It was a cold evening, I had just gotten back from school when I sat with my mum as she stared into space. She didn’t even hear me walk in, she must be deep in thoughts, I imagined staring at her, wondering what she was drowning in.
“Mother”, I called, but she didn’t flinch which was unusual. Scared that something might have happened to her, I called her again with a push to call her back to consciousness.
‘’what is it, so you are back now and I won’t have my rest’’, she said in a disappointment which was supposed to be my feeling. She stood up from the couch and left the sitting room. I wanted to follow her to the room, but her mood wasn’t inviting, so I gave up.
My parents had no formal education, so it was difficult to get a lucrative job especially ones that came with security. My mum had learned how to read and write along with other basics a bit from her childhood friend Chiza whose parents where wealthy enough to see her to any length educationally.
My mum got tired of Chiza’s regular assistance and she started a fish business which was helping the family. Sitting back at home became the order of the day for my dad as my mum turned the bread winner of the family.
He would say ‘’the amount I dey use go work every day na the same amount den go pay me, when you
don multiply am by 30days, plus stress oo check am e no worth am. I go dey house help your mama make the business dey move fine’’.
My mum was realizing her dream of sending me to school, even though the school was a back water government school with low grade teachers we feel were strategically dumped there.
I’m turning sixteen soon, all my curves are starting to take their rightful positions which was exciting but the men it attracted was repulsive. My friend Mercy, whose curves had been established even before mine would say ‘’babe this is an advantage that you must use to the fullest’’.
I met this guy named Okey, whom I thought to be different, we’ve been dating for seven months and he hasn’t asked for sex. ‘’He must be perfect’’, I always say to myself, because in our neighbourhoods ‘sex was just like an exercise’. Most girls my age were already dating men old enough to be their father.
Okey wasn’t a saint like I had thought, he was working with his friend Collins who was a pimp and I had no clue that he was grooming me to be the most priced of his jewels awaiting the highest bidder.
By the time we had shared each other’s bed that was when he introduced me to Collins as his friend, who then took interest in me. He voiced his thoughts to my supposed boyfriend who then felt it very normal for Collins to have his way with me, which he did seeing that I had little or no say on the matter.
That was how my body merchandising began. Knowing men to be takers, people who only wanted to take, so I was going to use what they wanted from me to get what I wanted from them.
To be cont.
The road not taken
We are who we choose to be, the decisions we make as a result of the challenges we are passing through will either make or mar us. Sometime we are so fueled with hurt and anger that we think revenge is the best option; we have been dealt ugly cards for so long, that we don’t know how to become anything thing that isn’t ugly.
There is always a comeback for each and every one of us. What we choose to do with this is entirely our consequence. Learn to be strong because you have been weak; become fearless in the discovery of your true self because you have been afraid to fight, too busy dealing the hand that you were dealt. Go for wisdom and true knowledge because you have been a fool and that’s not who you want to be anymore.
Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter/Instagram: @BlossomObi3