A Mother

A Mother

The floor was hard. My mother’s pulls and tugs on my head was harder. in our small hut, she managed to cramp a bed and a low bench. A bed and a low bench and I was still sitting on the hard mud floor. Her insist on tieing my hair was becoming strange week by week. These days she does not even let me go out like before.

Mother, I am going to the stream.

No Nnamdi, your brother will go.

Mother, I want to see Chi-chi.

That girl is mannerless, you will not see her.

she has been like that for some weeks now. now she used all the energy in her body to tie my hair, deep down I knew my scalp had long been included in the tieing.

‘Mother, can you make the hair a bit loose?’

‘A bit loose?’

‘Just a bit. it is quite tight.’

‘ What do you mean tight, ehn tell me! I plaited it just this way last week and look at where we are again. It is tight and it can not last for more than a week. Her mouth like tight. You don’t know your mates are married. I’m sure it is because of this your hair that you are still here. Not even one man has come here asking for your hand…’ She pulls my hair harder, ‘Later you will be following that nonsense Chijioke boy up and down. nonsense! let me not hear it is quite tight from your mouth again.’

My mother ties everything I do, that she disapproves of, to my not having a husband.

Quietly I mumble,’I don’t follow Chijioke around’, just to set the record straight to myself, but she heard it because a mother’s ear is the same as the elephant’s.

‘ You don’t do what? ” My mother exclaims, ‘I saw both of you ooo. I saw you. I sent you to collect rice from mama Chike and you were there, rubbing his bicycle and opening your whole mouth. I have warned you ooo, if you come back to this house with a protruding belly, I will not take care of the bastard.’

‘ Haba! Mother! He was just telling me that he had seen mama Chike leaving her hut and she was not back yet.’

‘Ehhen, is he now the absence monitor? See the type of man you are following. Putting his nose in other peoples’ business.’

‘If he had not told me it would have been a wasted trip.’

‘Common put your head well. Wasted trip… The white man said walking is good for you. It will not have been wasted.’ 

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