A work of fiction.
Soldier come, soldier go, that’s how the story of life goes. People come into your life and people leave. When people leave one’s life they leave something behind which could be experience, habits,knowledge and memories. Isn’t it funny how people say now on can ride,trample or step on them and go free? The truth is people step on us leaving their footprints which could either be good or bad. His footprint he left on me can never be forgotten or washed away, he left me as a mother.
I lost my dad when I clocked sixteen and after his passing my mum fell very sick. In order for my family to turn a new page my big brother came to rescue me, bringing me from the village to Lagos. I can still remember the joy I felt while I was in the bus heading to Lagos but my joy was cut short when I discovered that I would be living with the family that took my brother took Lagos to serve them. I was very surprised when I learnt that they had taken my brother has their own son, sent him to school and gave him an aspect in the family business to handle, he manages of one of their guest houses since they were into hotels and bar business.
I was sent to the same school as their first daughter who was my age mate though she was a class ahead of me. A weakling who was always falling sick, in and out of medication though she was very brilliant having her results displayed in the house. Her mum would always compare our results forgetting I was coming from the village and had a lot to learn. I would admit getting jealous of her at times. She simply was amazing, boys would always stop us just to speak with her which she had an habit of insulting those who made attempts.
The family soon started to face difficulties a year after my arrival. My guardians were ready to get a divorce and no longer lived with each other. Rita had to leave the house with her dad , her mum, kid sister and I left were left in the house. I had no one to talk to, share my pain and joy with. Rita was through with school so I could not see my dear friend who had become a sister to me anymore. Then he came to me in my lone and fragile state. He painted paradise to me and swore never to leave me.
Mr Jude became the shoulders I cried on whenever Rita’s mum passed out her anger and frustration on me. He became the ears that listened to all my tales without getting tired, bored or deaf. I was already in a relationship with a senior in school and as soon as he graduated I gave Mr Jude my answer to his long made request. Despite our age differences I agreed to date him, despite the fact that he was Rita’s teacher I fell in love with him. I always lied to myself that I was using him to get my assignments done and he was helping me grow academically even when I knew he was a big distraction.
We started going out and he never failed to buy me all I asked for until he got fired and resulted to selling okirika (Felly used) shoes and bags to make earns meet. I loved him, he made me see the light at the end of the tunnel and finally he made me a woman. I and Rita had vowed to stay undefiled till our wedding night but I threw all that away for him. Even when my conscience pricked, I silenced it by telling myself that he would marry me and what was the difference giving him now and then.
The dark days were over when Rita and her dad returned home. Rita was looking healthier; she was already in her first year in UNILAG( university of Lagos, Nigeria) while I was through with my WAEC(west African examination council) exams. She even learnt how to make wigs while she was away and that inspired me to learn a skill although her mum was bent on me learning hairdressing. I was happy to have Rita around again even though we did not spend much time together due to her academics she pursued with all zealousness which challenged me to start attending tutorial classes for Jamb.
I found Rita crying one night, Christmas night when she had just broken up with a guy she claimed to not have being in a serious relationship with since he was in US and she barely came online to talk with him. The break up was as a result of she not yielding to his demands for nude pictures and whenever he was in Nigeria she refused to have sex with him and even kiss him, while she was talking to me I started feeling shameful because all he asked from her I have done it with her class teacher Mr Jude. I watched her cry and constantly tell me she kept on asking him to wait till she was done with school and they get married but he would not so she ended the relationship. She kept on calling him a waste of time and that she would have achieved more as if she had not achieved a lot in her life already.
Few months later I discovered I was five months pregnant not like I had not known since but I kept on believing my period would come back. I told Jude who instead of being reasonable was calling me names and rejecting to be the father of the baby. Rita’s mum knew all along that I was pregnant but never said it directly to me rather she would say “if you get belle you go born am”. Rita finally knew when she searched my bag for biscuit. She looked more broken than I could ever be. Her mum took care of me and the baby but vowed not to train me or the child that it was responsibility of Mr Jude.
He changed my life, he brought both tears of joy and tears of pain to my eyes. He took education, happiness, freedom and my self esteem away from me when he walked out of my life without looking back. I used to call him maga(someone who is easily swindled) and fool when he was spending heaven and earth on me but know I am the bigger fool cause both heaven and earth have rejected me. If only I never got to meet him I could probably by be singing a different song but no I am here singing a song to put my crying child to sleep. I am 18 and a single mother.
Written by Myra.