Sometimes I dislike you, sometimes I love you. You see my emotion ns for you have never been steady. It fluctuates like the electricity supplied by PHCN. I know you do care about me and perhaps love me the moment you saw me. But I have my reservations about you. You are always comparing me with other people’s children.
‘Look at Johnson’s son – Nkemdilim he got straight As in his WAEC, does he have two heads?’ You said.
Then I took it as a means of encouragement and struggled to get all Cs in the important subjects in WAEC just to put a smile on your face. Yes! I wasn’t interested in my grades. I spent those sleepless nights for you and I crammed to make you happy. I could see the pride in your eyes each time I came home with my report cards. You were happy when I passed and you were nasty when I failed. You told me you had no parents to put you through school that you trained yourself and you told me that you always came first in your class. Then I had a question for you.
‘Why are you a gateman if you always came first in class?’
You snorted at me and glared with anger. But I pressed on.
‘Daddy, that’s why Nkem is always top of his class, his Father is intelligent, he is an Engineer and you both were classmates …’
But you refused to be sincere.
‘Stupid boy’ You said as your slap hit me hard across my face. I was dazed that you had no reign over your anger. I kept quiet, then you spat out.
‘Be grateful that I trained you.’
I did not ask for it I know it sounds ungrateful but I did not ask to be born so don’t make me feel guilty about you making all those sacrifices for me.
Your comparison paralysis has no end. This time you compared me with Mr. Moses’s Son- Sunday.
‘Sunday pays the house rent for his parents and school fees of his siblings. I don’t know what you are doing with the education you received!’ You complained.
I said nothing because I had no job, but you wouldn’t let me be.
‘It is not an excuse that you have no job, look at Sunday. I won’t listen to your excuse to be selfish. You must train your sisters – Bisi and Ruki.’ You said.
I still don’t have a job, the hunt for a job has been on for 5years now since I graduated from the polytechnic. Even though I graduated with a pass you have no one in high places to get me a job. I struggled and started the business of selling phone accessories but you intend to snuff it out with your incessant demands on my little income. I don’t own the business and the financier gave me strict conditions on the amount to remit every month. After remission I earn only N10,000 per month, from which I have to pay my rent, feed myself and take care of my necessity but you care not.
‘Look at Sunday, a secondary school graduate and he lives in a big house and rides a nice car. He is your mate does he have 3 heads? Ehn ehn ask him to help you with a job in that Company that he works?’ You said again.
But have you ever sat down to wonder how a secondary school certificate holder can get a fantastic job. Sunday did not pass his WAEC. But you wouldn’t listen, in your stubborn nature you insist that I do things your way. I know you are angry with me and wouldn’t respond to this letter but I wouldn’t belittle myself to the level of Sunday even if it means I have to remain poor and wretched forever.
My beautiful mother, I always knew I got my good looks from you. But, you do not have a mind of your own. You always supported Daddy in everything and you made us believe he was all knowing. But he is not. He dropped out from secondary school just like you. Yes! I know the story because Mr. Johnson told me, he said both of you were in his class and that you got pregnant and dropped out of school but the baby died.
Anyways, you might be better than Daddy, Daddy dropped out because he repeated one class 3 times. I knew I took that little streak of intelligence from you at least you are successful with the business of selling tomatoes and pepper in the market. That business fed us many a time. How are my sisters? I hope you do take care of them o! They are women and ought to be pampered.
Ehn, Bisi told me she is getting married to the man who impregnated her. Is this true? Is Bisi really pregnant? But she is only 18years old. Children of nowadays are spoilt. I remembered when I was 18, all I thought of was how to pass my exams so that I can make something out of life. How could that good for nothing man do this to her. He has smothered her bright future. Ruki has also been put in the family way by a cleaner who works in the bank. The cleaner is refusing his responsibility under the excuse that he has no money to buy the items in the list and pay the bride price and Ruki cannot continue with her secondary school education. Bisi said you and daddy are happy that Ruki was marrying a banker and that I must make sure the wedding goes on as planned. I feel sad, but I cannot assist. I have no money and so I have exiled myself from the family. The responsibility is too much for a young shoulder like mine. I am only 26years old and I cannot continue like this. Thank you for the money you so lovingly scraped together so that I can visit. I shall come soon but for now I need to save from my allowance to buy you a wrapper and daddy schnapps. You know as our culture demands I can’t come home empty handed.
