THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST: THE EMOTIONAL MISERY OF UKU SHEILA (PART 3)
I knew this man had hurt me by not speaking for me but I didn’t care, I wanted him alive. We made it to the general hospital but it was late, papa was gone…
Eighteenth birthday! When the fairy tale party of every girl comes true. It was a golden opportunity for my sisters, I anticipated for “My friend, you are no longer twelve.” Hence, It would be wildly unreasonable to be part of “every girl”.
After we lost papa, I moved into my eldest sister’s home. The offer came as a shock, it never sounded pleasant, but I cared less about that. All I wished for was never to stay alone, right, alone! Aunty Obioma had left. That would have been the only reason the offer came.
I expected the worst and I was ready to deal with it all by myself. Just like river, words like these flowed through my ears; “You think this house is yours!” “You can never do anything well!” “That room is not yours, never lock it!” “No wonder papa’s wife abandoned you!” “God help me not to make a mistake like you!” But the words never stayed. However, Eighteen brought a brighter shade to my life or maybe my admission letter into the university aided the new phase. My sisters surprised me with gifts and all I needed, it has never happened. My basic needs? Maybe. But gifts? Never! “It’s a way of appreciating God that am finally out or could it be one thing I have ever done right?” I thought admiring the gifts. I remembered that feeling, it was just like the last birthday I celebrated with my mother but it was too easy to snap out of my only positive thought about my sisters because the experience of the past was present.
In school, I rarely called my sisters for anything, I had it all in one; a boyfriend, my potential husband. My best escape plan was to get married, Gabriel was the best option. He showed me the true meaning of love. From him, I have received more than enough love and immeasurable hard blows; he would violently attack me at his own time, anywhere but he never missed to apologise, it was just a silly character but I knew he would change, so, I stayed, stayed and stayed. I never wanted to miss out of his irreplaceable love, hence, I was all his for seven difficult to analyse years. Finally, we took the huge step, we visited his mother. She had this warm smile on her face which was so welcoming. “This family go kill me with love ooo” I thought.
Unity and love were exhibited by Gabriel’s family. I couldn’t wait to be officially his, so I would resume my duty as a daughter in-law in this great family. Surprisingly, my sisters approved of our relationship, getting married now would never be a problem, especially as his family has accepted me or so I wished.
“How could I have ever imagined anything good happening to me? I wanted love so much that I was lost in the midst of the discovery which was camouflaged as my final destination. No wonder, he gave attention when he needed me, he gave money and gifts cause that would keep me for him. He took advantage of my vulnerability.”
Gabriel called to inform me of his wedding which was in a month time, I was not the bride…
To be continued…