My Story

My Story😭😭

“…. you’re hereby sentenced to life imprisonment!”. The chief judge declared.

“Chim ooh!”. My mother exclaimed, and fell on the shoulder of my brother.

There was commotion in the courtroom.

“I am not guilty, I’m not guilty. Tell them I’m not among!”. I was crying helplessly as I was being led away by the police men.

We walked passed my sisters crying on the shoulder of each other. I continued shouting until we disappeared into the courtyard.

That was how I got jailed for life….a crime I didn’t commit neither was I an accomplice to.

For better comprehension, permit me to take you down memory lane.

My name is Nicolina, ‘Nina’ for short. I grew up in the city of Enugu alongside four other siblings. My father retired an Anglican catechist while my mom, a teacher.

I left high school 2015, got admission into the university 2018 only for me to be expelled in 2019 over multiple carryovers. I was 24 then.

“School is not my thing”. I had confessed to the disappoinment of my parents who believe the world revolves around education.

“You’re the worst of all my children”. My father lamented. And that was the truth.

My two younger sisters graduated from high school before I did, got admission, and were already in their third and fourth year respectively as of then.

No one should blame me about that, education is not for everyone. After all made it known to my parents early enough on what I wanted for myself, but they were so religious to let me be.

After spending a year and a half at home, my mother took me down to Onitsha and handed me over to one Mrs Beatrice Ogbunna, a very popular fashion designer at the main market.

But I wasn’t interested in that too. All I ever desired was to become an actress….I was dreaming of breaking into Nollywood.

After few months of being with the fashion designer, I got connected with an old school mate who invited me over to Asaba Delta State where she lives alone and was doing well.

I knew madam Beatrice would not let me go without informing my parents, and it was certain, my parents would kick against that decision, so while madam Beatrice was asleep one night, I packed my bags and snuck out of the house. With some money which I had earlier stolen from the shop, I boarded the night bus to Asaba.

I called home the following morning to inform my parents about the relocation.

“What kind of a child is this?. Nkeiru, what kind of a child are you?. Please, come back home if you don’t want to continue learning”. My mother cried.

“Mama, I’m fine where I am, you don’t need to worry yourself”. I assured them and hung up. After that, I changed my sim to avoid distractions… I was determined to make them proud.

I fought do hard to get into Nollywood, but no help was coming forth. So my friend advised me to try something else while still hoping that I got a chance into the industry.

She went as far as lending me some money with which I used in purchasing male wears at wholesale from Onitsha and reselling them at Asaba.

But along the lines, I discovered that most of these men (my clients) were more interested in my body(which was robust curvy) than they were in patronizing my wares. I was resistant at first, but after I gave it a try one night and was paid double of what I make in a week in just one night, my line of business changed drastically.

Though I still post the shoes and other things on my status, but I deliver both items. After six months, I saved enough money to cater for myself and then I relocated to Abuja.

There, I met Honourable.

Honorable was a politician living his best life at Asaba while his wife and children were residing abroad then. As a result, I moved in with him and started playing the role of a wife.

He gave me the kind of luxury life I anticipated. I lacked anything while I was with him. I was living just fine.

It was only then I remembered my family and decided to call home one evening, after almost a year.

“Nkeiru, so you’re still alive?, why are you doing this to us?”. Mother cried.

“Mama, I told you I’m fine, why are you worried about me?”. I asked.

“Where are you?”. She asked.

“I’m in Abuja right now”. I replied.

“Please, my daughter come back home. I need to see you again”. She pleaded.

I promised to go home, but I wasn’t really serious about it. Like what will I tell them I do for a living?. I wondered.

She continued calling every single day, pleading with me to come home and see her.

“How is Papa?. Send me your account number so I can send you two some money” I tried to divert her attention elsewhere.

I wasn’t expecting her response.

“Nkeiru, we know we’re poor but we are not cheap. We cannot receive money from a child whose source of income is questionable. All I’m asking is to see you again”. She said.

“Mama, I am into online business”. I tried to convince her but she remained unshaken.

I knew my parents were religious people, but I wasn’t expecting that at all. The society is developing, young adults are having access to money too.

No need speaking with father because they were beds of a feather.

I blocked their line once again and continued living my life. But then in the year 2022 November, honorable announced the arrival of his wife.

Quickly, he got me an apartment in a nearby estate and furnished it fully.

The woman came back December.

People started talking until she got to know about me.

I was advised to leave town as soon as possible because her husband’s last side chick is still living with acid- condemned face as of then.

“That woman no dey smile oo”. One of estate security men said to me.

I sold all my properties overnight, my car included and left Abuja for good… make dem no take acid destroy my pretty face.

That was how I found myself in Rivers State.

I lodged in a hotel for a week before I was able to rent myself an apartment in town.

All my new neighbors were mean. Two days after I moved in, one of them, my closest advised me to stop wearing shorts within the premises.

“Our husbands are not safe with you wearing those short things”. She lamented.

“Madam, tame your husband”. I replied.

The next day, she reported me to the caretaker that I am very insulting, but the verdict favoured me instead.

“You don’t dictate for people how to live their lives in a house where they pay rent”. The caretaker had told the woman, after hearing my side of the story.

Then there was this other neighbor who just hated me for no cause. She was a young woman like myself, living in the opposite block with her husband and two children.She also had a little girl, Amaka, who was helping her.

I noticed her attitude towards me from the very first day I moved into the compound. I was smiling and greeting her as a new neighbor, but she put her phone in ear and pretended toon an important call.

Nmachi who was living upstairs with her sister was the only gist mate I got in that compound. She was the one describing all the neighbors one after the other.

“What about that one living in the other block?”. I asked, referring to that strange woman.

“You mean mummy Becky?. She is a full-time housewife oo. Her husband is Mr Fred, the one that drives that red Corolla. . That woman is the most wicked woman in the whole of River State”. She said, shrugging.

I like Nmachi for that. Just ask a simple question, she will give you a detailed description on the subject.

In less than a month after I moved into the compound, I exhausted all the money on me and started looking for a way to make money. Before I knew it I found myself in the street once again… back to hookup.

One night, I was returning home after a stressful day, when I ran into Mummy Becky by the gate. She was dragging a big Ghana-must-go bag with her.

“Hey Nina, beautiful Nina!”. She started hailing me.

I had to step back to take a proper look at her because the mummy Becky I know will never hail me, no matter the kind of attire I put on.

That was the beginning of my ordeals. I curse that night!😭😭😭😭

© Joy Ifunanya

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