Yes! you can judge me but I did what I did because I had to do it, even though I can’t look myself in the eye right about now but I did it and that’s it. Really I wish I could detach myself from the girl that I have become but how can I? Biodun had come home that day frustrated after attending another job interview of “we will get back to you later’, she refused to talk to any of us and I just knew she was going to crash if something didn’t come up for her soon. Mum had threatened her a week before that she had to get a job or stop being another mouth to be fed in the house. It wasn’t Mum’s fault either, after training four children all by herself, she deserved to be left alone with her meager salary. She has a house full of graduates with no one having something to call a proper job. She was so understanding when we all came back home one after the other after the NYSC but the house rent had to be paid, four mouths still needed to be fed, bills were to be paid, and of course the four of us had to depend on her for everything. I guess she needed to transfer her frustrations on someone to ease off, Biodun being the eldest daughter was just the scapegoat, the other reason being her refusal to marry the ‘okay’ guys coming around but to wait for a better offer. Don’t blame us yet, we tried, our first Born Deji almost lost his life during the FRSC nationwide recruitment and his right leg had become limped as a result of that, it was only last year that he packed his things to go run ‘whatever things’ with a friend of his in Sagamu.
You could say mum was still fair to me being the youngest but I wasn’t seeing things the way my other two sisters saw it, they wanted it honourably but it wasn’t coming their way, they kept applying here and there but return home perturbed. Kemi my other sister had to take up a crèche assistance with a little money to keep body and soul but Biodun an engineer would have it no other way. our rented two bedroom flat wasn’t what any friend could come visit in, it was all dirty because of all the old stuff, the curtains, chairs and all were just out of description and colour and I envisaged things could go on like that if mum retires next year with nothing to live on from us, she might just die as one unhappy woman who spent her all on the children who were unable to give back. So I developed a plan, girls who work in the big companies weren’t more brilliant than me but were just smarter so I joined the wagon, nobody cares where you work, just make a name for yourself, be the big girl in your own right, share exploits on BBM, FB, TW and maintain it.
You may not know but it happened to me so I know that you attract your kind of personalities, after developing some good moves, people of like minds became my pals, I stared singing in the clubs at least that’s what mum and the rest of them knows but really it’s not that I am sleeping around its just stripping. But oh! Money keeps rolling into my purse, I have a manager who arranges all the places we go but it doesn’t go beyond showing, I actually don’t do sleep around. People believe we are into one creative concept, but you don’t want to know all I do every night. well I am making contacts having met with some bigwigs to get my sisters a job and now, things have really changed. Bills are paid on time, food is in the store, good clothes are being worn, mum smiles more often, though she knows I am doing more than singing but has decided to turn a blind eye. My other sisters are enjoying all of it and I am sure I am getting them something soon because deals are underway. It’s so amazing how you might not be able to see eye to eye with crème de la crème during the day but have them watch you like the blockbuster movie of the century at night.
Well, now my brother has come home having heard of my exploits, I thought he went to run things too but he came back all born again and also as a tutor in a secondary school. According to him, it’s a brand new kind of life, though he looks it but his preaching is so disturbing to my very soul. Business has been very bad for me ever since he came home, mum had become so soft crying to him as if he was God himself, in his own viewpoint, poverty had driven us to a dangerous corner especially mum and my sisters who had rejoiced in my daring acts. He scolded them because they knew I had something up my sleeves other than singing, his words have been hunting us down because we all love each other but what can I do? I don’t want to go back to that life where I can’t even do things I wish to do because I had no money or buy a gift for my mother on her birthday. How many years do I know she has left anyway? And if I keep waiting for things to turn around when will my life start? Deji had explained to us all, that meeting family/personal needs is never an excuse for bad behavior, I don’t know how to tell all of them the actual truth but Deji has helped me to confess it to God. But temptations abound greatly, my contacts are calling me for money and my manager has threatened to dump me, yet no job is forthcoming. Deji says to believe, but it’s hard, he has offered to take me along to his place so as to stabilize in my new faith but it’s not so easy going back to living a life of needs and not wants but you know what; I am climbing my mountain one step at a time. Though you can judge me but…………..it was just that I allowed my feelings to take over the right judgment. If God surely has a better life for me I think I want to hang in there to taste and see whether he is good or not.
“Can someone please answer that phone “
“The owner doesn’t want to pick it”
“Then do something about it, I am trying to sleep, please!” came Tonia’s irritating and authoritative voice, she was always like that anytime she was sleeping, but it wasn’t her fault either, if not for Dammy who left her phone and left for work. Biola took the phone and pressed the red button, only to throw it carelessly on the bed, angered by the fact that her one and only phone had not rang for three days now and here was Dammy’s third handset ringing non stop. She knew it was that guy who was so crazily in love with her, he is so much in love with her as if his life depended on it, though it wasn’t that kind of obsessed love found In novels or movies, even a never-fall-in-love person could see that it was for real but Dammy would not want to hear of it, she hated the guy as much as he loved her. He hadn’t showed up for days now probably because of what happened the last time but he has been trying to reach her, calling the only number she gave him just to know how she is doing and hear her talk to him. “Poor guy!” he didn’t even know she had two other lines she could be reached on. The last he was here, Dammy had done the unpardonable, after standing him up for three hours, she strolled in with her never-do-well boyfriend while they chatted and did stuff, the guy just sat there waiting for his time. Biola had been furious seeing him that way and she couldn’t help but shouted after him as he left that day that he was a fool!
