Written by 2:24 pm Essays

Twenty Miles of Bad Road

she made us walk with no shoes on twenty miles of bad road to church and back, the priest one day tied me to a pole, I was twelve then and all the other church members will circle around and make Yoruba chants and sprinkle water

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Night after nights I lay in constant fear of my sister’s husband sneaking and having his way with me, as far as I remember I have never permitted, he was my sister’s husband for heaven sake! What does he want with a fourteen-year-old?  my sister pulled my ears towards the kitchen where a stove was sitting on the floor burning lightly with blue flame, sit! She ordered and my mouth gave way, abeg aunty mi…please  but she whipped so hard and I suddenly preferred the stove.

Out! came the voice initially and I thought I was having my constant nightmares but this time, my fears were confirmed as I opened my eyes to see my stepsister standing with a long whip and bloodshot eyes looking over my head like a starving eagle scouting for young chicks. Aunty mi please I’m sorry, what have I done? I asked innocently, I have learnt to apologise before asking for whatever wrong I have committed these days- yesterday, she whipped me for seeing shells of coconut in my room after starving me for two days and in her defence, I wasn’t even supposed to eat coconut while starving, I had innocently plucked it from the compound and went through hours of unfolding the different layers of its shells, my fingers and eponychium cries in worship, attesting to the fact that a hungry man can do just anything to get food.

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