The tragedy Episode 1

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 ha-rd working, 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 c@m£ 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 alre-ady 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 c@m£ 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 c@m£ 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, we-tin 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 nee-d 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 stro-kes. I
screamed so the neighbours could hear, but
none of them c@m£ out to rescue me; they
did not like me that much, they thought I
was a spoilt br@t.
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 st©p 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 c@m£ 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
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 ha-rd . 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
thun-derous 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 nee-ded to
pay his debts first before buying the things I
nee-ded 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 ha-rd , she used the ha-rd
sponge to wash the dirt out of my b©dy. As
she did, she complained I pla-yed 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 ru-bbe-d the Pears Vaseline all over my
b©dy and pas-sed 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 clas-s 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 br@t!” was what the wicked
aunty had told me to keep my mouth sealed.
She showed me my seat and collected the
broom, hoe and cutlas-s from me. I saw her
add them to the other three sets in the
corner of the clas-s, 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
pla-yed 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….
What do you think about the story?
Should i continue it?