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MIDDLE OF TIME

By Ogunmuyiwa Rachael

I wake on a day close to the time I future to be great and I feel terribly mad at myself for all the events I have watched to roll around my life. Every bit of memories, the path I wanted to find myself at this age seems all a façade. There is no place for sympathy or excuse from me for my foolishness because I feel stupid having not done the things I ought to do.

I have had many battles. The things I can tell no one; the horrors of being a victim of rape and other mind-crippling events that my mother will pity herself for not establishing that mother-child relationship with me if she got to know; the place of a mother in a girl’s life? I wish there was ever such in my life.

In the process of being taught independence, my siblings and I are in isolation. We live between communication and silence, communication which we only enjoy when the family comes together for breakfast every Sunday morning, and silence, our amiable companion till another Sunday morning.

Tunde was the eldest. My parents’ nonchalant attitude led him into the worrisome solitude I ever heard of. The isolation kills.

“We are struggling just for you guys. Your well-being and future is our concern” my parents had told Tunde to cool his ire concerning their absence on his birthday.

Everything, late nights, endless times daddy spent on his laptop, mother’s honouring of invitation cards that never refused her purchase of “aso-ebi”, are for our good. We are forced to believe so, through the expensive schools we attended and other things we had, which no kid seems to have in his or her possession in the neighbourhood. My mother prides about it.

We are just two now. I still missed Tunde; he died silently on the eve of my Twentieth birthday. His death was the only thing that made my parents witnesses my birthday though it could not hold.

I remember the excuse that Tunde gave me when I tried to call him into telling daddy about the constant pains he experienced in his chest. “I do not want to distract them, I will be fine” he said with a mite smile that failed to shield his pains and fury.

Perhaps, Tunde’s death seems like a blessing in disguise. Bayo and I enjoyed the company of our parents for almost a year before the “we- are-doing-it all-for -you” continue.

That was where my derailing compounded. Becoming a mother at 20 in my mother’s house could be best defined as slavery for me. Everyone became mad and ready to shout at my offence. I cooked, washed, stayed up at night for my parent’s return, I watched my grades go down; I lost all the focus I never had. My parents suddenly became fighters; the business they had jointly managed since the inception of their Nineteen years connubial bliss became a game of throne and educational superiority.

Bayo is in boarding school. He witnesses none of such but he saw the evidences of the fleeting peace in our home through the scars on my body.

It all went from bad to worse till there was no more with which to describe the situation. I performed woefully in my A’ Level examination, no one asked about it neither did I talk about it. Everyone has forgotten that I was supposed to be a student and not a maid.

Staying at home to mind the chores, enjoying TV shows before my parents return with their plethora of spites had become convenient. Friends no longer visit not even after they saw me hospitalised for a stab I took for mother. I made no effort to look for them either. My misery had so much company to offer.

Four years swept away and left me behind like four days. I had grown and mature with pains. Despite the role played by my parents, I seriously blame myself for letting anyone put my life on hold. I will be twenty-five in fourteen days’ time and nothing do I find mirthful about my life. I could not close my eyes last night because it all seems someone was replaying my past in my mind.

At age 25, all I planned for my life was fulfilment and full-orbed happiness as a graduate of Harvard University as dad promised and being a wife to a loving husband.

But this morning, I realised I am still under the same roof, in the same room with the same old life.

My life has not changed neither has the lifestyle of my parents turned a new leaf. Time has moved; seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, but I am still in the middle of the same times of a life from year one to twenty-five. Our home, my parents slipped into darkness and emptiness, I slipped away with it too.

I am in the middle of my time but the only evidence of my growth is that I have become a WOEman..

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo