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    ***NEW STORY***
    .
    THE TRAGEDY!
    Episode 1
    .
    .
    .
    About Twenty-Seven years ago, I was born
    into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Bena; my
    father was a Fine Art teacher in the town
    school and my mother owned a small shop
    in our compound. My father was very
    intelligent and hardworking, but he was a
    disciplinarian; people feared him, especially
    children and close neighbours. They had
    been married for five years without a child,
    and on 28th July, 1989, they had me, the
    apple of their eyes.
    Friends and relatives who came around
    when I was born rejoiced with my parents;
    one of the pastors had come and told my
    parents I was going to be famous. At the
    age of five, I was already in Primary One,
    unlike other girls in the town. Papa and
    Mama did not have enough money to put
    me in a nursery school, so before I got to
    primary school, I used to stay with my mom
    in the shop; she would not allow me do
    anything but stare at her while she attended
    to the customers. We also had a grinding
    machine behind our house; since the shop
    was very close to the house, my mom would
    always multi-task, she would attend to the
    customers who came to grind, and run back
    to the shop to attend to the buyers.

    One day, a customer had come to buy a stick
    of cigarette but my mom was at the back of
    the house completing her transaction with a
    customer who came to grind beans, being
    the stubborn girl that I was, I did not go to
    inform her that there was a customer
    waiting, I opened the pack of cigarette and
    sold the stick at One Naira. When Mama
    returned from the backyard, I was so
    anxious, I told her the good news.
    Me: “Mama, guess what? I don sell for you o,
    you go give me dat chewing gum wey I beg
    you” I said happily
    Mama: “Shiber, wetin you sell? I nor tell you
    say make you nor dey sell? Why didn’t you
    call me?”
    Me: “I think say you go dey grind for Mama
    Ono, see, I don sell one cigar” I showed her
    the pack of cigarette I had sold from “The
    man na mumu o, e no even collect change,
    mama you see why I no need go school? I
    go dey here dey help you sell, you go dey
    house dey grind”
    Mama: “Make I see the money wey the man
    give you?” she said and turned around to
    pick a cane from the ground.
    Before I knew it, I had received the beating
    of my life, in fact, that was the first day I was
    flogged with a cane. I had sold the stick of
    cigar for One Naira instead of Three Naira,
    Mama had told me after flogging me. The
    cane did not get to me that much, but I
    exaggerated as she added more strokes. I
    screamed so the neighbours could hear, but
    none of them came out to rescue me; they
    did not like me that much, they thought I
    was a spoilt brat.
    After the beating, I went straight to the back
    of the house, I sat on the wooden bench
    near the grinding engine, I knew that Mama
    would come around there numerous times,
    so I thought sitting there would remind her
    that I was sobbing and prompt her to
    apologize to me and give me some sweets
    to stop me from crying, but she did not.
    Several times, she walked past me and
    pretended there was no one visible.

    It was when she locked the shop and was
    about to climb the steps to go and prepare
    lunch for Papa that she missed her steps
    and fell off. I still do not know where that
    laughter came from, but I laughed like I had
    never laughed before. I held my stomach
    because it hurt as I laughed and ran away to
    the shop. I had thought she would run after
    me but she did not; she had sustained some
    bruises.
    That afternoon, when Papa returned from
    work, I sat by the door and heard Mama
    reporting me to Papa
    Mama: “Shiber is a stupid girl”
    Papa: “Shiber? What did she do?”
    Mama: “Like you instructed, I asked her to
    sit in the shop and let me know whenever a
    customer comes, but she disobeyed”
    Papa: “She left the shop?”
    Mama: “No, Darl, she sold cigar very cheap, I
    had to beat her for that…then I fell off the
    steps and she laughed so hard. How can she
    be so heartless?”
    I sat there, expecting my dad to call me and
    scold me because he was silent after Mama
    told her what I did, next thing I heard was a
    thunderous laughter from him, I crawled
    behind the wooden chairs in the living room
    to see what was happening and I found
    them chasing one another- just like me,
    Papa had found the missed steps hilarious.
    I was the last pupil to resume school that
    year. Papa had told me that he needed to
    pay his debts first before buying the things I
    needed for school; he said he knew I was
    smart and would easily catch up with the
    children who had resumed earlier. Papa had
    more than forty siblings, since his dad died,
    he had been the one taking responsibility of
    his mother and siblings, and sometimes he
    would extend his generosity to his nieces
    and nephews, which is why he was always
    borrowing from money lenders.
    My first day at school was amazing; Mama
    had bathed me hard, she used the hard
    sponge to wash the dirt out of my body. As
    she did, she complained I played too much
    with the kids in the neighbourhood and she
    was glad I was going to start school; she
    said I would meet my match there in school.
    She rubbed the Pears Vaseline all over my
    body and passed me over to Papa, who
    handed me my red and white uniform.

