Posted in Writings/Literature

Kamsi – Episode 3


My mother has always been a very observant woman. She noticed little things, things that seemed irrelevant. She is also very proud she has three girls, she didn’t allow us to make excuses based on gender. We are her children without emphasis on the female aspect.

When I was very little, my father’s elder sister Aunty Oby came to visit. She told my mother that she needed to have a male child next. My mother told her she wanted three children and she has them already. The next week, my aunt came with prayer warriors to deliver my mother’s womb. My mother received them well, cooked for them but when it was 12:00 am, the time for her to fight for her womb with the prayer warriors my mother was sleeping. When my father woke her up she told him she would only lose her sleep for something valuable not shouting at God and commanding Him for another child. Aunty Oby is my father’s only sister which should have forced my mother to obey her but after that incident, she respected my mother and distanced herself from our family issues.

I thought of that, and I resolved to keep my secret. My mother is too proud of her girls. I can’t afford to deny that. But I also thought about how observant she is and wondered if she knew already. I left the house forcing myself to smile, saying I couldn’t eat dinner the day before because work was stressful. My mother packed food for me, she said if work was too stressful for me to go out I could easily eat in my office.

I spent some of my time thinking and wandering. I went to a park, listened to music, ate my food. Yesterday was very fresh in my head, the humiliation, the defeat and shame I felt when I collected the money. I wished I didn’t receive the email. I felt my time wasting, slipping away like the way ogbono soup slips from a person’s hand. I started going back.
My father opened the door, my father who was once a strong, bright man. Now he was bones and wrinkles, crippled with diabetes-fighting through each day. His weakness which he only revealed to his family was laid bare for everyone to see.

“Kamsiyochukwu”. He always called my name in full. To him, Kamsi was too superficial. “You are back early”.
“Yes”. “I…….. didn’t get the job”.
I told him everything and when I looked up, my mother was standing by the couch. I apologized for not getting the job and promised things I couldn’t provide.

“I knew”. My mother said, sitting down. “I went to your room after watching Tinsel. You were sleeping with your clothes. I saw the envelope with ‘for your time’ written on it while arranging your things. I knew all was not well but I wanted you to say it”.
I was a bit surprised that she knew. I had not even opened the envelope. She came close and hugged me, “You will get another one, a better one”. She released me and I nodded. My father smiled. He had never been much of a talker.

In the evening, while my mother and I prepared plantain porridge, Cheta called. When it started to ring the second time, I held the phone. “It’s Cheta” I told my mom, waiting for her to help me decide.
“Don’t pick it, she expects you to be in the office or overwhelmed with stress. Let her think that till Sunday when she comes with Adora”.
I started dreading Sunday. Different scenarios played in my head. I wished my miracle would come before then.


I'm OnyinyeOlufunmi, a visual artist, writer and psychologist from Lagos, Nigeria.

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