The Salary of a single politician is four million? How come he has prodigious assets and also 17 million naira in the trunk of his car? I saw that big money in a Ghana-must-go bag and I just knew it was 17 million. Perper goes in and out of countries for trips and She the mother has an unquenchable penchant for whatever is exorbitant. Brother Junior has been abroad since he was 15; I do not even really know my own big brother.’ Loudly, I heard my name downstairs so I dropped the diary and began to walk downstairs. I heard Daddy saying, “Relax Sweetie, nothing is actually wrong with Bella. She doesn’t want a fat phone or any of these luxuries now but she will care about them later like women.”
“But she is already 22 and in the University yet she is so stoic and tame unlike her sisters.”
“She will come around; do not bother your sweet nerves. By the way, I was at that Lagos deal today and I got five million just for concealing the thing.”
Daddy is home tonight so we have to do prayer-before-going-to-bed. Attending will be Mr.&Mrs. Harry, their last child Michelle and me. But they had bore five healthy children.
The prayers went neat and orderly like a military performance and when I got to my room upstairs, I wrote, ‘Father Lord I wish these prayers cover my family’s sins till the day father stays home at night again and also stop Maradona my immediate elder sister from lying that she goes to night vigil every night whereas she smoked and languished in frivolity in different clubs. Who goes to vigil six times out of seven days in a week? And she calls that groove and enjoyment. To me enjoyment means doing different things that you love doing whenever you want to do them to have a great feel of it. Clubbing six times in a week is an addictive evil, very diabolical.”
I never said anything at home because everyone hates my prejudices that I have been fully aware of. Once, I complained about Maradona’s madness at dinner and she threw her spoon to my forehead leaving a deep, small scar. Mother tries to get closer to me but I had long locked my soul ever since Junior left the country and daddy began to appear and disappear on us in course of politics. Love is still in a tight traffic jam while on its way to my family. Anyways, I found something; I owed all explanations to my diary.
At the last page of my first diary, I wrote, ‘The kind of family I was born to have also made me congealed in class. I am that kid that looks spoilt and contributes nothing to anyone in class.’ I had just started writing on the second diary and at the last page again I wrote, ‘I could have gadgets or a car yet I will not have any now, androids and social media can wait till I am done with my first year in this state university that I had chosen stubbornly for myself. Next as I live, I will travel from country to country to search for where corruption is nil and then, I will end up travelling to all the countries in the planet because I will find none unconstrained of greed and manipulations.’
My fingers flipped through the first pages where I eye-glanced my previous jots. ‘The president standing in the middle of the assumed rescued Chibok Girls after their kidnap since April, 2014 looked like a jester. The elaborate picture of the joke was displayed on national papers where anyone with a brain could see it and wonder what a dramatization of crime in Nigeria. Perpetual, my oldest sister had gotten pregnant for the love of her life because his family insisted she does so to make sure that her womb was intact. She had met the guy from the middle class in one of her numerous trips and father had refused his friend’s newspaper house from carrying the wedding news because maybe he thought the protruding stomach of his not yet married daughter will divulge to the world some of his debris.’ In capital letters, I had written, ‘I wish the baby in Perpetual’s womb dies in her first trimester so that we can see what the family of her husband will do.’ I knew they were a little scared of father’s money and his bogus looking daughters. On the fifth page I had written, ‘To think that the friends in Maradona’s Whatsapp chat who post status of their idly videos do not know that spelling of names of people and places starts with capital letters. Yuck!’
Too much conversations I savoured in my diaries that mother got for me, maybe to aid me speak to myself with words instead of a voice that I do not have. I locked the diary as usual and hid the two keys securely in my singlet, in between my fat breasts and dozed off, I took the keys with me wherever I went to during the day. In the morning, I rushed out to school threatened and bothered about what I had written in page three and four.
Michelle was my younger sister but not my friend. She was what I would have been but did not end up being. Someone that would always want to give me lectures on how to leer rich aged men visually. A 15-year-old-girl just prefers aged men for friends and the worst she takes pictures of her notebooks and sends to her friends who were not in school and they slaughter teachers in mockery. Michelle was an epitome of rudeness and decadence and many times I concluded that Mother became pregnant of her the day she made love to Father after one of their long squabbles that had led to drinking, shattering of bottles and later ending up in bed together leaving I and Maradona deranged.