    We got to the school on Papa’s Suzuki bike. I
    ran to catch up with him as he walked
    briskly into the school compound
    immediately he parked his bike, and then
    handed me over to a woman whom I later
    found out was my class teacher. He had left
    me there with the wicked ‘aunty’; I cried like
    I was being sold out to a wicked slave
    trader as I saw my father’s image vanish.
    “Shut up you brat!” was what the wicked
    aunty had told me to keep my mouth sealed.
    She showed me my seat and collected the
    broom, hoe and cutlass from me. I saw her
    add them to the other three sets in the
    corner of the class, then she stared at me
    like she was about to eat the hell out of me.
    Being the new girl in school, and a smart
    one for that matter, I blended just like the
    chameleon. I gathered my new friends
    during break and told them funny stories of
    my experiences with Mama and how I
    played pranks in our compound. Turn by
    turn, each of us told our stories; the other
    girl who had resumed same day with me
    was so proud and annoying. She was also
    the only child of her parents, I had thought I
    would be the youngest in school, but we
    were same age; she spoke about how her
    dad had four airplanes, I told her mine had
    six. When the other girls realized that the
    conversation was becoming a competition,
    they left us. I eyed her green water bottle
    and backpack; I wished Papa had bought
    the same for me.
    I returned home that day, with the plan to
    inform Mama that I truly met my match in
    school but all did not end well, I met Papa
    outside the house, the shop was locked but
    I could see neighbours gathered, the
    women crying and the men consoling Papa;
    Mama had gone to join her ancestors.
    .
    Hmmmmm what a pity!
    To be continued….
    .
    QUESTIONS
    What do you think about the story?
    Should i continue it?
    .

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    #1358790 Reply
    AvatarValentine
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    THE TRAGEDY!
    Episode 2
    .
    .
    .
    Almost One year gone and it seemed like
    Mama had only gone for three days. I was
    already in primary Two, even though the
    most intelligent in class, I still did not feel
    complete. I needed Mama to be alive to
    prepare the meals I enjoyed while she was
    alive, to sponge-bathe me so hard like she
    always did, and to beat me as many times
    just as she did the first time. Since her
    demise, all the meals Papa had been
    preparing were never done, they were like
    the kind of meals my friends and I would
    use some hot charcoal to prepare during
    our play hours.

    I remember when Mama was alive, our
    Hausa neighbour, who is now late, would
    always boil rice at her house, and come to
    our house for stew. She had said since her
    children visited us during Christmas and
    tasted Mama’s peppery stew, they stopped
    eating hers. Everyone in the compound
    missed Mama; her shop was no longer open
    the whole day, many had advised Papa to
    bring one of his relatives from his village but
    he had refused. He never gave them any
    reason but I knew why. The shop was
    closed until I returned from school, we were
    no longer making profits, but Papa did not
    care about the profits, he cared more about
    my academics.

