The Critic | Episode 1

Umar Philips blocked you – the first notification I saw after clicking on the button with the symbol of a bell.

 

I roared in deep laughter.

 

“This is how I would wreck you fools down”, I said in the husky voice which the forty percent alcoholic drink got me.

 

My name is Faith Hilda Donalds. Although, most people refer to me as “Faith”; just very few people know me to be “Hilda”.

 

My life was perfectly described in one word- miserable.

 

You wonder why?

 

Not to worry. I’ll tell you.

 

Miserable was just the perfect word for me as this was evident right from the situation that surrounded my birth.

 

My mother was gang raped. I mean, raped by four different men.

 

You’d think she lived a promiscuous and wayward lifestyle and so, she reaped the consequences of her actions right?

 

I’ll not blame you because that’s just the first thought that would cross any neutral mind but I’ll do well to shock you a bit.

 

My mother was decent during her teenage and adolescence stages even till now! Although, I have not checked up on her in the last two months.

 

At the time my mother was raped, her father was critically sick. My grandparents were stricken poor and all they could do was to run from pillar to post in other to get some money to treat my grandfather but their efforts yielded very little.  The family business brought in meager yield.

 

In turning different wheels to source for money, a rich man close to a friend of my grandfather was willing to assist but his assistance came a condition- my mother would be the ransom!

 

The rich man wanted to have my mother as one of his many wives. He had about six wives as at that time.

 

My grandfather would not want to hear of it especially with the state of condition my mother was in. Grandfather had said he would rather die in his sick condition than for his only daughter and child to be given out so cheaply to a man within his age group.

 

They tried keeping up to their stand but the sickness kept growing worse.

 

The so-called rich man wouldn’t even bulge at the sight of my grandmother on her knees.

 

His lustful eyes rested on my mother who had accompanied my grandmother to his house on a day.

 

“I am ready to give you all the money you need but I just need you do me a small favour. I mean, give your beautiful daughter to me. Some strings could be pulled out from there. You know”, the potbellied man creaked with sarcasm in his laughter.

 

In fact, the unborn me in the warm amniotic sac felt irritated at that.

I guess, though.

 

It was such a miserable moment in their lives!

 

My mother never referred me to any negative qualifier. She was always positive but I was never because I described myself to fit the situation just as it was.

 

When all possible wheels had been turned to the breaking point, my mother on her own decided to give herself up as ransom.

 

Her parents kicked against it vehemently but her mind was made up.

 

When you see a genuine mother’s love!

 

 

 

My mother moved into the house of Chief Badmus Agola, the rich man. She allowed the man excude all of his lustful desires on her. He went in to her whenever he felt like and treated like a piece of garbage afterwards.

 

Chief Badmus fulfiled his promise of giving my grandparents money for their pressing needs.

 

When my mother’s delivery date drew nearer, Chief Badmus began to loose interest in her and so, she was not always in his inner chamber.

 

She had to mingle with the other wives.

 

My poor mother.

 

She wept!

 

“My sister, that is how we all had it with Chief. He uses the content when it’s eye-catching and dumps the leftover before switching over to the next available prey”, one of the older wives had told my young mother.

 

True to the woman’s words, Chief Badmus brought in different sets of concubines.

 

My mother was eight months gone with her pregnancy when she found out from a hospital laboratory test that she had been infected with gonorrhea.

 

Miserable life!

 

Mother knew Chief Badmus must have infected her with the disease as she knew it was tracable to the promiscuous life the Chief lived.

 

My mother decided to abscond from Chief Badmus. The process was not an easy one. She had to flee to a place far away with her parents.

 

After pulling different strings, my mother was able to find her way to some slumps in Lagos State. Life proved so hard for her and her parents.

 

I was given birth to some weeks later to see the hardship of life. My mother went through thick and thin to cater for her aged parents, her disease-infected self and her child- me.

 

I really saw the hardness of life. When I asked my mother why she named me “Faith”, she told me some crap of messages of how she was able to believe in God to see her through the hurdles she faced.

 

To be frank, I once believed God and even attended church with my mother when I was much younger but as I grew older to face the realities about life, I detested hearing anything about God.

 

My belief was that, if God truly existed, be would not sit and watch my mother labour so hard and yet, realised little or see nothing to do concerning my mother’s sickness.

 

All my hope in God was completely shattered when the only man I had grown up to see, love, play and cherished died after an heart attack- my grandfather.

 

I wept like no other the day he died. Infact, my hatred for men grew because of Chief Badmus’ actions.

 

My life was basically filled with hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger and resentment.

 

Just miserable.

 

No man was willing to have my mother as a wife mainly because, she had an infection she was not financially capable to manage. She also tried getting a petty job but all efforts yielded nothing.

 

Those who were willing to render any form of benevolence all wanted it in the Chief Badmus’ style. In fact, a rich business woman was ready to help if my mother would agree to be a sex worker but my mother had determined not to venture into such things again.

 

Due to the poor state of my mother, she could not do much for me in terms of my education. I had to stop at the secondary school.

 

I tried enrolling in adult class because of the low fees attached but I soon lost interest as I was just so frustrated at how life took turns. My mother and grandmother kept doing it for God but I was totally out of God. I was hell bent on living the atheist’s life no matter how hard they tried talking me out of it.

 

“Hilda”, that was what my mother often called me. “We serve a God who can do all things. All we need do is to keep trusting in Him. He’s sure going to do miracles in our lives soonest”, she’d try persuading me but I ended up blurting out on her.

 

“Mum, please, I do not want to hear anything about your God. For me, I believe he doesn’t exist because if he really does, he would have done something quick about our situation with the way you and grandma pray to Him.”

 

 

After a while, my mother was able to get a job as a nanny for some rich couples. My grandmother on her own was involved in some petty trading even at her old age.

 

I discovered that, life at the slumps was not helping matters. So, I decided to move into the outer parts of the state which was a little socialized.

 

The day I was to leave my home for somewhere I hoped would give a better living condition, my mother, grandmother and I were inconsolable- another portion of their flesh was leaving.

 

“Hilda, there is a God who sees and understands us. Never for any reason sell your body or engage in any social vice. Always remember, I love and will always love you and so do granny but God loves you the most”, those were some of the parting words before I finally left home.

 

I appreciate the fact that, my mother didn’t want me to tread the path she had treaded before. More so, without her telling me that, with the bitterness and anger I haboured towards men, I just can’t fathom how I would give my body to any one of them.

 

The aspect I just disliked hearing from her was about her God.

 

Couldn’t she spare me all that at the expense of my unhidden uninterest?

 

I promised my mother that I would come visit home once in a month. I tried keeping to my promise.

 

 

 

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