Thursday, 13 October 2011
YOU ARE WELL FED, WHY CANT YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYE
Hi Peeps, thanks for all the responses, i solemnly swear to reply everyone tomorrow, thanks for your patience xxxx. Enjoy this story...
Hello you don't know my name, where I'm from and where I'm going but the one thing you know is I'm just like you. All you have to do is look me in the eye and you will see.
I'm a grandmother way past retirement age struggling to take care of my grandkids. You see my daughter, their mother abandoned them years ago. Business today is slow, kerosene does'nt sell as much as it used to. I'm tired and hungry that even the mosquitoes feasting on me are a welcome distraction. Rent is way past due, so my grandson will not be resuming school when the new term starts tommorow. I know its hopeless staying a little longer, a little longer waiting here trying to sell when it seems like I'm invincible , a little less time of trying to sleep without electricity. I'm too old for all of this and as terrified as I am that I might not be able to provide my grandkids the bare necessities, I'm more terrified of not waking up one day, in which case they would be left with no one to care for them.
Fear. Who gave it to me. Life gave it to me.
Good evening ma, I can see its a young lady. I must have dosed off.
Mama what are you selling. Na kerosene, small bottle, 100 naira, big one 250, she does'nt like a kerosene customer. Mama, night don reach, wetin you dey do outside this kind time. Abeg, how much for all. I mentally calculated what was left, which was not so easy these days. I would never admit to anyone that my elementary maths was slowly eluding me. My pikin, pay 650. She just stared at me. For a moment sensing my desperation, so I turned away, bring am, she opened her purse and handed me a bundle of 500 naira notes. Mama go house. Night don reach. I dey see you everyday for here. Use this money, then she handed me her card. My house dey near here. Call me next week. I could'nt believe it. Thank you my pikin. God go bless you. I was already choking on my voice. Mama no thank me. I get grandmama too and I no like as I dey see you like this. Make sure say you call me o. She rushed off waving goodbye. I waited until she left before I counted the money. Unbelievable, I quickly picked up my tray, I had to get home. I did'nt want dele to be late for school tommorow. As I hurried home, I wondered why someone I did'nt know would do something like that for me, then I realised that she saw me. I might have thought I was invincible, but there was someone watching. She looked me in the eye and Without speaking, she knew my story.
Beautifully written by Barbara Okojie