When Mama last craved you to wash dish, you ostentatiously refused. The mere fact that you are the only daughter, in the family of six whose Papa is late, has taken over your thinking faculty; you love to be pampered so much. You have proudly made yourself incorrigible. When forenoon rends the air, your elder brother bends to sweep the floor. You furtively rivet your gaze towards him, yet common sense is too busy to tell you to grasp that long broom from his hand to sweep.
Two weeks earlier, when Mama, for the first time, ruthlessly dealt with you for what is called disobedience, you suddenly swooned on the ground and afterwards was hospitalised. Fear gripped Mama’s heart. Your brothers were apparently breathless. When you later got discharged from the hospital a week later, the doctor earnestly warned mama to refrain from beating you for a reason best known to him. Thus, mama has resorted to correcting you each jiffy you err still, you are stubborn. You only want to be treated like an egg.
On weekends, while Mama and your brothers are washing all the linen in the house, you will separate your own and wash them so neat, leaving your brothers to scrub the rest.
When you are asked to peel tubers of yam, you will say you do not know how it is done. Even to shred vegetables with your lazy hands is difficult to you. Your routine is daily the same: you eat, have a siesta and frolic around at will. No one can challenge you because your stubborness is of an ineffable status. You take people for granted. Your beauty has overruled you.
You clock twenty four. You have not improved socially and emotionally. You still act proudly. Akin comes to you. He says he loves you and will kill himself if you do not marry him. You snub him, saying he is not your type. He attempts to hold your hands, you slap him. He uses his palm to rub his cheek to water the pain sitting within. You do not even have time for men. You do not want to be touched by men.
You clock twenty five. Your elder brothers have all got married and settled down in their respective homes. Only you still stay with Mama. She comes to the threshold of your room and taps the door. You sit right on your bed. Mama says she has something important to discuss with you. You sigh. Your sigh gets snowballed when the context of her talk is known to you; she asks after whom you are courting. You scratch your hair as though you did not hear her quite well. She repeats the question, trying so hard not to sound harshly.
‘Give me a little more time,mama,’ you say, ‘I shall bring him soon.’
Mama fixes her gaze on you for what seems like decades before she leaves for her room.
No man comes. It seems to you like no single husband again in the vicinity. You plaster your face with make-up, dress beautifully, spray deodorant on your dress and take a stroll to the city, still no man comes. You are now almost desperate to get married.
Initially, you did not take religion with utmost seriousness but has now become passionate to you. You enrol at Mountain Of Fire Miracle, pray and pray until sweat crowds your face. You give a room for a seven-day fasting. You become lean. Mama asks to know why you look lean, you say you merely have malaria, assuring her of your wellness.
‘Are you sure?’ she persists.
You think about going to the city cinema to play. It comes to pass. At the cinema, you order a bottle of malt and take it to where you will sit. The music is on. You are tempted to dance but you barricade yourself from doing so because your condition saddens you. After a while, you return home to start thinking.
At 30, no man still comes.
No village people are after you, you are the architect of your own problem. Next time, be humble.
God will help you.