Really not about you I
Omo was certain suicide was wrong but then it would free her from her mother’s incessant nagging right?
What if death turned out to be painful? What if her tummy just hurt for a really long time and she did not die?
Her mother walked in at that point and Omo froze.
“Oghene muria gbavweooooo!” (God be my strength!)
She rushed forward and snatched the bottle from her daughter’s hands and dragged her out of the bathroom.
Wham! The first slap soundly and smoothly on Omo’s right cheek. The weight of the slap made Omo spin on the spot. She instinctively put both palms on the cheek and in the space of a heartbeat, a second slap followed to the left cheek. Omo felt dizzy and then she saw the stars. Actual stars. They were really pretty and danced around her head just like she had seen in cartoons in times past.
“Do you want to kill me? Ehn this child!”
Omo cowered before her mother, a bundle of confusion. The tears came flooding down.
“So you want to drink Dettol and die so that people will call me a careless woman abi?
I will kill you myself!”
Omo broke down completely as the slaps began raining on her. She attempted to shield herself with both arms but failed woefully. The slaps kept coming in and her tears kept flowing, threatening to drown her.
“You better shut your mouth! Just shut it!”
The slaps stopped after a while and Omo began to whimper.
Her mother walked out of the room. It was time to make that phone call. The one phone call she never thought she would have to make. Clearly Omo was possessed. What child tried to take their own life simply because they were scolded and corrected by a parent? Omo had been quite a nuisance for months now. Her stubborn nature had gotten really frightening. A friend had suggested that she might be possessed but she had disagreed vehemently. Now she was convinced. Omo was possessed and she needed deliverance.
Omo’s tears subsided after a bit but she was totally exhausted. She sat on the floor of the living room and the memories came of their own accord. It was three years ago with just a couple of days to the JAMB examination. She was only fourteen and she was a little anxious about the exams. Her father had encouraged her endlessly, affirming and re-affirming his faith in her. He respected her love for art and was ready to support her in her quest to become an artist. She had the most beautiful sketches including one of her father. The sketch did not have a photocopy-like resemblance to her father but he loved it all the same and hung it proudly at his office. And then that Thursday morning he did not wake up.
Omo felt her mother’s jab behind her and she quickly snapped back to the present.
“Pack your things. I’m sending you to a prayer house tomorrow”
Really not about you I