(STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
©️Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
“So, you eventually decided to come home?” My mother said when she opened the gate of the house for me.
I didn’t have the strength to reply, I had walked for close to two hours with two voices fighting in my head. I eventually had to take a cab an hour earlier to bring me home…
I crashed on my bed, but my mother was at my doorway… my father joined as they
both stared at me…
“What?” I asked
It always felt bad been an only child, as my parents were always in my business…
“What’s your decision?” my father asked…
“You know I would never force you to do what you don’t want to do” he said.
Knowing my father, I could read the undertone of his words; he was trying to tell me to be patient with Julius.
My mother also got the hidden message…
“Let her speak, don’t lure her into saying what you want her to say…” my mother
barked at my father…
“So?” she asked and I knew my mother would not let me be if I did not answer her…
“I am getting married to…..”
“To who?” my mother asked angrily…
“To… To… To Ju… Julius” I replied.
“Ju – what? Are you sick? Or sickness has gotten a hold on you? The same Julius
that has shifted your engagement date twice, the same Julius that has never
deemed it fit to buy us a pin, talk less of a bottle of wine…, what is wrong with this
child? You want to end up like me?” She said those words, eyed my father and left
I knew what my mother meant by saying “Do I want to end up like her?”
My father was just like Julius, he wasn’t ambitious. My mother was the Jack of all
trades, working hard to take care of the family. My father was a Civil Servant, but after he lost his job 10 years ago, he refused to rise up; he was satisfied with whatever my
mother was able to bring home.
I stood up and followed my mother to the living room…
“Mummy, I don’t want to die, something keeps telling me, if I marry the Apostle I will
die” I said trying to make my mother see reason with me…
“You can’t die as long I am your mother.”
“Mummy, don’t despise Julius, honestly Julius is a good man, do you know that he is
the only graduate his family has produced, and he is trying to see to it that his younger
ones also go to school. His background is very poor… one of the reasons he is yet to
make our marriage happen is because of his younger sisters, he wants to see his
youngest sister through university…” I said trying to justify his actions.
“So how does it affect him paying your dowry?” My mother asked with irritation in her voice.
“He said he doesn’t want them to hate me as being the one who will not allow him take
care of them, so he is trying to settle them before our marriage or even if our marriage will happen now, he won’t want to tamper with the money he has set aside for their education to pay my Dowry” I said.
“Why are you talking like a fool? Happy… all you just said doesn’t make sense and I
don’t want to hear it, and the one about you being afraid of death if you get married to
Apostle, throw that thought to the trash, I am solidly behind you like a rock… Do you
know what I have done?”
“What have you done?” That last comment from my mother was questionable… My
mother was not someone who threw words around carelessly. She must have done
“Mummy, what have you done?” My voice tone had increased.
My heart was panting, I was not sure if I was ready to listen to what my mother was
going to say, but I wanted to hear it….
“Nothingoooo” she said and once again knowing who my mother was, her ‘Nothing
oooo’ meant ‘Something’.
“Mummy, there is something, tell me now or else I will kill myself.” I was shedding tear as there was this strong knowing in me, my mother must have done something to make me the sudden interest of the Apostle… I ran towards the kitchen and I took a knife….
“Happiness, don’t, please.” My father who saw my seriousness said, trying to take the
knife from me…. “Mimi, answer her, what did you do? You know she can do what she
is saying” my father shouted at my mother.
My mother knew I was serious and based on my history of me having bipolar and a
little bit of psychosis (Yes! I had a little psychiatric background), my mother knew I was
“I am sorry, I was just trying to find you a good home as my only child, the day you
came home lamenting that your pastor’s wife was badly dressed and you wished you
were in her shoes…. I decided to to….”
To be continued
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