Mrs. Harry, my mother came into my room when I got back from school and embraced me wholly in a way that I had to look at myself twice to make sure I have not suddenly become Michelle. Then she handed me two little drugs that I refused out of surprise. “Mother what are these for?”
“Oh baby, you have come of that age. These are the drugs women take when they get to your age. It holds something very feminine and special between mother and daughters.” She explained and kissed my forehead.
“Ok” I slowly said and took it with the water she had brought in a glass. I did not bother to ask if she had given those drugs to my sisters because I was sure she had since she loved them the most. When she left, I covered myself with my blanket, thinking of the kiss she gave me, if she really loves me and if I was really special to her. It was a good thought that made me write in my diary, ‘I love you mother and I miss you since the day you gave birth to Michelle.’ Again,I was tempted to read what I had written in page three and four.
A day came out of the blue, Michelle suddenly started saying ‘Hi’ to me. Father and mother teased my chubby cheeks more often and for the records, Daddy stays at home more often, attends church services with us and took us to fun parks and once, to the movies. Maradona would always want to ask me how school went and she slept in my room few nights instead of being in the club. I was abashed but excited. The new we were a dubiety that I didn’t know how it crept into the family, yet I preferred it. I had been writing lovely and amusing things in my diary. ‘Sister Perpetual, I wish you a safe delivery and I wish to ask you about marriage later in life. Maradona I love you prodigal sister. I am beginning to accept you as my sister Michelle even though you took my parents from me. I miss you Junior my only brother.’
Living suddenly became sweet like juice, I could not keep tracks of the love realizing how it reeked among us and as I walked down a plaza after buying a box of bounty chocolate that I wanted to give to Michelle, I ran into a diary, the same as what Mother gets for me, same product, class and attraction but it was not pink or orange in colour like the ones I had. It was black and very respectful, more like a brother, an opportunity that has been waiting for me to come into it and sink my life in it for real. I quickly purchased it and caressed its cover, fingering the three little keys stuck into it. It was when I walked out of the plaza that a conjuring left my mind, scales fell out of my eyes and the spell was broken forever. The diaries always had three keys and Mother had always given me two keys. This could have something to do with everything. At first, I felt betrayed, disappointed, naked and ashamed and sulky like a sober sides but as I got closer to the house, I studied within me the importance of communication to the world. If only we could let anyone know anything.
Luckily, mother was home. I first handed Michelle her cholesterol box that made her slap my ass without impulse and I did not mind, then stepped I into Mother’s room, hugged her and gave her one out of the three keys. It made her smile and she gave me that satisfied oh-you-know-I-read-your-diaries look. To her, I knew about the pry but I didn’t and I could not comprehend how far mothers go to reach out to their children. I shut her door softly and ran to my room to cry and read what I had written in page three and four.
‘Today was our Epoch-making Conference in school and Dandy the guy in level 300 spoke ebulliently about his article, The Way Forward Inside Failure. He buttressed that reading books other than our textbooks is what real knowledge is. Voraciously, I licked my lips at the thought of being his friend and after the conference I ran to him. It was the first time I talked to someone in there and my throat felt soggy. He said he stayed in some kind of boys quarters in school so I volunteered to help him carry his pile of books on his way home but he resisted that and said I could come to his place anyway. Such a cool guy. His room was tiny but that didn’t mean that what I got in me was tiny. I have been trying to get sexed. Do not get me wrong. I have been trying to feel like a female, maybe a human being or maybe how Mother feels with Father. Hahaha Mother should never read this. As soon as Dandy closed the door, I pulled off my jacket and part of my breasts was in view. It helped in doing most of the magic and then we were doing it, doing sex in his room. Sex is so noisy, adventurous, watery and milky. I am dreaming and lavishing my time in it and I still do not want to think of what if I get pregnant. Oh! That is not relevant now. It is my time, my time of excavating something that can even make someone lose some weight. Jesus. Tomorrow I will say I am going for morning lectures and I will disappear from home to him. What a role.’