“Good afternoon Mama” I greeted my mother as I tried to walk past the living room without any of the usual confrontations. I just was not in the mood for anything except my bed and my angel.
Mama was reclining on the three seater and watching her favourite channel, Zee world. The transformer supplying light to our house had broken down weeks ago and we had been plunged into darkness. The transformer was finally repaired on Sunday and since then my mother had literally camped in front of the television trying to watch and be updated on the shows on Zee world.
My mother would literally go hungry and starve anyone dependent on her as long as she can afford to pay cable charges and watch Zee world all day. It used to drive me crazy when I was working and living on my own. Now, I was almost climbing the walls.
“Ginika, how was your interview?” she asked raising her head reluctantly from the armrest of the settle she was lying on and looking at me. “Did you finally land a job so we can eat well again and relieve me of the burden of feeding you and your son? Because I tell you, the load is really telling on me” she looked at me expectantly.
Tears filled my eyes at her words. My own mother rubbing it in every day that she was now the person feeding and housing my son and I. It was hard to believe that I completed the house we were living in presently when I was still with Zenith construction and Planning.
It was hard to believe I set up the shop in front of the house that is our only source of income and which she usually left to the sales girl, Ozioma, to manage preferring to spend her time watching sappy shows on cable TV.
I shook my head to stop the tears from falling. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction I knew she got from seeing me depressed and heartbroken.
“I didn’t get the job” I stated with a bland face. ” “I have another interview in a week’s time. Hopefully that will ……” she didn’t allow me finish my sentence before rising fully from the settee and clapping her hands angrily together.
“Oh Oh you did not get the job and you are sounding happy about it. What will you and your son eat till next week when the new interview will net you a job? Do you think I am mother Christmas? At your age, you are supposed to be the one to feed me and clothe me. Buy me a car, take me to ‘Obodo Oyibo’ for holidays. Do you remember Edith? Yes, that same Edith, your classmate in secondary school. She just gave birth in Canada and her mother,Ethel, has travelled to be with her” She ranted adjusting the long bohemian skirt she was wearing and looking at me angrily.
“Why cant I have that? Why is my own different? Why do I need to feed you and child when I should be enjoying in my old age. All you girls do is to meet useless men who do not benefit either you or your family. Find a job o because I cannot continue to be a laughing stock amongst my friends” she strode angrily into her room. Her favourite TV show forgotten.
I just stood there in my wet clothes with tears running down my face and my teeth chattering. I couldn’t even move. I looked up my sight blurred became of the tears. Help me I mouthed silently, tears streaming down my face. If You are really there, please help me.
I took in a gulp of air and walked into the room where I stay with my son. I closed the door after walking in and seeing my son,Oluebube, sleeping on the bed. I frowned as I hurriedly removed my wet clothes before he woke up. He was such a light sleeper for a four year old.
I changed into a jeans and a T- shirt and went to the back yard to hang my wet clothes. My mind was still on why Ebube as we all call him was sleeping by this time. He was a very active boy and rarely in one place no matter how many times I shouted for him to stay quiet. It was so unusual for him to be sleeping and I didn’t like the feeling I got…