    According to what I heard, Papa came from
    a polygamous family. His dad had married so
    many wives from different cultural
    backgrounds, in fact, his grandfather was
    known to be the richest man in the village,
    and his dad, the first lawyer from that
    village; this gave them more power to marry
    as many women as they wanted, snatch
    farm lands and even slaves. As the people
    became educated and exposed, they grew
    to hate the family and cursed their children.
    Papa once told us a story about his father
    and how he divorced his seventh wife. My
    Grandpa had a land issue with one of his
    enemies. On his way to the compound of
    the chief he was having the case with, he
    met a beautiful girl. He asked her to marry
    him and she agreed but insisted he asked
    for her father’s permission first. To his
    surprise, she led him to the same compound
    he was going to
    Girl’s father: “You wicked man, what are you
    doing here? To poison me like you’ve
    poisoned your other enemies?”
    Grandpa: “Why would you say that? I was
    on my way to resolving the land dispute
    with you when I saw your daughter. Chief
    Inimgba, I leave the land for you. You can
    take the whole of the land”
    Girl’s father: “Ehn? Hahaha you think I am a
    fool? Listen, take your pranks elsewhere.
    But, do you know you are foolish? You
    walked all the way from your house just to
    please me? Our people say, after a foolish
    deed comes remorse. I know you too well,
    Chief Inimgba”
    Grandpa: “Ok, how else do you want me to
    prove to you that I won’t harm you after
    letting you have the land? What if I say I
    want your daughter’s hand in marriage?”
    Girl’s father: “The gods will strike you down
    this minute! Now get out of my compound
    before I give the animals in the forest a feast
    tonight”
    Everyone in the village heard about the
    argument and how my Grandpa was
    disgraced out of Chief Inimgba’s compound
    and praised the Chief for his bravery, but
    waited for the revenge from Grandpa. Days
    passed and Grandpa never retaliated, the
    surprising news they heard was that
    Grandpa was marrying Chief Inimgba’s
    daughter. Six months after their marriage,
    my father’s half brother saw her in the
    kitchen poisoning Grandpa’s food. When
    asked to taste the meal after she denied the
    accusation, she refused. Grandpa had no
    option than to send her away. Rumour went
    round that Chief Inimgba had sent his
    daughter to eliminate Grandpa, but Grandpa
    had his charms; other people believed
    Grandpa had used his enemy’s daughter
    and dumped her to hurt her father.
    In December 1995, I had just returned from
    school. It was few days to Christmas; I
    sneaked out of school so I could make some
    money at the shop. I knew Papa did not
    have enough money to buy the goat for
    Christmas, so I decided to use the few days
    left to sell the few gifts in the shop so we
    can have enough money to buy some meat
    for the Christmas celebration. From the
    shop, I could hear Papa calling me, but I was
    not sure, so I kept quiet. In my town, it is
    believed that one has to be sure of who is
    calling one’s name before answering
    because sometimes the evil spirit may be
    calling, and if one is unfortunate to answer,
    it may result to bad luck. As I was about to
    sell the last balloon to my neighbour’s son, I
    heard Papa’s voice again, this time it
    sounded like he stood right behind me…
    Papa: “Shiber! Shiber!! Have you suddenly
    become deaf?”
    Me: “Sir!” I quickly gave the boy his change
    and locked the shop
    Papa: “Will you come here…”
    Me: “I’m coming Papa”
    I ran towards the house and hit my right leg
    so hard, I looked at my toe and smiled, I
    knew good luck was on the way; if it was
    my left leg, I would have been worried. I
    cleaned my sweaty feet on the piece of
    carpet by the door and ran to Papa’s room,
    “I’m here Sir”
    Papa: “Take this” he gave me a yellow-black
    nylon bag. “Wait! Take this, then go to your
    mother’s room and try them on” he then
    handed two more nylon bags to the one he
    had given to me.

