Mum: Now listen both of you, I’m glad you’re through with registration. You’ll both go to school from here. I want to keep my eyes on the both of you.
Chinu: But mum, all my friends live around the campus. What if we have morning classes? Mummy please let me stay off campus with my friends.
Mum: The driver will always take you to school. I want to keep my eyes on you two.
Mum: Don’t argue now. Amanda, hope I’m clear?
Me: Yes mummy.
It’s being four months since Chuku was buried. Everyone at the village had called it a taboo. They thought it was daddy’s spirit who took Chuku. We didn’t tell them that it was mum who killed her only son. We mourned Chuku like he was our god. After the mourning period was over, we went back to town. Mum agreed that both Chinu and I attend Esuta, because Chinu had friends there. I got my admission on merit and I’m sure Chinu got hers with connection. It doesn’t matter to me one bit as long as I went to school. Every night while I slept alone at the BQ, I would keep seeing Chuku’s face, the way he stared at me even at death. Memories of our last discussion would always fill my head, worst still, the accident had occurred in my room and there was no way it would leave my head.
After that discussion, sorry, what should I call it? After that “talking to” with mum, I left the main house and walked to the BQ. I had become the lonely girl who
always hid behind closed doors. The only person who was my friend in that compound was Chekube, our driver.
I walked into my room and sat down on the bed. We had earlier had lunch and I had just one hour to rest before going to make dinner. I suddenly felt a knot tighten in my stomach and I quickly rushed to my calendar. Jesus! My period. I checked my wardrobe and thankfully, I just had one sanitary pad which I would use at that moment. I made my way to the bathroom, took a warm bath and padded myself. I knew I was going to be in pain for the rest of the day and in order to prevent that on time, I made my way to the main house and into the sitting room. Mum was still in the position where I left her but Chinu was nowhere to be found.
Me: Excuse me mum.
She looked at me and returned to her phone. I wouldn’t dare say anything so I waited. Five minutes later, she looked up.
Mum: What is it?
Me: I’m sorry to disturb you mum but my period just started and I don’t have any sanitary pad to use. I would like you to give me some money so I can rush down the street and get one.
She gave me this wicked stare and dropped her phone.
Mum: Is that how ungrateful you are?
Ungrateful? What have I done? I thought.
Mum: Some minutes ago, I just gave you the license to further your education and now you’re coming to me for just sanitary pad. Must I see to all your necessary expenses? Be grateful for once Amanda. Don’t you have savings at all?
Tears dropped from my eyes. Did I mention that mum always gave Chinu 5000 weekly but never gave me even a hundred bob? Where then was she expecting me to get my savings from?
Mum: I’m very well aware that you buy the foodstuffs for this house. I give you more than enough money to get them. At least, you should save from there. What am I even saying? Your miserable mother doesn’t know how to manage so how will you learn that? If you don’t have sanitary pad, tear your towel into shreds and use them. I’ve got better things to think of than a stupid teenager who wants to announce to the whole world that she’s menstruating.
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My tears ran down in full speed as I watched her climb the stairs without looking back. I sat down on the floor and cried bitterly. This was not life. If only my parents, daddy or Chuku were still alive. Why was life so cruel? The burning in my lower abdomen started adding with each second so I stood up and left for the kitchen. I quickly got hot water from the flask and started massaging my stomach with it. I also drank some before settling down to cook. Everything I knew about reducing menstrual cramps were taught to me by daddy Alex and today, I missed him a lot.