MY FIRST FOOLISHNESS?
I was just 14 years old, when my mother sent me to Onitsha to stay with her younger sister. I was filled with expectations and dreams.
Life had been seriously hard on us ever since my father died.
My mother was left to cater for 5 children, including me.
The suffering was too much that my mother felt relieved when Aunty Nneka offered to help out.
Aunt Nneka, My mother’s immediate younger sister had promised to see me through secondary School and my mother was so appreciative.
“Thank you so much my wonderful sister, God bless you” My mother had told Aunt Nneka.
But when I arrived Onitsha, My aunt turned me into her maid and the worst she refused to send me to school. I was disappointed. There was no means of communicating with my mother apart from Aunt Nneka’s cell phone and there’s no way I could tell my mother what has been happening to me , in the presence of my aunt.
Each day, I woke up with aches all over my body, Aches caused by excess house chores and errands. More chores were always available each day. In no time, I got used to those hard chores and errands.
Every morning, I always prayed to God to touch my aunt’s Heart, so she could send me to school but three years passed, I turned 17 years old, everything remained the same except for the hardship I faced each day increased and I have also lost hope of going back to school. I worked double, with little food, sometimes the food were leftovers and I slept in the cold Kitchen floor every night.
One cold evening, my Aunt sent me on errand.
“Juliet” My aunt called out to me that evening. I was at the kitchen washing the dishes used for dinner.
That evening, My Aunt, her two sons and her husband had Jollof rice and chicken for dinner. One will think I had dinner too but no I didn’t, I was starving, My aunt had asked me to have the left over beans for dinner and as I was washing the dishes, I was making the left over beans warm on the gas stove.
“Yes Aunty” I replied as I turned off the gas stove, rinsed off my soapy hands and ran to the sitting room where my Aunt and her family were seated watching thier favorite TV channel.
Immediately I came closer, she gave me a quick stare.
“Take this money and get me a pain killer from the pharmacy”She told me and I ran out immediately heading to the pharmacy down the street to purchase the medicine.
I arrived at the Pharmacy and I met a young guy who will be in his early twenties, instead of a middle aged man, who i often saw at the Pharmacy.
“Good evening” I greeted
“Good evening, what do you want?” The young guy asked with a quick smile.
“Where is Daddy chijioke,The chemist?” I inquired.
The young man smiled.
“My father is not around” he replied.
Daddy Chijioke or Sunny Chemist as he was popularly called was the owner of the medicine store. He was a good man and Out of curiosity, I asked “Are you brother Chijioke?” And the young man nodded “yes” with smiles. I could easily tell who he was because I knew the Pharmacist had only two daughters and a son who was in the University. Daddy Chijioke and his family attends the same church with Aunt Nneka and her family and that was how I knew them so well.
I bought the Medicine that I came for and headed back home. From that day I became familiar with Chijioke and little by little we became friends as I always saw him each time I came to buy medicine for my aunt.
Aunt Nneka was always taking drugs that something I wondered why she loved self medication more than seeing a doctor.
One day, My aunt sent me to the Market to buy some soup recipes, I was at the market when I noticed that I had lost the money that my Aunt gave me, I almost had an heart attack when I couldn’t find the money on me. I burst into tears at the main road, I was confused and at the same time disappointed at myself.
“Juliet, how could you be so Careless?” I asked myself, but who will blame me, I’m always occupied with plenty house chores, that I barely have time to rest or reason straight, the worst is that I’m always confused because my aunt always yelled at me. I was doing laundry when my aunt send me to the market that very day. I was not done with the laundry before I hurriedly left for the market, I was not even putting on a nice cloth either and i had put the money inside my dress pocket, I never realized that my dress pocket was torn untill I noticed that the money was gone.
The dress was one of the clothes I came with from the village and it has worn out, I had being wearing this dress for the pass three years and my aunt had no plans to get me new clothes, not that she doesn’t have the money but she was just wicked and heartless.
I was crying bitterly at the market and the only thought that came to my mind was to run away because I know my aunt will beat the living hell out of me, if I return home empty.
I was still in tears when someone tapped me from behind, I almost jumped out of my skin but when I turned around, I was surprised to see the Pharmacist’s son- Chijioke.
“Why are you crying?” He inquired.
When I told him what had happened, he was moved, he dipped his hands into his pocket and gave me a sum of 1000 naira.
I danced for Joy and I was so appreciative. I kept saying “Thank you”. I was so relieved and happy that I had escaped my aunt’s wrath.
“Go into the market and get what your aunt had sent you to buy” He told me and then he left.
From that day, Chijioke and I became so close. He became my best friend, gradually I fell for him and when he asked me out, I didn’t hesitate, I accepted his relationship proposal and he was glad I did, he seemed to be in love with me or so I thought.
“Being blind-sided by love was MY FIRST FOOLISHNESS.
We started dating secretly, everything felt so beautiful and Chijioke was the best thing I had in my life, I loved him so much and he told me he loved me too.
To Be Continued