TIME When I was young, mother thought me that time waits for no one. As I grew older, I also learnt time was the most uncaring entity in the world, she just kept going without even considering whom she hurts, bottom line, time could be cruel. I don’t want to believe it was love at first sight, but her being arrested my thought process from our very first meeting. I was and still am hooked. Jesse wasn’t special in anyway. Physically she was plain looking, skinny and lanky, she wasn’t the most brilliant girl you’ve ever met and she didn’t look fabulous, not even to her mirror. What made her special to me? She made herself special to me, I don’t know and I don’t care how, but she sure was my shining star. Today she’s on her death bed, countdown to her extinction, as time runs out on her.
Tunde has always been the ‘one’, I still remember his cute childish laughter when we were at all saints primary school, and his naughty pranks at Jelly-las College. My tear duct emptied when he left for London. Somehow, even though I have known him all my life, he only saw me through a thick brick wall, to him I didn’t exist. The day he finally did, the sun wasn’t shining, the clouds were holding back a thunder storm and I looked as plain as grey. At first I was baffled at the sudden turn of events, but I quickly discarded every form of doubt. Finally, Tunde was mine, but before I could bask in the euphoria of finally finding true love, death slays my happiness slowly with a blunt knife. For days now, I have been begging Tunde not to kill himself when I die but he wouldn’t listen. My sorrow is deep and his grief makes it worse.
Jesse suddenly became our source of daily bread, she had won over Tunde, her childhood heartthrob who was from a wealthy family. I wasn’t doing too badly until a few years ago. With five girls in the university, your bank account can really drown in a sea of debt. Once, she was my least favorite child, all other children had great looks or intelligent brains or lovable character. Jesse was just ordinary, no real talent or good looks or anything for that matter. She was like a fresh page in a book without any ink marks, until the faithful November when she brought home Tunde, selfish and greedy as it may sound, she became my daughter that day because from that day onwards, I was financially free. Naturally, her death would bring tears to her father’s eyes, but the guilt of only loving her because of her money made me feel like the ugliest beast in the world.
I laugh in Chinese, these fools think a wedding would hold, this filthy good for nothing church rats. Do people still work hard anymore? Mtcheeew, trying to sow where they didn’t reap. An entire family turning my sons’s hard earned money into their personal lottery ticket to success. Men are evil sha, stupid imbeciles seeking their pot of gold. Look at how they wallow in sorrow because of their meal ticket, a girl they had barely showed a teaspoon of love all her life. I have known jesse since she was a young girl, I watched her every time she hopelessly stared at my son, my only son and when she finally braced up to talk to him for the first time on their graduation from secondary school, I concluded I had to send him away before the stupid girl jazzed my son into falling for a road trash. She wasn’t there when my husband beat me up every time I gave birth to a girl. He was my only meal ticket too, he was the reason his father loved me. After marrying two wives after me whom still couldn’t give him a male child, I was the queen of his heart all over again when Tunde came along. I am a jealous and protective mother, deal with it.
My daughter, my princess, you can’t die on me o! You know I have always loved you, you know now. Jessica, you know you are my favorite child. Remember when you were eight years old and you went to that party and brought home those sweets, remember I collected them from you and gave it to your younger ones because I thought it was bad for your teeth, see what it did to funke’s teeth. Jessica, don’t go o, I can’t live without you, if you die, I would pack my mat and join you wherever you are o. Remember when your wicked father always paid your school fees last and you had to stay at home a lot because they sent you out of school, remember I used to send you to fetch water down the street instead of our neighbors tank so you wouldn’t have time to worry your mind and wet your soft cheeks with tears. (chai, if this girl die, na wahala be that o, mama Tolu aso ebi wey I never pay the money they there, plus many other debt. God, why you wan comot peak milk for my ogi)
I and my sisters couldn’t take it anymore, father was going to will half his empire to Tunde, while the 12 of us would share the rest. Is it a crime that we were girls? What makes us different from him? All my life I have worked to earn fathers love and respect, many of my friends call me tomboy just because I try to do everything to please him, yet he turns his back against us. I poisoned my brother, not to kill him, but to piss of my father. My father would never agree to his choice of wife, in time the love poison would drive him and father apart, and father in his eruptive and over reactive manner would disown him. I foresee father begging me to be his heir. Why his ugly warthog was dying, I wasn’t sure. But my brother’s heartache would be enough to finish him.
The plain unattractive girl walked out of the bank, a Gucci leather bag in hand. She got into a hired cab and checked for the umpteenth time if her plane ticket was there, Jessica was on her way to her dreams, her freedom. When she was in secondary school, she made friends with an old man who practiced as a fake diviner. The desperate hustler had tricked Jesse out of her money one too many times. One time she had asked for a love potion to poison a certain boy named Tunde who schooled with her. Another time she asked for a potion to help her gain her families love. The fake diviner concluded she had a serious problem with public acceptance when she came to him again to seek help in getting her class mates to like her. Each time the girl came, she never came to seek for a wicked wish like his other clients. With all the disappointment, the man noticed Jesse kept coming back, he figured it out after she had left for the university, he was the only person she was free to discuss with, other people judged her as uninteligent and boring.
When Tunde’s mother and sisters came to him separately, one to poison him and the former to enchant Jesse, he thought it was faith giving him an opportunity to help Jesse and pay back all the money she paid him just to have a conversation with someone. He had a plan. After getting a nurse friend to drug her with a coma inducing drug, the nurse helped her out of the hospital and led the surprised girl to the diviner’s house where she was briefed. She knew what she had to do, for the first time in her life, she was smart.
On the day that the love poison was to wash off tunde’s system, a dead body had gone missing at the St Jo’s hospital, but the family cared little about that, the dead body had gone to the bank to withdraw all the money her lover had showered on her in the last few months, she boarded a plane to new York after which she would make a trip to los Angeles, the worlds capital of plastic surgery. It was the last time anyone would call her plain again.