Can anyone explain what just happened to me? I do not have the dignity to tell the world this story. What an ill-fate indeed.
What is my excuse? Who wants to listen? Somebody, please wake me up from this nightmare, pleeease!
I am carried out to be accorded and placed with the convicted and condemned. I had never smelt the stench pungent environment of the police station nor experienced the awry state of the Nigerian police cells, but, as I am handcuffed and carried out in the eyes of many expressing disappointment and shock, I doubt if the judgment for me wouldn’t be a death penalty.
I could perceive how I have been judged by those I know are worse off but my situation had turned a public affair.
My name is Obiajulu, the pride of his mother and a replica of his father -the child of their youth. Before I continue with my condemnation story, I need to tell you how it all got to this.
I was born in the early 90’s, and I can say I was born with a silver spoon. My dad was a branch manager of one of the first-generation banks in Nigeria and he was doing well.
My mother was in her final year in the university when she gave birth to me. A lot of success stories were attached to my birth as it was attested by my both parents, no wonder they said my maternal granddad called me ‘Nwabugo’ meaning the ‘child of my pride’. I didn’t know much about him because he died 2 years after my birth. So, I barely remember him.
My father completed his house in our village and got his first car, a Peugeot 504. That was my mum’s graduation year as an Accountant.
My maternal home didn’t joke with me anytime I came around. I stayed longer with them than I did in my parents’ house, most especially when they needed to face their daily business.
Well, most of my being tough as a child was from my uncle, Oguadinma, he was the last child of my grandparents. He was 10 years older, so I was often called his younger brother. I learned to be tough from him, if not I would be termed soft. Being the only child wasn’t felt so much because of Oguadinma, he was my ‘right-hand man’ at that time.
Aside Oguadinma, I had troops of relatives who kept coming. My strand of cousins was like the seashore and some of them I never knew the relationship, I was just told they were my cousins. From both paternal and maternal side. I really never had time considering being the only boy and girl of the house biologically, because the house was always full and fun.
My world was the best and invariably lacked nothing. I received special favors from my uncles and other relatives.
Mom was a level 5 staff with the cashier department of the local government which she combined with her petty confectionary store which she opened later in the evening after work. Though Oguadinma was usually around some days he wasn’t going to school or disposed to help out.
I can say that the little I know about my first few years, the hands of time were very fair to me. But it never meant I had everything at my beck and call, dad was a strict disciplinarian, he never allowed the impression of being the only child get to my head. I had what I needed to and not what I desired to.
If there is any Christmas season I wouldn’t forget, it would be that which was celebrated when I was 3, not because I was matured enough to recollect what happened and what didn’t, but it was because of what transpired between my dad and I. Googoo was the last child of retired civil servant parents who were our next-door neighbor in the flat we lived in then. She was 2 years older than I, and the 7th and last child.
She came to show me a slim shinning watch that was bought for her for the Christmas, and I came in crying to my mum that she must buy me that same watch. She was almost desperate and confused by my incessant disturbance until my dad came in the evening, I guess that should be 23rd December, because mummy had already promised to buy me the watch the next day, when she goes to the market as she couldn’t leave me all alone in the house, though I wasn’t ready to give into the terms.
Daddy came in to inquire why I was disturbing, and immediately he got to know why I was disturbing, his countenance changed and he didn’t just beat me, I was drilled like that of the military. My mother had to come to my rescue from him and I lost the energy to cry in the end, that was where it registered to me that if I must be stupid, not when I have my dad around.
I can remember him saying to my mum, “if you don’t get him to remove his mind from what is not his, this is how he would begin to grow long throat for stealing. He must not have everything he demands, life itself is not so.”
Mummy sober and angry replied, “Kill him for being a thief then. Because he exhibited a normal childish attitude, that’s why you have thought this far?”
The rest of the evening in my house was solemn as I slept off due to the fact that I have been exhausted. Mummy too, angrily slept off without their regular mutual conversation. She slept in my room as I was too tired to get up and eat. She kept checking up on me while I groaned in pains. She sobbed and made few prayers which she asked mostly for forgiveness for being careless with the only eye she has.
In the morning, it was a good morning that was the easiest word to come from them to one another. Dad came to check up on me, he met me in a high fever. The rest of the day was in the hospital. That was where dad apologized to mum and me, promising to buy me any watch I wanted if I can get better soon.
Life came back to the house later in the evening, I was back to myself and the home was filled with life again. Though our trip to the village was canceled for Christmas due to my temporal illness and it was rescheduled for the New Year.
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