I woke up one day on a bed that was where I could not feel comfortable as mine. It was not the regular soft cooling effect bed I lay on every day. I slowly got up and my leg was hurting me. I gazed around the thirty-six-meter squared room in disbelief. My eyes grew wide, while my eyeballs almost fell out of place. I kept staring at the sparkling silvery curtains, which was the first time I would be sighting. One section of the wall was taken up by a large black flat-screen TV I had never seen in my entire life. I wondered if I was still on earth or most likely, in heaven. Before I could articulate my thoughts, I suddenly felt a weird sharp pain in my leg. I shouted in disbelief as I saw a gaping hole in my leg.
“How on earth did I have a hole in my leg?” I cogitated.
Just then, two young identical girls that I had never set my eyes on before came into the room I was, smiling at me while muttering words I could not comprehend.
“Who, who are you?” I stuttered. “Where am I? Where are my parents? Why am I here?”
My endless questions seemed to frighten them as they ran away like scared kittens.
Not long after, two middle-aged couples came into the room, with smiling faces. I started wondering why strange people kept coming into the room, muttering words that I couldn’t comprehend. I was drawn back to reality and my heart almost popped out with a loud “Amen.” I didn’t know who they were yet, they had unconsciously scared the daylight out of me with the loud shout of “Amen.”
A woman who was dressed in a maxi gown and slippers sat down beside me on the bed. As she held my hand, her scent and the perfume she used, smelled nice. For a second, I admired her and forgot she was a total stranger.
“Your sisters told us that you were awake,” her voice brought me back to my consciousness.
“My sisters?” I was baffled. I can’t remember having sisters.
“We are your parents,” the man said in a baritone voice that sent shivers down my spine, while the woman kept smiling at me.
“Tito, can’t you remember us anymore?”
“Who is Tito?” I replied instantly.
There was an awkward silence as they all stared at me as if a horn had suddenly grown out of my head.
“I can’t remember my name but Tito doesn’t sound familiar,” I continued as they kept staring at me.
“Your name is Tito, you are our daughter and you live in this house with us,” the man continued.
Just then, an old white-haired man came into my room. I assumed he was a doctor because he wore a white coat and had a black stethoscope around his neck. He also smiled at me and muttered words that I didn’t understand to which the couple responded in words I couldn’t comprehend. I started to wonder if they were speaking secret codes.
“Tito, you still need to rest, the bullet that penetrated through your leg did great damage. It is so sad that you lost a great deal of blood during the massacre,” the doctor said.
“Bullet? Massacre? Where did it take place? Who else was involved? How come I can’t remember anything?” I asked confused. I laid back on the pillows as I was so confused. My head was pounding and I felt dizzy. The couple left the room with the doctor. Something strange was going on, but I was too tired to figure it out at that instance.
The next morning, I was awoken by the pleasant aroma of my favourite food. I left the bedroom and went down the staircase to a place that seemed to be the dining room. The house looked like a presidential villa.
The moment I stepped my feet into the dining room, the maids with courtesy said “Good morning Miss Tito.”
I started to wish I was the “Tito” everyone was talking about. I wished so much that was my life. I did not want to deceive anyone anymore so I decided to leave the grand house after eating. I sat on one of the golden chairs to eat the freshly prepared hollow rice, fried plantain, fried meat, and boiled egg coupled with chilled strawberry juice.
“If I had breakfast as delicious as this, I think I should remember it,” I thought aloud.
Immediately I was through with my food, I started to limp towards the huge food. I was determined to get out of the weird door though I didn’t know where to go. I needed to figure out what had happened to me and why I had a painful hole in my leg.
Just then, one of the two young girls I had seen the day before came to me and said, “Sis Tito, where are you going?” Her voice was so sweet, as she looked at me with her brown gorgeous eyeball. I almost stayed but when I remembered I wasn’t Tito, I ignored her and ran out the front door. The distance between the house and the main gate was like a million-mile that I couldn’t grasp.
Nevertheless, I was determined to leave the strange house. I started to limp towards the giant black gate while still wearing the blue comfy nightgown I had woken up with. I could hear the young girls shouting behind me in their high-pitched voices for me to come back but I kept on moving as fast as I could. The woman who claimed to be my mother must have heard their shouts because she soon caught me by my arms and pulled me into a tight hug.
“Please come back inside, you’re not feeling too well,” she said patting my head lovingly.
I navigated my way back to the house and pushed the door open with its golden handle.
“The effect of the gunshots was so great that we thought you would have not been able to come back to life. I’m your mother and this is your father,” she said pointing toward the man that had earlier claimed to be my father.
The little girls introduced themselves as Blessing and Favour, and they claimed to be my younger sisters. They all promised to help me till I regain my memory. I couldn’t help but smile while my heart melted at their kindness. They all seemed nice even if they were practicing strange acts like praying now and then. I couldn’t care less since they were rich and I didn’t even know where else to go.
