4.

Image Sourced from African Paintings on Pinterest

These Nigerians are such good actors, so I had come to realize. I also like how loud and dramatic they usually get. It makes their movies livelier.

Recently, I was watching a Nigerian movie where the main character was an orphan. She was living with a relative who really mistreated her, called her unsavory names and made her do all the house chores.

I could definitely relate with the doing of the house chores part.

In the end, this girl met a wealthy man, who fell in love with her and married her eventually.

I could not help wondering if I would also meet a wealthy man eventually, who would love me and marry me.

You see, I have never had a boyfriend in my life. I know nothing much about love matters.

There is a girl who keeps coming to the house to see Ken over the weekends.

I think she lives within the neighborhood and goes to the same school as him.

She always comes when both parents are not around. They then go upstairs to Ken’s room or sometimes, stay within the living room watching something on TV.

I wish I had the courage to ask Ken if she is his girlfriend.

He is only two years younger than me but being my employer’s son, I always get tongue tied around him.

But then, it is really none of my business so I don’t really dwell on it.

Ken once made me promise never to tell his mother about the girl’s visits.

So far, I have kept my promise.

The last time I spoke to mother on the phone which was a few days back, she mentioned that my village best friend Priscilla is expectant. Priscilla had never mentioned anything about having a boyfriend to me in the past. But in the village, once a man noticed how resourceful you were as a woman, he never hesitated in making you his wife. Mother added that Priscilla was already married and that her parents had received her dowry too.

I wish I had Priscilla’s number to call her and congratulate her on the good news. So much seems to have happened back home, the year I have been away. I wonder what else new I will find.

However, sometimes I could not help getting worried about Ken and that girl. If anything happened, I knew Mama Ken would have automatically blamed me for keeping quiet about it. I may be clueless on love matters, but I surely know what goes on between a man and a woman behind closed doors. In this case, a girl and a boy. I simply hoped that was not what was going on with Ken and that girl.

The news about Priscilla had made me somewhat envious. She was a lucky one, that girl. Books may have failed her but life certainly had not failed her. I know people in the village would have concluded that I was way luckier than Priscilla, working in the city. They hardly knew just how difficult it was.

Uncle called regularly to find out how I was faring on. I never told him just how mean Mama Ken could get. I never mentioned how hard I worked in this house. I never disclosed how they always left me behind whenever they went out for family outings, either in an Uber Taxi  that Mama Ken had hired or in Baba Ken’s range rover. I never said how I always felt like the “odd one out” sitting in the church pew on Sundays with the family.

How everyone dressed better than me, whose Sunday Best was a kitenge outfit that the village tailor had made for me, to attend a relative’s wedding. And that the kitenge skirt had become too tight over time and the zipper could not be zipped all the way up. It always left an ugly bulge of my colored petticoat at the top, which I expertly covered with the kitenge top being of good length.

Whenever uncle called, I always made it a point to act cheerful. I knew uncle had my best interests at heart. Him and mother were the only reasons I persevered.

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