“Mum, please it’s not about food or clothing, neither is it about the money I will make while working but mum, I have been so lonely all these while. It’s not easy to stay at home alone all day doing nothing. I have persuaded you to allow me enrol for fashion designing, you still insisted that you wanted me to go to school. Let me work as a sales girl then, please mum, you just have to choose one out of the two, I am tired of this loneliness.”
“What loneliness Shalewa? What happened to all the novels I bought for you?”
“I read them all mum, I even read some twice, you know I love reading novels and…”
“Then, read them again and watch T.V when you are bored,” she replied on a final note as she started devouring the plate of rice and plantain before her.
I felt like crying
. My mum can be so stubborn. I used to wonder if that was why she no longer lived with my father. They got divorced when I was 5years old or so for reasons I do not know. Being an only child, I enjoyed all the care and attention of my mother but she never allowed me to be a spoilt child that can have her way all the time, it’s a good thing though…
I heard my Dad who now lives in California is married to another woman. My mum is a banker
. The only days she stayed at home was on weekends. Saturdays, and on Sundays too. She’s a woman in her late forties, quite beautiful than her age. People said I got my natural and flawless beauty from her.
She had always been my role model since my primary school days. Often times, I dreamt of becoming a banker like her when I grow up. So, whenever I was asked to write an essay on “Who I will like to be in future,” I gleefully would paint the picture of a banker, my mum’s image was always on my mind while writing…
But for some reasons, as I advanced in age, my desire to be a banker faded away gradually. Maybe because each passing day, I watched my mum leave home very early, and returned late in the evening only for her to eat dinner and before you know it, she would have dozed off on the sofa, tired and worn out.
Since I passed out of secondary school, I have been the one preparing breakfast and dinner, so we had something good to eat before going to bed. But when I was much younger, we were used to eating junks and leftovers in the freezer. She would manage to wake up early to prepare a good meal for me to take to school maybe twice in a week, the rest of the days of the week, I either take bread and butter or she gave me money to buy food at the school cafeteria.
All these made me conclude that it’s quite an abnormal life for a woman to live. Anytime I complained about her too busy schedule, she would simply reply,
“I am working tirelessly so that you will live a comfortable life, your dad left and I am left with no choice than to bear the burden of being a father and mother to you at the same time, so you ought to be grateful.”
Even on Saturdays at times, she did go to work, but usually came back earlier than week days.
Sundays, after church service, we would serve siesta, do some laundry if need be, and then iron our clothes in preparation for the new week again. And that’s how the cycle repeated itself all through the weeks, months and all year round, mum hardly had time for me.
I began to detest this way of life that makes one to spend such a short time with the family, I do not want that. I want to become a wife and mother that will be close to her husband and children on a daily basis. I felt so sorry for my mum but I do not want a home like hers. I want a home where I would have a husband and children and will be available for them always. So, I stopped wishing to be a banker. I started desiring a more motherly and homely profession. Yes, I will be a teacher! I made up my mind, and it became the dream I pursued…
I love the way my female teachers lived their lives. They had time for their families and even for other peoples’ children. A banker may earn more than a teacher but no matter how meagre the salary of a teacher is, no other profession can make one enjoy the joys of motherhood and the happiness of being around children everyday of one’s life, I love children.
I settled down with my mum on the dinner table, pretending to watch the ongoing drama on T.V but my mind was actually on how else to persuade her to allow me to work.
Then, a scenario I could cite came to my mind, it was about a friend of mine and I thought it would be a perfect strategy. “This should convince her,” I thought.
“Mum?” I called
“Yes?” She answered with heavy eyes as she popped the last grains of rice into her mouth.
“Do you know Mary, my classmate at school that used to come around to say hello to me once in a while during weekends?”
“Yea, what about her?”
“You know she travelled to Port Harcourt to stay with her aunt after our SSCE exam?”
“Yes, I remember you told me so.” Mum answered hastily. It was evident that she wanted to go to bed as soon as possible.
“I heard recently that she is pregnant.”
Mum turned to me sharply. “She is what? How come, how did you get to know, how did it happen?” She stammered. Obviously, the sleep in her eyes had rubbed off.
“She was raped.” I continued. “She was raped by one of her aunt’s neighbour. She usually stay back at home alone, while her aunt goes to work. The rapist climbed the fence into their compound and perpetrated the evil act.”
“What? Jesus Christ!” My mum screamed. “You don’t mean it. How did you get to know?”
“She told me herself when I called her two days back. I even wanted to tell you about it but you were too tired that night. That is one of the reasons why staying at home alone frightened me the more.”
“Jesus! And to think the poor girl is now pregnant from such an abominable act. What a pity.
Why didn’t the aunt take her to the hospital immediately? Oh my goodness!” She lamented and sat back slowly on the dining chair.
I thought within me that it seemed I have pressed the right button, “this should work,” I thought.
Mum stared at my large portrait picture hung on the wall just ahead of her, she was deep in thought for a while…
“Hmmmmmm, if this ever happens to you, I will never forgive myself. Your Dad too will capitalize on it to conclude that I am a negligent mother. No, a stitch in time saves nine. When did you say the resumption time will be at the supermarket?” She asked still staring at the picture on the wall.
“9:00am, and closing time is 6:00pm.” I quickly replied.
“Okay then, let’s give it a trial, you can start tomorrow. We should avoid a case like that of your friend, I am so sorry about her right now.”
“Yes! I did it.” I thought happily. “Thanks mum, you are the best!”
“You are welcome my dear, promise me you will be a good girl at work. You know you are all I have got, do not let me regret making this decision.”
“Yes mum, I promise.”
“Alright dear,” she replied yawning. “Let us pray, I need to go to bed, it’s getting late.”
So, we prayed after which I got my dress ready for work the next day. Bye bye to loneliness, I thought as I laid on my bed for the night.
How was your day my lovely people?
So, Omoshalewa was able to convince her mum at last. What happened after she started work? The story hasn’t started okay? Let’s unravel it in bits. Thanks for reading