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Port Harcourt
Thursday, July 25, 2024


I furiously picked up my phone, dialing Dad’s number as I walked into my room. “Hello, Baby girl,” he said, answering the phone after a couple of rings. Baby girl was what he had always called me since I was little. As his only daughter, he was very fond of me and had vowed to keep calling me that name even after I had kids of my own. I used to think the name was special until I discovered that he had other ‘baby girls’ scattered around town. “Evening, Sir,” I replied coldly instead of calling him ‘Baby daddy’ as I usually did when we were still best friends. I figured that would make him realise that the call wasn’t friendly, but he pretended not to notice and continued in a warm tone. “Is someone missing daddy already?”

“What’s this nonsense I’m hearing about you wanting to divorce Mum and make Teni your first lady?” I questioned angrily. “Please calm down,” he begged, “it’s a little more complicated than it seems. You see, your mum is not well-groomed enough to be the first lady,” he explained. “Oh! Now she’s not groomed well enough for you? Why didn’t you think so when she was raising your kids and suffering with you when you had nothing?” I retorted. “You’re getting it all wrong, my dear. Your mum was a wonderful wife, but she’d make a terrible first lady. Teni, on the other hand, is classy and sophisticated. I’m guaranteed more votes with her as my first lady,” he tried to explain.

“I’m sorry to say, Dad, but that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year. If you decide to go ahead and file for the divorce, then consider yourself childless because Steven and I will no longer acknowledge you as our father if that happens,” I threatened, hanging up without waiting for a reply. You must wonder why Mum has never said a word or tried to stand up to Dad even with everything he’s been doing. I’ve tried to convince her many times to fight back but realised it’s a waste of time because all my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. I guess it’s because she’s the typical African woman from an older time. She was raised to believe that women should be seen and not heard and must treat their husbands like mini gods by respecting every decision they make. Thank God for gender equality introduction in the 21st century! Eventually, much to our disappointment, Mum signed the divorce papers and returned them to Dad. It was official. My parents were now divorced.

Anyone could see that deep down; it wasn’t what Mum wanted. But it seemed she had no choice but to give in to pressure since the man she had grown to love for over 30 years was no longer returning her love. She was becoming more dejected with each passing day, and we became increasingly worried. At some point, I was scared that she would go into clinical depression, which would have been terrible for us. Many people think depression is just about feeling unhappy for a few days, but it’s much more.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It usually lasts for weeks to months, and contrary to popular belief, it is real! It is an actual medical condition with symptoms and various trigger factors, including stressful life events like divorce, illnesses, and the death of loved ones. The good news is that it can be treated using different drugs, counselling, and psychotherapy. So please, let’s pay attention to our loved ones and friends and not ignore their cries for help.

A few days later, when I returned from work, I was surprised that the house was awfully quiet. No sound coming from the TV, no Mum sitting in the living room, and no Steven back from work. I checked the time on my wristwatch, and it was just 6 pm, about an hour earlier than I usually return from work. It didn’t make sense that Mum had gone to bed already unless she was ill. And I could almost swear she didn’t visit any friends because she had no other friends in the city besides Dad. After calling out to her with no response, I concluded that she must be taking a nap upstairs and walked to the kitchen to get myself a glass of juice. I had barely reached the door when I noticed the floor stained with a dark red fluid that resembled blood. I didn’t want to believe it was blood because it had no business being on our kitchen floor. I know we had arrangements with one of the butchers from the market to deliver fresh meat every week, but he wasn’t expected till the next day. Even if he had come by, why would Mum leave the meat on the floor instead of the freezer?

So many questions were running through my mind, But I waved them off and walked in to see where the blood was coming from. There was no amount of warning that could’ve prepared my eyes to receive what they saw. Next, it’s something I’d only watched in horror movies before that moment. I looked down on the floor and felt the room start spinning. I was staring down at my mum, lying helpless in a pool of her blood.

Find out what happens next in Episode 20

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