I am tired of your complaints and dissatisfaction of my progress in life. But I have news for you. Sunday, the one who you compared me with, the one whom you said bought a jeep at the age of 25 and who works in Ibadan just like myself was caught today by the Police. I had a glimpse of him in the 7 O clock news at my neighbour’s house. The police said they cracked down a notorious armed robbery gang that has been terrorising the citizens of Ibadan. He was part of the gang and the reporters interviewed him. He denied it of course. Hmmm! Imagine, I quickly ran to my one room, knelt down to thank God that I did not befriend him when you pressurized me to do so.
it was nice seeing you. Mommy looked fresh and robust and you looked the same, always criticising me and reading out my responsibilities from that little note book of yours. Your security uniform is worn out, why not wear something else since you no longer work at the Company.
I did not know Mommy had another baby. A boy, he looks just like me. But why should Mommy have more children in this harsh economic reality. You said when I exiled myself you both panicked and needed an extra heir in case I never showed up.
You said the boy is my son as I must train him. He is doing well, he is only 10years old now and has learnt the meaning of hunger. He loves comparing here with our home town Ibilo. It’s been 7years since your retirement and village life suits both of you. The wife you forced upon me is here, crying all the time that she is hungry. I remembered I told you that I was not financially strong to marry but you wouldn’t hear any of it. You picked a girl for me and coerced me into marrying her. You said you would swear for me and disown me If I refused. I obeyed you and nothing good has come out of the union. First she reported me to you that I refused to perform my manly duties, then Mommy came over and orchestrated the consummation. I hated the way Mommy stood by the mattress and asked me to put my manhood inside her. That girl was not a virgin as you claimed she was, infact she raped me. She danced on the bed like a sea goddess possessed with some charms. Her vagina was so loose; it was like my mini me was dancing in an ocean. I hated the way she moaned. Yes! I was a virgin before then and I hated the whole episode with her. Mommy did not help matters and her eyes pinned me down to the bed until the girl had her fill. Mommy was the referee she told the girl to make sure my seed spilled inside her. The girl brazenly did it, she rode me like a horse until I could have no more of her. I am not proud of this.
This is probably the last time I shall write; I am sorry if I let you down. I don’t have money to pay my brother’s school fees. Bisi and Ruki said they need money as their husbands are poor, I cannot afford to pay their children’s school fees and also feed their household. I have problems of my own. The girl you gave me is pregnant and we are always fighting. I got a job and transferred the business to the girl but she refused to run it. She said she was told that she was marrying a rich man and she was not going to work. She is always bitter and I suspect she sleeps around. She goes around the compound half naked unashamed of her form. I have told her to stop it but she looks at me with contempt. My brother said each time he comes home early from school he always sees her coming out of Okon’s room with a wrapper loosely tied around her chest. She never wears bra, her breasts are always bouncing and she never gets satisfied in bed. I have stopped sleeping with her since she is pregnant. I now earn N70,000 but it is not enough to feed both of you, Ruki and Bisi’s household, pay my brother’s school fees and take care of the girl and the baby. Things are so expensive in the city. The landlord increased my house rent and I cannot find a place that is cheaper than that.
The girl gave birth today it was through cs, I was asked to deposit N400,000. Where would I get such money? My brother’s school fee is N50,000 and I have stopped his education to assist with the business. I borrowed the money from my office and they shall deduct N50,000 for the next 8months. I don’t know if I can cope. Please take care of my family for me for this is goodbye for real. I have finally found a permanent solution to the problem. I did a life insurance which would give my baby N10million when I die. You and Mama should take N1million, N1 million is for my brother. Bisi and Ruki should take N500,000 each. The remaining N7 million should be put in trust for my baby’s wellbeing. I am Sorry I couldn’t get Ruki’s husband a job, I don’t have the connection, perhaps, he should have thought well before resigning or was he sacked? The details of their lives are always fuzzy to me.
I have decided to kill myself. I choose the easiest option, I bought the rat poison today and I mixed it with my meal. I swallowed it with great difficulty but I knew I was right. At my last moment, I realised I love you people and you people thought you were doing things that were best for me. I know you brought the girl when I was 37years because you thought I would never marry, now you know why I did not marry in the first place.
Your loving son even in death.