    I ran with excitement to Mama’s room and
    slowly loosened the nylon bags, I could not
    dare tear the bags open; I knew he would
    skin me alive if I did. Papa always saved
    every carton or nylon bag given to him from
    the supermarket; he believed they would be
    useful some day in the future.
    He had bought me a red suit and a pair of
    sandals. The suit had a big collar like my
    school uniform and it was a different size,
    the hands were falling off, but I was very
    happy, Papa bought my favourite colour
    although the suit was so big the material
    could be used to sew two suits for me. I
    stood there, staring at Mama’s standing
    mirror, I could smell her presence and
    imagine her standing behind me and taking
    the clothes back to Papa to tell him they
    were not my size. I had missed her, I knelt
    before the bed and cried, I cried even more
    than the way I cried on the day of her
    funeral. I knelt there crying when Papa’s
    voice startled me,
    Papa: “Shiber! What are you still doing
    there? How many hours will it take you to
    try it on?”
    Me: “Sir!” I answered sharply
    I did not pull off the over sized suit and the
    over sized sandals, I wanted him to see how
    it looked on me, making sure that I walked
    in a way that will make him notice he had
    made the wrong choice; I tip toed and
    limped at the same time.
    Papa: “Perfect! Sooo perfect! Do you know
    that when I told the shop owner that you
    were six years old, she screamed and said
    this dress wasn’t going to be your size? I’m
    an artist and a teacher, I know the right
    thing to choose. This is so colourful, at least
    you will still be able to put it on next year
    Christmas”
    Me: “Thank you, Sir” I knelt down on both
    knees and showed appreciation
    What else was I supposed to do? That was
    the first time Papa would willingly buy a gift
    for me. When Mama was alive, they would
    argue for hours and make a lot of
    calculations on his salary before getting a
    very little amount to buy clothes for me; and
    in cases where he bought the wrong sizes,
    Mama would convince him to return them. I
    had a feeling he would return the suit and
    not get my size in return; so I pulled off the
    suit, folded it like it was a treasure and kept
    it in Mama’s box till Christmas day….
    To be continued!
    .
    Hmmmm We are on the second episode already…
    QUESTIONS
    Will papa be able to bring up Shiber in the right way?
    Will she be happy without her mother?
    Should her father get married to another woman or bring in a relative to help bring up Shiber?

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    #1358809 Reply
    Daniel EdemDaniel Edem
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    seated


    LINK TO AVAILABLE EPISODES

    scroll down for episode 3 and 4

    Episode 5-6

    Episode 7-8

    Episode 9

    Episode 10-11

    Episode 12

    Episode 13

    Episode 14-15

    Episode 16-17

    Episode 18-20

    Episode 21

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    #1358817 Reply
    HenrymaryHenrymary
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    Nxt pls

