Crime and IntrigueEditor's ChoiceLife and General FictionNaija Stories

Mom

The story began the night she died.

You really need to hear my story, right?

Alright, here it comes.

It drizzled that night. With a slight prod, the wooden door creaked open. The room was dimly lit by the bedside lamp. It took me a few brisk steps to get to where she laid while avoiding the yellow vomitus pooled on the wooden floor. The chemist had assured me that the drug would stabilize her condition for some time. But what he didn’t tell me was where and how I could scrounge around for the surgery he spoke of. I scooped small water into a calabash and tapped her to wake.

Her legs were cold to my touch and her teeth had stopped chattering from the cold. I pushed my ears to her chest, but could not hear the lub-dub sound of her heart beat. Then, I knew mother was gone without a goodbye. That night, I cried until my eyes were dried of all the water.

The next day, I was standing by the side of a mound of loamy soil. Tears rolling down my cheeks filled my chattering mouth. There was no shoulder to share my burden. I watched her corpse, wreathed in white sackcloth, as it descended down to the belly of the grave.

My uncle took me in. But each passing night in his house came with fresh pain and agony.

Was it the pain of my loss?

He came in every night with a rim of wrapper tied to his chubby waist. He would tell me that no one should know of it. He actually called it “Our little secret.” He threatened to kill me the day I leak the secret and warned that the secret must follow both of us to our graves and I would wonder how many of such secrets had followed mother to her grave because mother had shed a lot of tears on his account. Those nights, I would beg him in between sobs, but he would set deaf ears. “You are my uncle. Please don’t do this,” I told him the first night.

“This is one of the good gifts uncles can give to their nieces,” was the reply.

He would crawl into the bed, rip off my panties and would push himself inside me. In futility, I had tried to nudge him aside with my tiny muscles. Tears would pull down my eyelids, while he moaned with each thrust. I would feel a sharp pain running through my spines as his hard blokos rammed my young vagina.

Then, came a night—the night that would birth my freedom, the night that would change my story. He ambled in and walked into the bed. His eyes shone lustfully. He patted my legs and I didn’t bother to stop him as usual. I needed to keep him happy because I knew that the happiest point of a man was his weakest. The moans and erotic air he breathed must have so blinded him that he didn’t see the knife shimmered as I tugged it out of the pillow. I briskly sank the blade deep into his neck and immediately gagged down the wails with the pillow. I held to the position as I watched him writhe in pain until he dropped still. My blouse drenched in his blood.

“So, how did you find yourself in the prison?” one of the inmates asked.

I submitted myself to the law.

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