talk of writing home about.
I was the first child, I had a younger sister, Tochi. We lived in a rickety old-water dripping, celling-leaking two storey-building which my father had forcefully inherited from his father who had also inherited it from his great grand father. Our house was a disaster as well as our home.
On this day, papa was having his usual routine of hitting mother, when my younger sister and I heard a loud sound, I think somebody had fallen. Tochi ran to Papa’s room and peeped, I followed behind, we saw mother on the floor,she was bleeding profusely. Papa was looking confused and jumbled .With the help of our neighbours, he rushed mother to the hospital, on getting to the hospital mother was dead. The doctors said she was 3months pregnant, she had a miscarriage and died.
My dad told his in-laws that mother fell while going to urinate. It was a horrible experience, I felt like putting papa in a chafery.
After mother’s death, father got back to his drinking and late home coming. My sister and I knew we had to fend for ourselves. “papa didn’t show us love when mama was alive, what makes you think he would now she is dead?”
I said to my sister, as we left the house for “Ithaca”.I was 15years and she was 11.
Few years of suffering, begging from one street to the other, sleeping in squalid places, sometimes pick-pocketing. I met a girl, her name was Jennifer.
Jennifer was a year or two older than I am, she was beautiful from a far but far from beautiful nevertheless she was well to do. I was surprised on how a girl of my age would live so comfortable. I thus begged her for assistance, I was ready to do anything to save my sister and I. Jennifer said she had a job where ‘you use what you have to get what you want’. She once quoted while tutoring me. she said;
“Your body is an ATM where they slot in and money comes out”.
The job sounded very easy until I tried it the first time. I cried my eyes out and cursed the day my mother died. Nevertheless it didn’t stop me from quitting my new job. It paid faster. I learnt quickly. I had to fend for my sister and I. I still didn’t hear from my dad.
The last I heard from him, I heard he was sick. I wished him a gruesome death. This life is heartless and I hence learnt very well from it. I never believed in love. My business boomed. My younger sister was finally able to start school. I felt satisfied but never happy. My life was empty regardless of the fact that I was making it. I felt incomplete.
On the 13th of October, my friend from work called,
“Hey B, whats-up, aren’t you coming for the show, I heard it’s gonna be the bomb, she said,”
I will, am getting dressed, my cab guy is already on his way, I replied while applying my mascara. I heard Cindy screaming from the other end of the phone,
“Please get that your white Zara high heels!”. I smiled, acted like I did not hear her and dropped the call. I had a job in a nearby town; and a lot of foreign delegates were attending. It was an Arab money something. Quickly, I dressed, got into the cab, bid my little sis bye and left. On our way, our cab collided with a truck, I completely blacked out. I woke up and saw myself on a hospital bed, with my face covered. It’s nothing serious, just a scratch on her face.I heard the doctor tell my sister, she would be out of here in two/three days time”
The following morning, I woke up with my face still covered, I felt someone beside me, and it was a masculine presence. He’s aura made my skin tingle. The next day I was discharged. I asked my sister if anybody had come visiting asides the doctor, and she said “No”. I knew somebody came though. I wasn’t hallucinating. I resumed my business as I had some unfinished ones to attend to. But deep down in my heart I wished I saw him again or would bump into him or something. Everyday I thought about him. It seemed weird. My sister thought the accident had affected me mentally.
One evening as I was strolling, after my sister had told me her teacher was making advances at her, I thought of what I was going to do to him. I was furious. I hated men. I knew, if care wasn’t taken I was going to do something drastic the next day. My head was full. I remembered my father. I needed to cool-off, hence the stroll.
Walking down the road, I saw a beautiful gigantic house, built with ancient artifacts. I entered. It was very beautiful. I found a very quiet corner and sat down. I loved the peace and serenity of the place. My head was indeed full. I wanted to cry but I feigned strong not until tears rolled out of my eyes. I cried. I wept. I didn’t have a particular reason for crying I just wanted to pour out all the pains I have been carrying since mother died. Someone tapped my shoulder. I lifted my head and it was him! I felt the same aura I felt while at the hospital. I probably looked foolish, hiding and crying in someone’s garden.
