“Tara, you can’t write JAMB, POST-UME, WAEC and NECO the same year.” I spoke to Iya Bose’s daughter; you know she finished secondary school last year.” He said with his promise finger pointing at me and his face with obvious frown lines.
“Dad, that is Iya Bose’s daughter, I am Mr. Pedro’s daughter, and my name is Tara. I am going to write these exams together.” I shouted.
He was about to rubbish my only favourable chance of leaving the house. I know him well, he didn’t want me to write the exams because he was scared of the financial implication, not because he was scared I’ll fail. I couldn’t bear to live in this house anymore, the fights were getting more frequent, Grandma is yet to forgive what she did to her during my parents first physical combat. After the discussion with my dad, I went into my room, thinking about how I would get the four thousand naira for my JAMB form. I sat on my bed, wearing my polka dot cotton pyjamas.
“Where would I get four thousand naira to get this form? I thought Dad was going to get it for me. I need to start taking care of myself. I can’t trust anyone anymore. The next morning on my way from the tutorial around 8pm, I saw Bolade, He seemed happy to see me; Bolade is a boy about my age, 6 inches tall. He lives on the next street from my house. Bolade has been asking me out, he usually has money, I heard he is into the Yahoo-Yahoo business. As he approached me, I made a decision to ask him to borrow me the four thousand to get the form. He was elated at my request and even promised to give the money, there was no need to refund.
“I’ll give you the money tomorrow, I love you very much Tara. I”ll do anything for us. Even if you don’t say yes now, I will continue to be hopeful and patient, I know one day you will be my girl. You deserve more than 4K. I’ll take care of you, I’ll spoil you.”
I cleared my throat, some saliva got into my trachea and I started to cough. The cough subsided. I used the back of my right hand to clean tears from my eyes from the coughing.
“I’ve heard you. I have to go home now. It’s getting really late. I appreciate your support.”
“What about my reply? Are you still thinking about it? I want you baby.” I rolled my eyes and gave him a sarcastic smile.
“I’ll let you know soon. You know I have exams, when I’m done.”
I ran home to ensure my dad doesn’t get upset with me for returning so late. I wondered where I’ll get the money to refund Bolade. Although he doesn’t want me to refund it, I have to. He can use it to blackmail me in the future.
Before I got home, I heard my dad and mummy’s voice. I felt a sudden weakness all over my body.
I ran in to see dad in mummy’s embrace, his shirt locked in her right hand, her left hand on her the left side of her waist vibrating from left to right. I wondered what the cause of the fight was this time. Who would have thought things would turn out this way; the pastor introduced and advised them to marry. Didn’t he pray enough? Didn’t he hear from God? Didn’t they pray as a couple?
There you go again Lord.
I think I’ve had enough of all these drama. I have to talk to God now, but before then I need to seek help to stop this fight. I dropped my school bag and ran to Baba Segun’s house. It was his son, Brother Segun who came to open the door.
“Please I need to see your dad,” I said breathing heavily.
Baba Segun came to the door looking worried, “Ki lo sele, what is wrong?”
“They’ve started again. Please come and help them settle.” I said as I tried to catch my breath.
He picked the green coloured shirt lying on the couch; he wore it as we both ran to the house. From a distance, I heard mummy scream, “Wa pa mi leni o, baba Tara.”
Baba Segun entered, “Baba Tara, leave her, she’s a woman. “Hmm, but you can see I’m not hitting her, tell her to leave my short, she wants to castrate me huh?”
“Mummy, e jo ma, e ma binu. Leave his cloth. Sit down.” They all sat and started talking while I went into the room, I need to understand why all these drama. My mum’s relative can’t be contacted either. I turned on the light in my room, lay on the mat and placed my head on the pillow. Tears began to flow freely from my eyes, they are finally let loose to express themselves. I tried not to make sounds so I don’t get unwanted attention. I carried my diary and began to write letters to God.
I am tired of everything, I know you hear and see it all, but just in case, I want to let you know I need help, I am weak and tired of it all. Can love just reign in this home, and peace, plenty of peace and quiet. I need money to register for JAMB too and all my other exams. Please help me. I also need to pass these exams so I can leave this house!
Why did you have to let mum go? I miss her and need her. Thank you for answering because I have no one else to look to, so technically, we are stuck together, so you have to answer my prayers. Amen.
As I finished writing, I felt at peace in my heart, I wiped my eyes and slept off. The next morning, dad called me as I was preparing for school, and handed me the four thousand naira. I was surprised it was the money for my JAMB. I wrote all the exams and I passed it all. I gained admission to study Medicine.
To be continued next Thursday at noon.
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