Tears, pain, hunger, suffering and even death; I’ve seen it all.
I grew up on the street where breakfast, lunch and dinner were most likely eaten at the same time. My skin was coated in mud, and my whole family lived together in a tiny room. Our only furniture was the cupboard that housed all our utensils. Our clothes were always everywhere, I sometimes wore my siblings’ clothes; no one really had anything to themselves.
Growing up in that environment only meant two things; either I got better, or I remained in that situation. There was no way life could have been worse than that, but I was wrong. Life could get worse, and so it did.
It was a cold September evening, the night rain had just fallen and NEPA in their usual fashion had taken the light. My Father wasn’t back from work, and we had nothing to eat. He usually brought back bread or something after riding his bike all day.
“Go to Iya Cass, tell her to give you a loaf of bread that I will pay her tomorrow,” my mother told me.
I knew my father was going to bring back something for us to eat, but he was taking too long and my baby sister had started crying.
The last time we collected goods from her without paying, she chorused our debt to anyone who cared enough to listen to her. That day I ran to the park to tell my father, and he borrowed money from a colleague to settle that debt.
I hesitated, but my stomach kept egging me towards Iya Cass shop. The streets were dark, and I could hear my mother shouting for me to be careful. I walked graciously, examining everywhere before putting my legs there. I hopped, and at the slightest puddle of water. What started as a means of keeping myself safe turned into a little game for me. I was soon changing levels in my head and gaining superpowers; I was such a silly child.
The game was still on when I saw a bike heading towards me at top speed. The Game was over, it was time for me to move to the other side of the road.
I looked to see if a vehicle was coming from behind, and there was nothing; it was safe to cross.
I moved my leg to run to safety, and the bike man did the same. I heard him shout out my name, it was my dad’s voice; that was the last thing I heard till everything went dark, and I sank into nothingness.
I woke up from what looked like a minute sleep, but after observing my environment I realized it was more than that. My mother sat on the chair beside my bed; when she realised I had woken up, she stood up and held my hands.
Fresh tears rolled down her eyes and married her lips. It was confusing, I was fine, why was she crying? My eyes followed hers, and I realised why she cried.
“Where are my legs?”
Story By Seun Caleb
Ibejigba Caleb , commonly known as SeunCaleb is a young man who just likes to drink Fresh Yo and eat Pounded yam with Egusi whenever he can. He is currently trying to grow a beard and has given up on ever growing tall. He writes short stories on his social media pages and sends out weekly newsletters.
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