Its’ been 3 months, two weeks, 3 days, 7 hours, 18minutes and 30 seconds since Daniel left Nigeria for Australia and since my mother came to my house. It’s been 4months since Greg was born. I stared at the wall clock. The hands crawled like a lizard in a beauty pageant organised for reptiles. Things were tough. We ate once in a day and my dad had not spoken to my mom ever since she came to my house. I begged him to take her back but, he claimed he still needed time to adjust to the reality of having another man’s grandchildren in his house. I knew something was not right but I couldn’t quite place my hands on it. Anyways, I had other problems to deal with and that was the least of my worries. Aunty Labi asked me to drop off Greg in Port Harcourt while I search for a job but I didn’t think it wise.
She lived in a 3 bedroom flat with two house mates. There were all top babes and, she worked. There would be no one to look after him and a Nanny would cause inconvenience for them. So I rejected her idea and stayed in Lagos. We were down to our last plate of food it was eba and waterleaf soup. My mother plucked the waterleaf from the bushes behind the house. At least she could be that industrious.
I stared at the clock and fanned Greg, the heat was overwhelming and our electricity had been cut off because we could not afford to pay. Why should the cables be disconnected at this point when the power supply is frequent and consistent I thought to myself.
My mother walked in, she looked frail and tired I felt sorry for her. The three little children were behind her. She sat down and they sat at her feet like poppies.
‘I will look for a job.’ I said to her.
She was quiet. ‘We can’t live like this. Watch over Greg while I go out.’
She stood up and took Greg from my arms, she laid him on the lush carpet and asked the children to fan him.
I walked into the room and changed my clothes. Once upon a time I used to work in the bank. I had complications and everyone asked and advised me to resign because I could lose the baby. Now, nothing had come out of it but poverty and suffering. My mates working in the bank still had children and continued. Were they not women like me, I chided myself. My suits were too tight on me. I dumped them in favour of a loose shirt. It was Daniel’s and the thought of wearing it repelled me. I was so angry with him. He had not called since that day and each time I tried calling his number, it is switched off.
I quickly dropped the shirt and took one of my maternity gowns. It was a black corporate dress, I slid into it. It suited me much to my surprise. I heard my mother calling out before I could apply the foundation, and brown powder.
‘Rara, go now, it is getting late, abi are you not coming back today? People that look for work is it not in the morning they go out. It is already 11am and you are still getting dressed.’
I examined my foundation to make sure it had not expired but, it was too late. The mary kay foundation expired last month. My index finger pressed a little, it looked the same to me. I thought there was no harm applying it. I couldn’t afford another one and in the corporate world, you must look shiny, gorgeous and flawless.
I applied it with shaky fingers, I was nervous about going out there, it has been almost a year since I went for any corporate outing. I hurriedly applied the powder and lipstick, grabbed my heels and rushed out.
‘His food is in the water, I shall be back on time before he finishes it.’ I said to my mother.
Then I walked back into the room to grab my purse of jewelleries. There were not much but for what its’ worth, it could put food on our table.