MY NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER

 MY NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER

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I suddenly developed this throbbing headache while I was in the office this afternoon. It was still some two hours to my closing time. But not wanting to take anything for granted, especially this period in our history I quickly called in my PA and handed over the remaining jobs I had at hand to her while I left for home immediately.

I knew I was going home earlier than usual, and I earnestly was wishing that the house would be quiet enough to allow me get some rest. I told the driver to pack outside the compound so that he could quickly go get some fuel for the generator while I walked into the house.

On getting to the front door I discovered that both the iron door and burglary were wide open. I stepped into the living room and there was no soul there. I became more curious and went straight to the children room. I met my last two children sleeping but their 13 year old sister was nowhere and the nanny was equally not in sight.

While I was wondering where  they could be, I heard a voice near the kitchen window. I quietly went close to the dining table, which is close to the kitchen to listen more closely. Within seconds, I was able to pick the voices coming from the back of the house. My daughter, Temi and my neighbour’s daughter Lizzy were the ones talking.

Our apartment is downstairs while our neighbours live upstairs in the one story building that make up our house of residence. Lizzy was standing at their kitchen balcony while my daughter was in front of our own kitchen downstairs, and the two were having their tete-a-tete.

And this was the part of their gist that got into my ears before I exploded over Temi for living all the doors open:

Lizzy : It’s like you did not understand what I told you about my mum and dad.

Temi : Ehn! Is that why you stopped having your home lesson? Don’t you think it will affect your performance in the school?

Lizzy : Temiloluwa, you are funny. I am telling you that somebody wanted to do bad thing with me and you are here talking about home lesson and performance at school? Lesson my foot!

Temi : But you should have told your mummy nah.

Lizzy : Tell who? My mu – mu what? You want her to skin me alive? You don’t even know my mummy. You think she is like your own mummy, abi?

Temi : I don’t understand you jare. Which mummy will skin her daughter alive because she told her that somebody wanted to spoil her?

Lizzy : Anyway, I still know my mummy more than you do. And I know that she is the type of person that will believe any other person but her daughter. That was how that woman that comes to clean our house and wash for us lied against me the other day and my mummy believed her. The woman told her that I threw the clothes she washed on the floor, meanwhile it was that woman’s baby that crawled to the chair and pulled those clothes down. My mum did not even allow me to say anything; she just started abusing me in front of that woman. I cried that day eh.

Temi : I am surprised to hear this. But still tell her what your lesson teacher did to you.

Lizzy : You don’t know my mum. She can shout for Africa, in fact she can shout for the whole world. And not just that she will be shouting ooo! She will be calling you all kinds of names and if you are close to her, be ready to receive hot slap.

Temi : What of your dad? Why not tell him?

Lizzy : My daddy? He is just there. He does not even know what happens in the house. He only knows his phone and channels television news. And if my mum reports any of us to him he will just call the person and say, “I got a report that you have started growing wings. Better talk to yourself before I clip those wings of yours. Disappear from my face this minute”. That’s all! The next thing he and my mummy will start shouting at each other.

Temi: Why?

Lizzy : My mum accuses him of going out with his girl friends while he does not take care of us at home. I used to think that married people don’t have boy friends and girl friends but my mum said that my dad has many girl friends. I don’t know ooo!

Temi : I have never heard my parents say such things. And if anything happens to me I must tell my mum. I can’t keep anything from her ooo.

Lizzy : You are very lucky to have your type of parents. My brother and I used to envy you and your kid brothers when we see you playing with your parents. Nothing like that in our own house. Play with who? My mum or my dad? In your dream! Everybody in my house is always angry; I don’t know why. I don’t bother telling them anything because I know they will blame me and shout at me. I just stay on my own and if I feel like crying I will go to the toilet and cry because if my mum should catch me crying she will eat me raw.

At this juncture I couldn’t hold back any longer as I needed to go and rest, so I called out to my daughter and their discussion ended abruptly.

• Can you pick anything from the discussion between these two girls?

• Assuming your son or daughter is asked to say something about you or about the general atmosphere in your home, what will they say?

• Can your child confide in you or do you believe strangers and disbelieve your children? Do you believe every report brought against your child without investigating properly?

• When was the last time you sat together as a family, just sharing jokes and catching fun?

• What is the relationship between you and your spouse, especially before the kids?

• What new things are your children learning from you? Is it from you that they learn the latest vulgar slangs and hear the latest news about sugar mummies and sugar daddies in your area?

• Can you shout for Africa or for the world? What has your shouting helped you to achieve in the lives of your children?

• Have you intimidated your children to the extent that they will rather bear molestation and abuse from a stranger than talk to you?

• Do your children wish to have any other couple as parents and not you?

• Are your children happier when they are away from your home?

• Will you like your daughter to have a husband like you (daddy) or your son to have a wife like you (mummy)?

• If your children are woken up from sleep by your voice in the night, will they hear you praying or quarreling with your spouse?

Dear parents, your children are the window through which the world sees you and know the stuff you are made of.

They may not speak out but what they have in their minds concerning you can fill an encyclopedia. Do you care to know what they are thinking about you?

Have a listing hears for  ur children.

May God help all of us in Jesus name. Amen.

#shared#

Akudo Mgbemere

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