The Sins Of The Mother
My mother arrived with 3 little children, she claimed they were my brother’s children. I raised my eyebrows in disbelief and she changed her story. She said they were her sister’s children. I wasn’t expecting her and I told her that much. She said that Daniel specifically pleaded with her to come. I nodded.
She followed me around the house as I replaced the items the toddlers had scattered around the house. I could tell she was anxious from her gait.
‘How is Papa?’ I asked.
‘Ehn erm he is fine.’ She muttered.
‘What’s wrong this time?’
‘Nothing much, we had the usual argument and he… well I decided to come stay at your place for a while. To let things cool down.
‘I brought these children to assist with the house chores.’
‘Mama, they are barely matured to take care of themselves, how much more the house?’
‘Anyways, you can stay for a while, but you have to take the children back from wherever you brought them.’ I said in a stern voice.
‘Rara my daughter, please help me. I cannot return them. They are actually your niece and nephews.’ She pleaded.
‘Whose children are they?’ I asked her again.
She was silent, the baby cried that instant, I walked to the bed where my son lay, I cuddled him for a while and fed him. He was silent. My mother sneaked into the bathroom and then to the guest room with the children.
She fed them eba and okro soup which she hurriedly cooked and forced them to sleep.
She came to me in the living room and she began talking. I wasn’t listening to her pack of lies or her fictitious glorious days as a young woman. I was listening to the words she never spoke. My Father had called me a week after the birth of my son to complain about her. He said many unkind words about her. But I wasn’t surprised because he was always that way. He never spoke good of anyone not even me.
Then he broke down in tears and told me that she cheated on him when she was a lot younger and he only got to know that she had a son from the lover. He said the son was dead leaving behind a widow and 3 children and mother wanted to take care of the children by all means even if it means tearing up her marriage of 35 years. I told him, that he needed a break to think things through. It was only now that I understood the gravity of my advice.
The consequences was all mine to bear and Daniel had travelled abroad for greener pastures. Anyways, here I was putting up with a woman I did not like because she never saw anything good in my life.
‘When is Daniel coming back?’ She asked
I jolted from my reverie, what did you say Mama?’ I used my hands to stifle a yawn as I spoke to her.
‘I said when is Daniel coming back?’
‘I don’t know, when he is settled he would come. Maybe in 2years time.’
‘You mean you would be all alone for 2 years, how do you intend raising your child and catering for your needs, because I know Daniel did not leave you enough money to last for 2 years and even if he left enough money, your extravagant lifestyle will finish the money in one month.’
‘I will figure something out. Please mama, it is too early to start the criticism, besides Dan can always send me money. That is why we have western union money transfer.’
I was so angry with myself for responding to her. I felt the pressure with her contact bickering on my inadequacies. She wanted to prove her usefulness to me and it was all psychological for her to further destroy my self-esteem.
I marched with purpose to my bedroom and she followed me.
I am sleeping with you this night. You sleep like a log and you wouldn’t hear the baby when she cries.’ She said with authority.
‘I …I am not a deep sleeper. Please sleep in the guest room.’ I mumbled.
My mother refused and at the end, I left my room for her and slept in the living room. I had no cot for the baby, so we both slept on a blanket on the lush carpet. It was comfortable, at least the full blast of the air-condition on my face gave me a feeling of living in a cold clime. But my peace was for a short time, my mother barged into the living room wailing until she succeeded in waking me and the baby up. She cuddled the baby to sleep while she sniffled all the time. She was such a drama queen, she waited for me to ask her what the matter was. Then she started her confessions… I knew the story, at least part of it. I drifted in and out of sleep. I dreamt of a seamless life where I had nannies taking care of my child and a chef to cook my meals. I dreamt of living in a mansion with every domestic staff at my beck and call.
Then I woke up to reality, I had a budget for two adults and ended up with 3 toddlers and 3 adults, my Aunty was due to arrive tomorrow.