By Janice Johnson Pemida
Everyone was disappointed and scolded him but with time they got over it. Grandma’s death was one of the most terrible experiences I have ever had. I felt so alone in my entire world. I was shattered. As at the time, I was 10 years old. My dad, despite accepting the fact that I am his child, said he couldn’t take me along to stay with him because he had a new wife who wouldn’t accept me. After much contemplation and argument, his sister decided to take me along with her, so off we went to Lagos, which was to be my new home.
They both stayed in Lagos, Mushin to be precise. Their houses were very close to each other. So I could see him often but I couldn’t stay with him. As soon as we got to Lagos, I was enrolled in a public school and life continued. My aunt and her husband lived in a one room apartment in Mushin and she was pregnant at the time. I had to stay with them in that one room apartment. I lived there with them until she had 3 children, a girl and two boys. So we became 6 in that one room.
My dad never contributed a dime towards my upkeep and my aunt was tired of bearing the burden especially as she had 3 children to cater for, with a husband who was also struggling. My teachers will flog me and send me back home from School almost every day due to school fee debts. Life was hell, but I had no other choice than to endure. I have so many marks on my body as a result of those punishments I received for owing school fees.
We continued to manage until my aunt’s children began to grow and her husband started complaining about me staying with them. He told my aunt to take me back to my father as they could no longer continue to accommodate me. Initially, my aunt refused and it caused a lot of rifts between them, to the extent that her husband stopped sleeping at home. At a point, she couldn’t bear it anymore, so one day she asked me to pack my things and she sent me to my dad’s place.
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