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    #1358936 Reply
    AvatarValentine
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    THE TRAGEDY!
    Episode 3
    .
    .
    .
    On Christmas day, Papa woke up at Five
    O’clock in the morning, prepared boiled rice
    and goat meat stew, it was the best I had
    eaten. He instructed me to stay back at
    home as he will be taking our neighbour,
    Mr. Mathew on his motorcycle to church. I
    did not even want to go to church, I wanted
    to stay back and watch The Sound of Music
    on the TV; he only allowed me switch on the
    TV on Christmas days. I went to my Hausa
    neighbour’s house and invited my friends
    over to my place, they were so excited; Papa
    never allowed my friends into the house, he
    always complained that they would mess up
    the house. Being in our living room was a
    great experience for them, they looked
    round and noticed the new furniture that
    were well arranged and whispered to one
    another in Hausa; I went to the kitchen and
    brought a tray filled with rice and stew.
    We ate, danced and laughed and said funny
    things to each other. We got too
    comfortable that we began to play around
    the house, some of my friends were
    jumping on the couch while I was busy
    showing off my new red suit and sandals to
    the ones that cared to listen. It was the
    moment I saw Papa open the door that I
    realized it was going to be the worst day of
    my life
    Papa: “Shiber! What is happening here? I
    have been knocking on that door for God
    knows how many times” he looked at me,
    frowning
    Me: “Sir!”
    I looked at him, not knowing what to say.
    Then behind me, I saw that one of my
    friends had already broken Papa’s cherished
    aquarium and was playing with the small
    fish in his hands.
    “Sanusi, stop it!. Oh my God. Papa I didn’t
    know, I am sorry!” I began to cry, getting
    ready for the beating from Papa
    I could see from his eyes that he was angry
    and disappointed in me. I was sure he
    wished he had taken me to church instead.
    One by one, my friends began to shiver and
    exchange glances, the little boy, Sanusi, was
    about to run out of the house when Papa
    stopped him
    Papa: “Sanusi, where are you going to?
    Come here!”
    Little boy: “Wallahi Uncle, I no do anything. D
    pish e lock am po house, d pish I cry well
    well. Me, I open d pish house, me I give d
    pish preedom” he said as he cried and
    rolled on the floor
    Papa: “Hahaha Sanusi, I am not planning to
    use a cane on you. I was about to praise you
    for your bravery. I will tell your father that I
    am impressed, for you to think of giving
    these fish freedom, you must be a smart kid,
    I am proud of you. Now stand up” he smiled
    and picked the boy up. “Shiber, have you all
    eaten?” he asked as he started fixing the
    mess we made.
    I stood there still, trying to recover from the
    shock. I had always known Papa to be very
    strict; if a child misbehaved, he would make
    sure he beat the child to his satisfaction.
    Papa’s ideaology was that sparing the rod
    amounts to spoiling the child. Was Papa too
    angry to beat Sanusi and decided to pretend
    that everything was ok? What was so special
    about the boy that stopped Papa from
    beating him? These thoughts ran through
    my mind. I gave my friends signal that it was
    time to go home and they all understood. I
    watched Papa as he slowly turned the living
    room back to how he left it, he acted so
    quiet and that scared me more; I knew I
    deserved whatever he was planning to do
    to me.
    Maybe the pastor had preached in church
    about beating children, or Mama’s spirit
    decided to protect me and leave me to enjoy
    the Christmas celebration, I did not know. He
    never talked about my actions and he never
    judged me, he just became too gentle the
    whole of the holidays.
    Years had passed and Papa remained the
    person he had become since that Christmas
    holiday. I had written my common entrance
    from primary five and failed, it was now
    time for me to write from primary six. All my
    friends had passed the entrance
    examination from primary five, I was left
    with no choice than to mingle with the
    grownups in primary six. I liked my form
    teacher, but despised my class mates; they
    all had big breasts, and mine was not even
    ready to grow. They would mock me during
    group discussions and each day, during my
    morning prayers, I would pray to God to
    bless me with such features to stop me from
    feeling inferior in school.
