Story: Dead Trial By Merit Chigozie
“Rachael, get my towel” Jokemi called from the bathroom.
I was too tired to get up so I didn’t answer her, besides, who was she to send me on an errand after all? She wasn’t my mother, not my sister nor my aunt. She was a nobody to me, just my daddy’s new wife.
Jokemi is younger than my mother, in fact she’s just two years older than me but my father married her. I am still trying to figure out what happened between my parents who were madly in love with each other that they would separate to the extent of getting a divorce, for that is what aunt Kelly told me, my parents never…
“Rachael!!” Jokemi called again.
Jokemi, she was a Yoruba girl sef! I hate Yorubas, my mum hated them, my dad TOO, but he ended up marrying one. I wonder why. I vividly remember when I was in Primary 6, that is six years ago, my dad had slapped me for having a Yoruba girl as a seatmate and friend too. I still don’t understand why that same man would marry a Yoruba girl.
I think i now prefer all the other ladies, Chinenye, Fatima, Miebi, that had been trooping in ever since mum left. I prefer them to Jokemi. Just the other day Jokemi’s fat bosom mother broke my favourite chair, my dad just smiled and promised to get me another one, I was very mad, very mad. How could he just let that pass? Well, mum had told me before she left that I should play along like a good girl, her voice was weak and sad. I don’t understand why she didn’t call Grandma to her rescue. Grown ups.
“Rachael, do you mean you have been sitting down there all this while I had been calling you?” Jokemi stood naked with water dripping from her body. Her skin was that of an old woman. One look at her and you think she’s in her early forties. She was extremely fat like her mother. Her eyes were thick brown like someone who smoked regularly, but she didn’t, she just ate all day long. Little wonder she’s that wide.
“Rachael?” She yelled once again.
I got tired of staring at her ugly body so I turned my back and I could feel her fury burning my hair. She hissed and went away. I closed my eyes and let my tears loose. I got up from my bed, cleaned my eyes, walked into the bathroom and locked the door.
I don’t know how long I had been sleeping in the bathroom only to wake up by 9:30 pm. I could hear my dad knocking away his stressed out voice at the door. I stared at the door with disbelief. I got up, took off my clothes and went showering. I showered for 3 good hours before I emerged from the bathroom to find my dad sleeping at the doorpost. I looked at him with mixed feelings, I hated him and loved him at once. I walked past him to the kitchen, fixed myself dinner and went to bed. When I woke up I felt disappointed, I thought I would die in my sleep. When I was little, mum had warned me never to eat garri and groundnut as my inners were not strong enough to process it, so I thought I would die as that is what I ate. I even…
“Racheal” I turned towards the voice, it was my dads.
I turned away quickly and struggled to get out of bed but he pulled me back and hugged me tightly. I wanted to bite him off but I felt his tears run right down my back and I started crying. After few minutes of intense emotional purgation, he looked straight into my eyes and me into his and I realized for the first time that dad was missing my mum gravely.
I smiled at him, I wanted to tell him a lot of things, I wanted to tell him I had forgiven him but nature said no, so I looked at him more intensely and finally accepted reality, my mum was dead.
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