"Mum! Mum!!!" Mercy screamed at the top of her voice, as she
stormed inside the compound, where her mother and her lived in an old one room apartment. She walked inside the room, ignoring the award winning gossipers, washing clothes in front of the fifth house before the house they lived in. The surge of anger she felt arising from hunger that devoured her stomach right from her way back from school, made her bashed into the room.
Chinwe, Mercy's mother, was pacing from one end of the room to the other end of the room, staring into nothingness, when Mercy stormed in, disrupting her thoughts. "Mercy!", she thundered, do you want to pull down the door we are managing? Don't come and turn my wahala from frying pan to fire ohh abeg". She slumped into the bed clasping her legs against each other. Mercy hesitated, then moved and sat down carefully at the farthest point away from her mother.
"Where is my, my.... ".
"What mercy, you have come again abi". Tears welled up in Mercy's eyes.
"Where is myyy… my father? Why did he leave us mother?" she
asked amidst choked voice, forcefully swallowing the lump already
forming in her throat. Chinwe withdrew into her shell. She paused,
swallowed her saliva and tried speaking up. "Hmmmm… There are things you cannot understand my child", she let out a loud, doleful wail.
"Why mother? Why did he leave? life has become unbearable. We
cannot continue like this".  

"At school I'm a laughing stock. Everyone talks about their fathers
and I only gape at them even when I know I'm being scorned indirectly.
Mother life has become unbearable for us and to make matters worse, you don’t talk or play with me anymore. I'm always so hungry I loose concentration in class mother! Could life be worse than this?" She bursted into jagged tears screaming without realizing how loud her voice was.
She had slapped Mercy hard on the face before realizing what she did.
Mercy was dazed. This used to be her best friend and mother. Then her mind went back to that long wrapped cigarette like paper she caught her mother with a day before then. She knew her mother needed help but couldn't fathom how to help her when she herself was neglected and only a child. Her mother's strong arms wound her roundabout and she decided to enjoy the moment. They sobbed together like their lives depended on it.
“Nne, ndo inuna. Mummy is sorry. I will never hit you again, you
hear? You don't deserve to live like this. I'm sorry for all you have to go through each day. Everything is going to be alright.” Mama Mercy cried, hugging and kissing her daughter.

“Everyone knows that Pa Ejike is the neighborhood womanizer but
he still has enough money to keep for his numerous concubines. Pa Ejike has pursued me for two years now. He still cornered me three weeks ago at a neighbor’s wedding but I escaped. Now that I’m in a mess and things are worse than ever, what should I do God?”
“I heard that things have been difficult with you and Mercy these
days. Don’t you think it’s time you gave in to me? I assure you a better life awaits you with me. Just become my woman Chinwe and your problems will be over.” Pa Ejike had said the last time they saw at the market when he went to sell her wrapper to buy food.
“I have to make a decision I cannot continue like this. Mercy will
soon return from school now and there’s no food for her to eat. Two days in a row. haaaa” she shifted from her position on the bed.

Then got up to dress up “I think I will take him up on his offer”.
She spotted a piece of paper which she didn’t keep there sticking out from under her pillow. She pulled it out. it was her daughter’s
handwriting. She smiled immediately remembering how they used to reassure each other of their love through letters when all was well. Then she read aloud to herself,
“I love you mother but I am tired of seeing you cry and lonely. I will go back to heaven and make God to change our story…”
“Mama Mercy come o. come quick…” one of her gossip neighbors
called from outside as she heard an uproar outside her house. Mama Mercy quickly snapped out of her dilemma, wrapped her head tie around her head and dashed to the door only to see a man carrying her daughter already soaked in blood.
“What is this?” She screamed.
“It was an accident. She walked into the road before I could stop my brakes…”


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