    One Wednesday morning, I woke up after a
    terrible nightmare. I was sweating like I was
    involved in a war or a serious fight, but I
    could not remember any part of the dream.
    Prayer was the first step I took to conquer
    my fears, I then had my bath and rushed to
    school; Papa’s motorcycle had been bad the
    whole week so I trekked to school. As soon
    as I got to school, I brought out the
    common entrance past questions and
    began to solve them; I was scared the
    dream was about my examinations. Luckily, I
    understood everything I was taught the
    whole day at school. I got home, feeling like
    I had made a great change in my life.
    That night, at about 2.00am, I was woken
    up from another nightmare by the noise in
    the compound; I was about to move to the
    other side of the bed when I felt a hand
    firmly covering my mouth. My attempt to
    scream was a waste of time, I began to
    sweat, there was power failure, I could not
    see who was stopping me from screaming.
    Papa: “It’s me, Papa. Don’t be afraid, I want
    you to keep quiet and don’t say a word”
    Papa advised
    I obeyed his orders, even when unsure of
    whom it really was. Papa took me into his
    room and asked me to hide behind his
    clothes in the wardrobe; instructed me not
    to say a word till the next morning, no
    matter what I saw or heard.
    “I will protect you with my life, Shiber. Be
    brave, do not cry, and we are going to be
    fine” Papa had promised
    From where I hid in the wardrobe, my
    breath filled with the smell of camphor, I
    saw Papa holding the lantern and looking
    through the window. I heard several gun
    shots, the more the gun shots, the lesser the
    voices I heard. Some minutes later, I saw
    Papa opening the wardrobe wide, picking
    his den gun and putting his hand on my
    head
    “My little angel, just like I told you, do not
    come out no matter what. I am ready to
    protect you” he stood up and turned
    towards the window. Then I whispered his
    name
    Me: “Papa, Papa, where are you going to?
    Who are those people out there by this
    time? Are they killing people? I’m scared
    Papa…Please do not leave me alone, stay
    with me, Papa!” I began to cry quietly
    Papa: “Shiber” he whispered, “These people
    out there are very wicked people, they are
    about to kill everyone in this compound,
    including your friend, Sanusi. Go back and
    hide in there, Go! Go!” he instructed and I
    ran back to the wardrobe
    I saw my father pointing the gun at
    someone, or some people through the
    window, he fired several shots and then
    there was silence in the compound again. I
    could only hear heavy footsteps here and
    there; then birds crying for their lives.
    Mosquitoes feasted on my body till day
    break; it was like they had been hungry for
    decades.
    The following morning, I could hear voices
    from different persons, each talking at the
    same time, I could not really hear what they
    were talking about, but I knew something
    bad had happened in our compound. Slowly,
    I crept out of Papa’s wardrobe and ran to
    Papa, who was lying down on the floor. His
    skin felt so hard like the sponge Mama used
    on my body, he looked just like Mama on the
    day she was buried.
    Me: “Papa, they have gone, the wicked men
    have gone, wake up, it is morning already.”
    Papa laid there, not moving at all.
    I could not really identify what was going
    on, but I knew Papa was hurt and he was
    not breathing, he still had his gun in his
    hand and his shorts were soaked in dark
    blood. I looked through the window and
    saw my friend, Sanusi, his siblings and
    parents lying on the ground just like Papa; I
    ran outside to wake them up too, but the
    man in black uniform told Mr. Mathew’s wife
    to hold me and stop me from touching
    them. Confused, I stood still and watched
    them put Papa and our other neighbours
    who were still sleeping into the ambulance.
    Mrs. Mathew, whose eyes were red and
    swollen, assured me that Papa, her husband
    and the others in the ambulance were going
    on a journey for the government and would
    be back soon. I stood there, wondering why
    the other neighbours were crying, when
    they knew that their family would be back.
    .
    To be continued!
    .
    QUESTIONS
    Is Shiber’s father still alive?
    What really happened in that compound?
    Why was Mrs. Matthew crying??
    .
    Ok! i think i will have to discontinue this story and start a new one…. This story is too tragedic and emotional…..
    should I continue or stop?

