Home Essay Competition Creative Essays Blood Is Thicker Than Water by Humble Ogbonna.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water by Humble Ogbonna.

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“I have put the books on the table Ma”

“Okay, thanks. Please get me that marker on the table too.”

“Here it is Ma. I’ll be on my way to the class now…”

“Hold on a minute Sandra…I asked you to come with me to the office with the books, not because I needed the books here but because I wanted to talk with you away from the prying eyes of your classmates. Can I speak with you for a few minutes?”

“Ma…?”

“Do you have a few minutes to spare before your free period is over?”

“Y…Yes Ma.”

“Please bring that chair close and have your seat.”

“O…Oka…Okay Ma.”

“Don’t be nervous Sandra. I just want to have a heartfelt conversation with you. Like an older sister to a younger sister and like a mother to a daughter.”

“All right Ma.”

“Do you remember the first time you came into this school?”

“Yes, I do. I guess I was in …uhm…”

“JSS 2?”

“Yes Ma, I started in JSS 2.”

“Exactly. You were a bit nervous on that day, you stuck closely to your uncle. With beaming eyes albeit displaying uncertainty did you look around the school premises, surveying the new environment around you. You were dressed in a white flowery top and a blue jeans with cute ponytailed hair on your head.”

“How do you remember all that even after three years have passed Ma?”

“Of course, I do remember because I take special interest in every student here. This is my 13th year in this school and my 10th as the principal. Do you remember the first person who came to say hello to you and your uncle when you both arrived the school premises?”

“You…?”

“You sure remembered. Yes, you’re right. At the office, on that day, your uncle explained to me that you lost your mom when you were very young – as a baby…”

“She actually died while giving birth to me.”

“And your dad, the month before you were brought to this school.”

“Yes, his was in an accident on his way to work.”

“I am so sorry about that. My heart really goes out to you. At such a tender age life had been cruel to you. I can only imagine what you have been through.”

“Thank you Ma. Most times I have had to deal with disquieting thoughts, blaming myself for my situations; maybe mom would have been alive if she wasn’t pregnant with me and maybe dad would still be alive if he hadn’t set out for work on that day because of me.”

“Oh, my dear. You have definitely been through a lot. Despite everything that had happened to you, you still display courage and strength especially in your academics which is very commendable…I am sorry if my initial statement brought painful memories back to your mind… I never really meant it that way…”

“It’s okay Ma. Thanks. I have learnt over the years to accept what I cannot change from the past but instead to try to do the best I can in the present.”

“That’s a nice resolve Sandra. But you might be wondering what it is that I wanted to discuss with you, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“I have watched you closely over the years, Sandra. I could easily tell when you’re happy and when you’re not. Since the past two terms, there have been drastic changes in you, both in your personality and in your academics – please move your seat closer to me. I can’t see that young angel with a beautiful smile always humming on her way to the school library every day. That lass who always waves at me from the windows when returning from the science lab. That girl who would always come on top of the class no matter what happens. What I see now, Sandra, is a girl who is in self isolation, a girl who has gone hiding into her shell, a girl who barely passes her examination. Tell me, my dear, what is going on?”

“It’s nothing Ma, I think I’m fine.”

“You might say that, but I can clearly see that you are not fine…”

“I said that I am fine! I…I am… f-ine.”

“Oh my child, what’s going on? Please talk to me. My heart aches seeing you cry like this.”

“I want to end it all Ma… I can’t bear this anymore. Why is this world so cruel to me? Why? Why? Why?”

“I might not know exactly what you’re going through but I can feel your pain, Sandra. Rest assured, I am here for you. I really want to know what you’re going through in order to help.”

“I am a broken vessel that can no longer hold water, a pretty rose flower trampled on by caravans, a gray-haired eagle flying with just a wing; how far will it go before giving up?”

“Sandra, you are speaking in parables, can you please help me to understand what you’re saying?”

“I don’t know what else to do Ma, I don’t know who else to turn to. I had wanted to bear this burden but for every second that passes, the burden becomes heavier, I am at the point of giving up Ma.”

“No Sandra, don’t give up. There is nothing falling from the sky that the ground cannot accommodate. I will make sure to stand by you Sandra, but you still need to let me into your mind. Please remove the scales from my eyes, help me to understand what you’re going through.”

“Can… Can I trust you Ma?”

“Of course, you can.”

“Please help and protect me.”

“I promise to do all I can to help you Sandra, I promise.”

“It’s… It’s my uncle.”

“Your uncle? What about him?”

“My once loving uncle has turned into a ravaging beast, a blood sucking animal with scary eyes and sharp claws.”

“Okay…?”

“Oh, how I curse the day he and his wife came to live with us…”

“Came to live with you…?”

“Yes. Six months before dad’s death, he went to the village to bring his brother, Uncle John, along with his wife to come live with us in the city. My dad wanted the best for his brother because according to him ‘blood is thicker than water,’ so he showed him everything about his business and even made him the manager of his enterprises. Uncle John was a fast learner and in no time, he has gained the approval of my dad. His wife treated me like the daughter she never had and made me feel loved, making me feel the love of a mother. Unbeknownst to us, they were just pretending.”

“Pretending? How do you mean?”

“Things started to change gradually when dad died. First, Uncle John withdrew me from my school and brought me here. Next, he fired our house help and made sure that I do all the duties previously performed by the house help with his wife doing nothing, and most nights if I do not finish a given chore, I’d go to bed hungry. It wasn’t as if there was no money pay my fees at Lakeside School, nor was it a lack of fund to pay the salary of the house help, rather it was just an act of wickedness on his part. I never complained because dad had always told me to endure the situations that I could not change at the moment.”

“No, this is inhumane. No child should be made to undergo such cruelty.”

“Those actions of his were actually mild when compared to his next devilish acts.”

“What other actions might be worse than subjecting a child to such cruelty just because she had become an orphan…?”

“More Ma… So much more… it became worse after his wife put to bed. I would come back from school to wash heaps of clothes; his, his wife’s and baby clothes covered in poop. At night, I couldn’t sleep since it had become my duty to attend to the baby whenever it cries. Then it happened… it… happened.”

“What happened?”

“It happened two weeks ago. I had just finished having my meagre meal of the leftovers and was extremely tired due to the workload of the day. I slumped into bed even without having my bath. I hadn’t slept for long when I felt something crawling underneath my clothes, I opened my eye to find my uncle on top of me. I wanted to scream but he threatened to kill me, ‘If you say anything, I’ll eliminate you just the same way I did your father,’ he had said, with utter shamelessness as he satisfied his selfish cravings on me. This had continued for almost every night since then…”

“No! No! No! This is barbaric, animalistic and obnoxious! But why didn’t you speak up from the beginning?”

“I couldn’t … He threatened to kill me. If my dad had known that his brother would be his killer and would turn his daughter into a sex slave, he wouldn’t have brought him over. This particular blood is definitely not thicker than water…”

“I am so sorry for what has happened to you. I’ll speak with the School’s director on this. We would protect you at all cost and ensure that he pays for these heinous crimes against humanity. Please, do not reveal this matter to any other person, we will get the necessary bodies involved in this case. I am so sorry once again, please wipe your tears… You can go to your class now, we will handle the rest.”

“Thank you so much Ma.”

“Do take care Sandra”….”Hello Sir”

“Yes, hello Mrs. Komolafe.”

“Are you in your office, Sir? We need to discuss an urgent matter…”

 

Humble Ogbonna, a Diction and Phonetics Instructor with a passion  for writing sent in this entry from humbleoogbonna@gmail.com