Episode 7 (Part 7)
“I was born and brought up in the remote ghetto of this enugu.
I was the the first child in a family of two kids”.
My head was resting in my hands, eyes transfixed on Amanda as she relayed her story to me.
Her eyes had lost it’s usual spark and now wore a blank look but still bore a dim glow and she continued.
“the second child was okechukwu. My father was a retired civil servant and he took to carpentry after he retired to help meet ends need.
My mother was a petty trader who had a small stall in front of our yard.
I was in senior secondary school one (S.S.1) while okechukwu was in Junior secondary two(J.S.S.2).
my father slipped into a very severe drinking habbit, always spending the greater percent of the day in a local gin bar, coming home each night dead drunk.
I had no hope of entering into the university if i happen to finish my secondary education due to my father’s inability to meet up even money for food talk more of paying my tuition for university.
A year later, okechukwu fell sick and was rushed to the hospital.
the doctor refused to operate on him unless we come up with an initial deposit of a #100,000.
My mother desperately ran around, selling everything that could fetch even the least triple figured digit.
All her wrappers, jewelries and anything she could spare.
My father also borrowed from his friends and relations but okechukwu died a week later after the surgery due to unknown complications.
It was a devastating blow to our family, my father’s drunk habit intensified.
He now spent over time drinking and chasing after women.
My mother and i tried kept doing all we could to sustain the family. i took work anywhere i could find it, even serving mason.
My father died 2years after okechukwu due to heart failure. then i was through with my secondary education. Life became a hidden hell for i and my mother.
Being the only two survivors of our family, mother was traumatized by the death of both okechukwu and my father.
Being a very beautiful girl, men trooped to our house to ask for my hands in marriage. “Mother always maintained i was too young for marriage” but i on the other hand had vowed within me to change the situation of my family and none of those men, met up with what i had in mind.
I started making moi-moi, taking them to I.M.T to sell, which coincidentally was the same school you started your tertiary education” She forced out a light chuckle.
I smiled hard with a loud sigh.
“Yes go on” I said looking blankly into her face.
and she continued.
“That was where i met sharon, She was a student in the school.
She saw me when she came to the spot i stayed while i sold my moi-moi, she came with a friend who wanted to buy moi-moi.
She started up a discussion with me, established a friendly bond between us and i told her my story.
She said she would help me.
Sharon’s aura oozed of money and comfortability.
she told me she was the one seeing herself through her tertiary education.
I envied her achievements, a girl of not up to 21 comfortably shouldering the responsibility for her education. i resolved within me to do all i can to finish my education.
With Sharon’s help i got admission into I.M.T, and sharon introduced me to the world of runs.
She got deals for me all around the nation, and we often went together.
The pay was good and i was able to pay for my school fees without a hitch, upgraded my mother’s standard of living.
But within me i wasn’t comfortable with the job, i just did what i thought i had to do to survive.
I met your dad during my final year, sharon too got me the deal. he was very good to me and he was the one that stopped me from being a runs girl, he placed me on an allowance and took care of my school bills.
He had told me about his late wife and his about you and Jessy. It somehow reminded me of my own family.
A year later after i finished with my National Youth service. He proposed to me and i accepted.
I convinced my mother and she too consented, and that was how i came to your family”.
My face blanked out, my throat locked that no words could escape.
Amanda became noticeably very quiet, her face tilted to the floor mopping at nothing i could really place.
“Mr Johny, Your father has regained consciousness” I had a strong baritone voice ring out jolting me out of the chasm the story created in my mind.
Turning my gaze to the direction of the voice, the doctor stood with an oversized lab coat.
He was a short stout man probably in his late 50’s.
The situation registered back in my mind. Papa have been unconscious for 3days now, but he’s finally awake.
..To be Continued..