“I know you from the hospital I said, trying to wipe the tears off my eyes”. He smiled – Aww he was so cute, now I know why I didn’t see him that first day, I would have rushed and clung myself to him.
“Yes, I don’t believe we met officially, but I was the doctor on duty when you were rushed in on the day of your accident. I handed over your case to Dr sam (the doctor you met). I came to check your recovery progress that day”
“Oh okay, that makes sense’ I said. “Thank you for helping to save my life anyways”.
He nodded and kept staring at me. To ease the growing awkwardness I asked;
“Uhm, whachu doing here, I asked? Were you stalking me??”
“This is my father’s house”, he replied.
“Ooh, how nice”, I said, looking surprised. Looked so nothing like my own father’s house.
“And what are you doing here, looking forlorn and doleful”? he asked.
“Oh nothing really, I just wanted to get things off my head”
You could share it with me, if you don’t mind.
Hmm, I breathed heavily, I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want him to see me cry.
He asked if he could be my friend. *Are you kidding me, if only you know how I longed to see you* I said in my head. Yea, of course.
I went home feeling refreshed, and better than I felt when I left the house. I was smiling sheepishly as I strolled home. My sister saw me smiling and wondered what was wrong with me. I chuckled and told her how I finally met the guy in the hospital. Now she was certain I was insane.
She thus asked what we were going to do about the lecturer, I told her to avoid him. Lol. She was surprised-
“Your head is like electric bulb, shey you know, some body is controlling it from somewhere this moment you are shouting the next you were happy”. If only she knew.
Subsequently, my new doctor friend and I got talking. Sometimes in the morning, most times in the evening before I go to bed. I grew fond of him. We got attached, always together it was thus affecting my business. He asked me to quit that he would take good care of Tochi and I if I just stay faithfully to only him. Well, it wasn’t much of an easy task but I tried my best. Gradually I stopped. I introduced him to Tochi, only then did she believe I wasn’t insane.
Most times even when I didn’t love myself he loved me. Times when I felt like giving up he held me up.
Sometimes I pushed him away, thinking he would leave just like my father. But he was different, he will stayed lurking around. I guess he knew at this point I couldn’t do without him. To love me was hell of a big deal, it cost him a lot because I had suffered from childhood, I knew what it felt to be broken. I didn’t want to experience it ever again in my life, thus the stress I gave him. But in all this he proved adamant. He didn’t go away, he wasn’t papa. Our relationship was not all the “breakfast in bed kind of relationship, but we still had breakfast in bed tho. After a few months I started to feel guilty. I hated men, but he was softening my heart. No one is perfect, that’s what they said abi? Besides what’s the future of this relationship sef. Being the son of a wealthy man, his father would never let him marry me, considering my kind of work and reputation.
As I lay one night talking to him, I asked him,
“If I say I’ve finally quit my job, can you borrow me 5million naira to start a new business?
Damn! I’ll never forget the smile on his face! He was so happy. He didn’t respond. He gently moved away from the bed and started pressing his phone. Mehn, maybe I asked for too much, I thought to myself. Immediately I got an SMS alert on my phone. He had transferred the money! I wanted to laugh but I burst into tears instead. He held me close and comforted me, all the while telling me he loved me.
One week after that, I returned to the spot in his family garden where we had first met, and dropped my neatly folded letter. I kept telling myself I was doing the right thing. I don’t deserve his love. We can’t get married, hell I don’t even know if I can have children with all the pills and abortions I’ve done. This was the best way. I met my sister outside, I held her hand tight and together we walked away from the only genuine love we’ve ever felt. (Together with his 5million naira)
ABOUT THE WRITER
My name is Eberechukwu Ngwu and I exhume happiness. My dreams are a lot bigger than I am. I love to write and express myself through written words.
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