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    #1359003 Reply
    HenrymaryHenrymary
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    Hmmm i wonder who those people are

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    #1359004 Reply
    HenrymaryHenrymary
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    Be strong shiber

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    #1359041 Reply
    AvatarValentine
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    THE TRAGEDY!
    Episode 4
    .
    .
    .
    Later that afternoon, the compound was filled with many people; children and adults, all wearing long faces. Most of them were crying and cursing, others, mostly men, stood with their arms folded and watched the ambulance arrive and drop each body one after another. I saw another man in black uniform drop from a black vehicle, he called the men aside and spoke to them; I could tell from the way the men shook their heads that he was giving them sad news. The men in turn moved to the wailing women and whispered something to them; it was like pouring gasoline into fire, whatever they said to the women made them cry louder.
    After speaking to the men in the compound, the man in black uniform came to me and squat in front of me
    Man: “Are you the teacher’s daughter?” he asked, wearing a fake smile on his face
    Me: “Yes” I said, confused
    Man: “Your father was a good man. He was trying to save the lives of your neighbours when the armed robbers shot him. We will make sure we find the culprits and make them pay for this.” He stood up and tapped me on the shoulder
    “You will be fine, the government will sponsor your education to any level” he promised
    …that was when it fully occurred to me that Papa had died. I was just ten; I did not know how I was going to live my life without him. Tears refused to come out of my eyes; I stood there thinking of what to do and where to go to. Mrs. Mathew took me to her house and told me that I could stay for as long as I wanted; that Papa’s family had been contacted and they would arrive our town anytime soon. Her house was a One-room self contain; she had no furniture only a cushion that looked like an abandoned bicycle. She laid a mat for me and her sister, who had come as soon as she heard Mr. Mathew’s death. Other relatives who had come to condole slept outside the house, under the big tree in the middle of the compound.
    …………………………………………
    .
    .
    “Shiber! You dey mad? Where you put your ear when I tell you say make you nor dey put dis pikin for bed if she wan sleep? Shiber!!” I heard my aunt calling from the outside
    Me: “Ma! I dey come” I ran to the front of the house, I did not see her there, then I ran to the backyard
    Aunt Engee: “Come make I teash you lesson small, idiot!” she dragged me closer to the bucket of soapy water and dipped my head into the water.
    I held my breath for as long as I could, but before I knew it, I had lost the ability to stop myself from breathing. The first heavy breath that followed got me inhaling the dirty soapy water I had kept aside to flush the toilet. It was then Aunt Engee decided to pull my head out. I coughed painfully like the water had mixed with my brain, the deep cut her nails made on my neck made me feel worse.
    “I look like your mate wey you go disobey my instruction?” She held my hair tight and lifted my head
    “Hehehe see dis small rat of yesterday. Next time you take my pikin mata play, I go show you Yoruba pepper. Nonsense!” she said and walked into the house.
    Who was I to cry? I had been living with Aunt Engee for Four years; she had come with Papa’s relative the following day the ambulance brought his corpse to the compound. Like a piece of meat being given to hundred slaves, my father’s siblings debated on who should cater for me; it was after their long timed meeting that Aunt Engee volunteered to take me with her, since she was a single mother and only relative that lived in the North. She had given her reason to be that she wanted her daughter to have a sister around, and she also wanted to have me around too. From Mrs. Mathew’s house that day, I heard Aunt Engee telling the rest of her siblings that I was her favourite niece; and it was a fat lie.
    I hated Aunt Engee, in fact, I despised her everything. She had this small stature and wicked looks, with her mouth always busy chewing gum and legs looking like they would break any minute. When Mama was alive, she told me that Aunt Engee had visited when they were childless. They both engaged in a huge fight, as she had visited to convince Papa to send Mama away. What upset Mama was that, Aunt Engee did not, like other Nigerian relatives call Papa aside to tell him whatever that brought her to the house, she was bold enough to say it in Mama’s presence. I heard Papa did not take it nicely, he had asked Aunt Engee to leave his house, and on her way, she called Mama a witch and accused her of controlling Papa.
    ……………………………………………
    My father’s half sister, Aunt Engee, lived in Janguza Barracks in Kano state. Most of the wives of the military men in the barracks seemed like they were handpicked by God; they had so much similar characteristics, Gossip was a synonymous word for their personalities. They would turn up for every occasion even without invitation; as they smile to rejoice with you, they gossip within themselves and feel hatred deep inside. I did not know who Aunt Engee was dating or married to, but I knew she had a very strong hold in the barracks; the women hated her but accorded her respect.