Biola had been there for him that day, making him feel comfortable and keeping his company, he returned her smiles and welcomed her friendliness, he even shared jokes with her and both of them had laughed out loud but it didn’t go beyond that. Biola had tried something else and had secretly hoped that he would open his eyes and see her and finally stop chasing after shadows but he was very firm, turning her down politely though he didn’t treat her that way but she felt worse than trash, she felt like crawling into the plastic waste bag to be thrown away because she hadn’t tried to encourage a man before but who wouldn’t want to have something to do with Harris? He was so cute, so kind, so gentle, it wasn’t about his beautiful face, because if a man was above the handsome category, you could tag him ‘beautiful’ he has it all going for him, everything so pieced together as if life was just a straight line. He was everything to any right thinking girl but he had eyes for the only girl who wouldn’t want to be seen with him. He wasn’t like that Timi guy who in the least could not even hold a smooth conversation with a girl, the chauvinist was so rude and above himself, “who in the world would want to go out with him?” except Dammy of course who is always playing the goat with him.
She wondered why some men could be so blind; whatever Harris saw in Dammy could not be compared to what she had been building in her self. She has always been as good as gold, Mum and Dad’s good girl, she doesn’t have a heart for trouble or guts to party like Tonia or date dangerous men like Dammy. She couldn’t even explain where the courage to seduce Harris came from, perhaps it was her naivety that Harris recognised and pleaded with her to behave herself well. But Harris was so wrong, he was wrong! To behave well was something she was birthed into, she grew in it and now she can boldly describe herself as the future virtuous woman in the book of proverbs. He was one who needed to behave himself for being so much in love with someone who has the least regard for him.
She checked her handset for the imagined missed call she thought she had a while ago but there was none, her phone battery was full as usual, she wouldn’t be charging it for the next three days, she wanted to switch it off but thought of Mum or Dad, they might want to reach her, to encourage her or pray, all they knew was to pray and encourage her, she didn’t even want to hear the ‘patient’ talks anymore, they wearied her the more, how can they tell her to be patient and wait for God’s time when she had done everything right and now that she is supposed to be engaged and get married to a responsible man, no guy seems to be interested. She closed her eyes and tried to shut it all out but she couldn’t sleep like Tonia slept. Her face was free of worries, sleeping so soundly, she wished she could do what the girls did or better still be like the girls in the movies who could do things to make a man fall no matter how strong he claims. Her mother had told her to be careful with her roommates that the children of this world are wiser in their own eyes, “but that works for them anyway” and her life is the exact opposite of being a good Christian girl.
“Life is so unfair!” she whispered as she wept silently into her pillow, how long will she have to wait before God answers her prayers? If not for her sake but for that of mum and dad. She couldn’t fathom how some people could be so lucky which is not as a result of their deeds because Dammy do not deserve Harris, no logic could explain why the morally upstanding guy could be in love with Dammy who lacked any moral values. “Hey babes! Sugar is home” Dammy’s beautiful voice interrupted her thoughts and she quickly switched back to the “happy friend, no worries mode”, “welcome dear, and how was work today” Biola asked.
“Please don’t ask me, my boss finally got the signed divorced papers she had been waiting to receive from her husband and all hell was let loose today, she made our day miserable because she didn’t want anyone to be happy, what baffles me however is that she sent those divorce papers, she was the one who wanted to get divorced, now that she has it, she is so down in the dumps, transferring her aggression on our poor souls! I wonder what women really want from men?”
“Whao! That is not coming from you Dammy, is it?”
“Why? What’s with me?”
“Don’t even go pretending like you don’t know what I am talking about” Biola had sat up straight now obviously defensive and prepared to fight, Dammy looked at Tonia for some support but she was still fast asleep. “So what are you talking about dear?”
uninterested as ever, Dammy played with the ruffles at the hem of her brown knickers, silently enjoying the look on Biola’s face, thinking if Biola was a white she would have turned red or pink by now, she wondered where she was going with the conversation. Biola finally found her voice, she was going to stand in for Harris, she wouldn’t allow her to treat him like a no-good anymore “He has called you for God-knows-how-many-times today”
“So why don’t you let me deal with that, he is calling me not you”
“Its not fair how you treat him, he loves you yet you treat him with contempt,”
That was the height Dammy could take, she initially thought this was the usual girl talk, but this coming from Biola was novel. She wasn’t the type of girl who meddles in other’s businesses especially one that has to do with men, and the only reason she would do this is if she was falling in love with Harris.
“Are you in love with him?”Asked Dammy
“Yes! ehr…….m… I mean no.”
Biola tried to hide the real reasons but Dammy already saw through her, Dammy threw her shoes in the air and laughed out loud, she shook energetically and laughed hard until Tonia woke, she was still laughing while she changed back into her denim and boldly inscribed “want me more” tight body revealing top and finally left, she finally stopped laughing when Timi came and took her out for the weekend. Crushed beyond words, Biola crawled back into her bed and shut her eyes tightly whether sleep came or not she decided to remain that way for a long time