Over the next few days, I slowly began to accept my new life. My name was Tito, I had two younger cute identical twin sisters with gorgeous brown eyes like mine. My parents were rich and had everything at their beck and call, they were also religious so we went to church almost every day. I had a wardrobe full of the latest clothes. Not only that, but I also had a 10-step shoe rack. There were helps around who didn’t allow me to do any house chores including laying my queen-sized bed. The maids and the cook brought me snacks whenever I wanted. My fitness trainer did her job accurately by keeping me in shape. I wasn’t permitted to do any strenuous exercise so that my leg would heal faster. The white-haired doctor came to check up on me twice a week to redress the wound. I didn’t remember what dream I had before but this was the life any girl would dream of.
My life looked perfect but deep down I still wanted to find out about my past but no one was willing to tell me anything. The day I asked my ‘mother,’ she looked at me as if I said something abominable, beads of sweat covered her forehead as she stood up slowly as if she was in a trance. She glanced at me for a few seconds before heading toward the door. I was flabbergasted with little knowledge of what was happening.
From that day, I resolved not to ask any questions but to keep on living life as it came. The mansion was an odd place, every day I’d lose my way and stumble into a strange new room. I once walked into a room where some women were making beaded bags. When I asked them who they were, they stared at me and spoke a language I did not understand. I ran away freaked out. I was allowed to go anywhere in the mansion except the last room by the right on the second floor. My curiosity got the better of me one day and I sneaked into a hit when I was sure no one was watching. I looked around the huge room and felt a shiver down my spine, the room was filled with gold. There was a wall covered with traditional paintings. In one corner, there was a large briefcase. As I opened it, my jaw dropped. I saw the huge amount of dollars.
“Who did these belong to? Why are they kept here rather than in a safer place like the bank? Was it because they were illegally gotten? Were my parents’ fraudsters or ritualists? What was the source of their wealth?” I wondered as I stood transfixed at a spot. I nearly jumped out of my skin when a voice spoke behind me.
“You are not supposed to be here.”
It was my mother so, I quickly walked out while mumbling an apology.
My leg soon got healed to everyone’s relief but the injury left a huge scar so much that I wore baggy clothes every time. It was soon time for me to resume at school and it turned out that I was quite popular within the four walls of the school. I had my driver to myself, as well as two bodyguards who accompanied me everywhere I went apart from the toilet. The males would fight over who should talk to me and the females saw me as someone who should represent them. They even urged me to be the face of the school. My teachers were nice and the work taught was simple so I aced all my examinations effortlessly. I represented my school in international mathematics competitions and I brought the trophies home. I became iconic after I had the highest score in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination(UTME) – 365. My face was soon all over the news and different people wanted to interview me but my parents were against the idea. My joy knew no bounds when many universities offered me conditional admissions. They were willing to accept me immediately after I finished my secondary school education. I woke up each day beaming with smiles.
On a fateful day, I came back from school and found my parents talking to each other in low voices almost like whispers in the living room. They stopped immediately they sighted me. My mother signaled to me to come and sit beside her on the white spotless couch.
“We were thinking of sending you to a university in the United States so you will have to write the SAT,” she said.
“SAT?” I asked with raised eyebrows.
“SAT is the acronym for Scholastic Aptitude Test, which is one of the requirements for gaining admission into universities in the United States, it is composed of mathematics and reading. We are confident that you would do well,” my father explained.
I was excited and happy to hear the news and the best part was that they would be coming to visit me every time they had the opportunity to do so. The only strange thing was that they added three more bodyguards and I was followed by an entourage everywhere I went. My parents insisted that it was for my safety as I was the target of evil perpetrators because I was famous.
However, the following day, my parents permitted me to go for an interview at a famous broadcasting radio station. The interviewer wanted to know more about my past but I couldn’t answer the questions. Like a bombshell, he suddenly asked me if I was adopted. All the colour drained from my face and I felt my head spinning. I suddenly passed out. When I came around, I perceived the antiseptic smell of cleaning fluids, I opened my eyes weakly and discovered I was in the hospital. My bodyguards and my parents gathered around me looking anxiously. I spotted my parents’ worried faces, then suddenly it felt as if a switch had been turned on in my head. I suddenly knew exactly who I was and who my parents were. I screamed and held my head as I had flashbacks of my past. There had been a robbery in the area I lived.
My parents had been killed and I had narrowly escaped death. The people who claimed to be my parents were the pastors of my church and the two young girls were their children. Good Samaritans had rushed me to the hospital in my unconscious state. Afterwards, my pastors took over from there. I was sad that I was an orphan but I was glad that I remembered my past. My pastors legally adopted me after I was discharged from the hospital which was the beginning of a new life to me.
About the Writer