The constant taps of the running water in the bathroom for some odd reason made me think so much. Every tap, a second spent, what have I achieved today? Absolutely nothing….. I soaked myself in self pity as I saw myself like the clay the old Baba in our street uses to make local pots. I looked outside the window, hoping to see the old man but all I saw was the empty, deserted streets of Mile 12. Mile 12, once flooded with people bustling with energy, activity and hard work was stripped naked and made desolate. The scene before me ached my heart but not as much as my own condition dampened my spirits.
” Shola!!!! Have you washed the plates and the pots I asked you to wash, lataro (since morning)!!!” My stepmother screamed more curses on my head from afar like the bitter old woman in Mile 12 who used to lay hideous curses on the Aboki for stealing her customers. How was I supposed to read when my own stepmother locked my books away in her room to punish me? How was I to improve myself? A time like this is invaluable amd should be spent wisely but here I am fully grounded in my stepmother’s heartlessness.
Like the popular Cinderella, my father was snatched away from me by the cold hands of death leaving me to fate, leaving me to my destiny. I ignored her poisonous calls as I let myself drown in my own thoughts, as I cupped my face, a jaw splitting slap slashed through my cheekbones,
” A child who has sworn not to let her mother sleep would not sleep too, go and do what I told you to before I lose my temper!!” I stared at her with shocked eyes as tears rolled down my cheeks, I didn’t blame her, all my life I never sat with her alone for twenty four hours. I never gave her the chance to taunt me with her wickedness, I always had something to do outside the confines of my house. I was either at Mama Yakubu’s shop where I worked part-time as a sales girl in Mile 12, or I was in my classroom.
I never depended on her for food, or for my fees, I did all the daily odd jobs I could lay my hands on to survive. She never had the right to treat me so badly, she was always asleep or too tired when I came back home. But now ….Quarantine. The reverse is now the case, she treats me as badly as one would treat a poor church rat. I, myself do not want to be a victim of this so called virus but wouldn’t it be better than all of these that I go through every single day. What shall I do now that MILE 12 HAS FALLEN!!!!!
The nostalgic pen❄️❄️