    My first few months with her was like living in the worst part of hell; no day had passed without her nagging and innovated curses and insults; she never ran out of vocabulary as long as it had to do with curses- she was a professor in that discipline. One of the days, she had asked me to boil beans and I did as instructed. After the beans was done, she argued that she never asked me to boil the beans but rice. When I tried to prove my point by telling her that we were both in the house while the beans was being cooked and she would have at one point, perceived the aroma, she lifted the pot of beans and poured the hot beans all over my head; it was the first time she had acted that wicked, I was not used to such maltreatment, so I cried all day, with fever.
    Later that day, she returned from where she had gone for a wedding ceremony, according to her, she was booed out of the venue
    Me: “Why would they ask you to leave the wedding, were there bouncers?” I asked sarcastically
    Aunt Engee: “Hmm my dear, no mind dose poor people, na poverty dey worry dia head. As I reash I come see say food wey dem dey share nor reash my side. I come stand up go d MC go complain say food nor reash me. I nor no say d microphone dey on. The foolish MC come yarn me say food finish” she paused for a few seconds and removed her
    gele then heaved. It was obvious she was not comfortable in the native outfit, the gele had made temporary marks around her head. She continued,
    “Naim I provoke, I say ‘food, finish? How? Nor be now pipo dey reash d venue? How food wan take finish?’” she dramatized her actions
    “By mistake, I come say ‘wish kain palm oil wedding be dis wey water, dem nor share, food, dem nor give. Nor be burial we dey na’…naim Captain Obodoeze wife begin rush me with insults. All those officers wife too join, I come vex dey come house” she hissed and went into the bathroom with sadness written all over her face.
    Of course I was a good listener. I made sure I heard every detail of how she was embarrassed by the barrack women. I laughed so hard as I went to the kitchen to warm her food, I knew my God was not asleep, she had her own day ruined too just as she ruined mine.
    ……………………………………
    After coughing out the dirty soapy water, I sat on the cement block to catch my breath; I had to breathe through my mouth, because breathing through my nose caused me pain. I cried and called Papa’s name, why did he leave me? Why did he confront the robbers? Didn’t he know that I was his only fruit? I cried as I stared at the dirty dog that came to pick some bones from the dishes Aunt Engee had lined up for me to wash. I quickly stood up and pretended I was busy with chores when I heard her duck-like footsteps
    Aunt Engee: “Where that witch? You see? If person nor make you cry you nor go sabi the correct tin” she placed her left hand on her waist and instructed me with the right
    “If you finish wetin you dey do for this backyard, rush go inside clean everywhere; I dey expect visitor. If to say you nor sluggish, na you for go this market wey I dey go like this. Nor forget O!”
    After she left, I was caught up in another deep thought. Who was she expecting? Was it a visitor from the village? Was it Papa’s relative? If it was, then God had answered my prayers; I was going to tell the man or woman what I had been going through for the past four years. Yes!
    Our long expected visitor arrived very late; Aunt Engee had made up for hours like an Osun goddess, the food we prepared was getting cold and I was also exhausted from multiple house chores. We heard a very loud car horn. I ran to the window to check, then I saw a big flashy car; it was the special visitor, I guessed. Aunt Engee ran into her room and applied more make up, I never knew there was anyone in the world who could put her in such happy mood. She came out of the room looking like a new born, who had just been bathed by her Nigerian grandmother; the white powder was all over her face and neck, but I didn’t tell her it was too much; I wanted her to look ugly.
    She went out to welcome her guest, who swaggered into the living room in his native attire. Behind him, was a boy, almost my age. Aunty asked the man to sit and signaled me to take the boy to the guest room; we both dropped the luggage in the room, and as I was about leave the room, the boy finally spoke,
    Boy: “Hello dear. We have not spoken, My name is Miebaka, what is your name?” he stretched his hands to shake me
    Me: “I am Shiber, Aunt Engee’s niece” I stretched my sweaty hand to shake him.
    He held my hand, smiled at me and then released it; it was my first hand shake
    Boy: “Why is your hand so cold? …and sweaty? Are you nervous?” he asked
    I looked away and smiled, how could a boy my age know so much. He moved closer to me and placed his right and on my chest, lowered his fingers towards my right breast and looked into my eyes as he smiled then leaned on the wall near the door. It felt so odd, but great at the same time; I managed to take his hand off and ran to my room. I could hear my heart beat like multiple talking drums.
    To be continued!
    .
    QUESTIONS
    Who is the visitor that just arrived at Aunt Engee’s house? Could he be a relative? What role will the new boy, Miebaka play during his stay at Aunt Engee’s house?

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