“I know you will make me proud, it’s well with you my daughter”

Those were the last words my mother muttered when I watched her struggle with the painful sting of death that transited her into the land of the unknown. I sought for tears but couldn’t find a drop. Maybe, while I looked at her bed rid daily as she took a step closer to her creator, milked away every form of sympathy in me. I remember how I prayed to God in my subconscious state to take her life away; living without her may have seemed better than having her rot in pains every day, whereas I stared at her forlonly. She was diagnosed of chronic myelogenous leukemia, we could barely afford to satisfy the unending demands of our stomach. My father passed on the day I was born, I was told our lives crumbled that moment because he was the sole breadwinner of the family who struggled to provide, and we lived with agony accompanied by misery as our greatest companions afterwards. My mother refused to be admitted in the hospital, we survived from hand to mouth, how would we afford to offset her bills? No, she had preferred to stay at home while she allowed the claws of death feast on her gradually, those were her words when I brought her test result home and narrated how the doctor advised that she should be placed on immediate admission for treatment, even though her chances of survival were slim.

Well, after the death of my mother, I became an orphan officially. Yes! I had always considered myself as one even before she gave up the ghost. I could recount how I tagged myself ‘a potential orphan’ somewhere in my mind while I pondered on all the pain and unpleasant experiences life had thrown at me. My independent journey through the hurdles of life started, I knew I was a loner. To an extent, I was excited because whatever decision I made towards surviving, I would be accountable to me, myself and I. For sure, I was solely going to be responsible for all my actions henceforth. Walking down memory lane, the sermon on ‘dignity in labour’ my Sunday school teacher once preached struck my mind, I started considering hawking sachet water on the streets but a part of me which has tasted suffering in its ugliness, objected. I didn’t need to be reminded that I had undergone series of hardship in life and wallowed in poverty for long. I had hawked in the rain and scorching sun. Times when I didn’t feel I got enough profits, I switched to carrying loads for people with the rickety wheelbarrow my father left. Other times, I moved from house to house; offering laundry services to people. I had stayed several nights awake, listening to the rumbling voice of hunger in my stomach. If I were asked to define misery, I would simply mention my name.

With all of those horrible experiences, I didn’t think I wanted to have a replay. Even if I was born to suffer, I had had enough share already, I persisted. I carefully considered the next step to take; many girls in my street who shared similar background with me had experienced a turnaround in their lives because they gave into the advances of men, I thought. Maybe, I could be like them, simply exchange pleasure for valuables. I didn’t want to tag it prostitution, it sounded too deep. For hours, I had several thoughts coming up against each other in my head. My mother never failed to emphasize on the fruits of determination and hard work, she was one person who always said to me “you are a star, you will shine bright one day. No matter what life throws at you, never give up”. Those words battled against every other thought that crossed my mind. I knew I was destined to be great but I couldn’t die in misery and penury while waited on greatness, I countered.

To be a scarlet woman, I didn’t need series of tutorials or coaching from anyone, I could find my way around. I mean, being a very beautiful young girl in her prime, I knew any man would yearn to have me warm his bed. Before I reached the end of the street, this young man, well-built and handsome pulled over.

“Hey beautiful” he said while grinning.

I paused, after much persuasion from him, I gave into his plea to offer me a ride. He was quite amazed when he realized I didn’t have an actual destination and was more delighted when I accepted to follow him home. It was obviously going to be a one night stand. He felt excited, I felt same way too. My journey into giving pleasure in exchange for value had started. On getting to his house, we took turns in having a warm bath. He laid on the bed anxiously whilst he waited for me, I then stumbled on a reflection of myself as I stood face to face with the mirror in the bath room. A mixed feeling crept in immediately, I felt scared. For the first time, I strongly doubted my decision. A fresh definition of who I was clouded my mind. I felt indifferent, I noticed my heart beat was faster. I realized I was one out of many who was facing the difficult storms of life but could see light at the end of the tunnel if I persisted. I saw a new me, one who wasn’t meant to warm the bed of a stranger for some peanuts. Indeed, I was destined for greatness as my mother said to me, I only needed never to give up, strategically pursue my dreams and watch the star in me shine bright like a diamond. I picked my clothes which I hung on the door, dressed up in a new aura and gently walked out of the room without saying a word to him.
tales by Marvy


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