My Choice, My Life


Sitting out at the veranda that evening, I remembered the ugly but relieving scene with Mama Blessing (my neighbour) and Aunty Hannah (my aunt). I just got back from work, my body ached and sagged from exhaustion, all I wanted was a nice shower, food and sleep, so I quietly greeted them and walked as fast as I could. The duo were discussing as usual, they liked to make other people's businesses theirs on those low stools.  They called me back regardless of the look I feigned. 'Yes ma', I returned reluctantly, 'I'm here'. 'Sit here for a while ngwanu' aunty Hannah returned offering me a seat. I knew I was in for it that evening. A sat down like an obedient child. 

They had obviously talked at length about me, made decisions and wanted to relate it to me. 'Mercy, I want you to know that we love you and wouldn't even like to see you under pressure (obviously, I sarcastically replied inwardly but nodded for them to see). You see, you're over thirty now and you have no man of your own. We are aware that you have plenty admirers, I and Mama Blessing here want the best for you and we've come to a conclusion...' Mama Blessing impatiently cut in now flashing her caramelized colour teeth "Your aunt is right, a woman without a man is like a woman without crown, she's no queen, she is incomplete and will have no respect no matter her riches and status, she is like a naked....' Hmmmm, I cleared my throat and she stopped preaching. 'So as I was saying', Mama Blessing continued, You see Anthony ehn, he's just tall and fine but he's not smart, but that ermmm, Stephen, that one ehn, he is trying but he's not good enough, Gee is very rich but local and uneducated, he's not the best for you but Tim (she winks and grins) is our man he is educated, he speaks like those Oyinbo, he is even Tokunbo and can take you there and he is very rich. We will also...". At this point I was overwhelmed with anger and I cut in. 'Thank you so much mas. It's my life and I should be the one making the choices. I choose to be responsible for my life and I am ready to bear the consequences. It's my choice and my life. Thank you again, I need to go and shower, eat and sleep, I've got work to do tomorrow". 

With this I stood up and went inside. My response left their mouths agape, they were speechless. I quietly disagreed with them for the first time after obeying and seeking their favour for so long. I had realised that every of my choice will determine how my life will turn it, it was time to take responsibility for my actions, live consciously and live right. Some of the advices and choices of people like those two had turned out bad in the past and they had blamed me partially for it. It is time to live your life and stop allowing others live it for you. 

Any way, I greeted them on my way to work the next morning, Mama Blessing ignored me while Aunty Hannah reluctantly replied. I was glad that I had started living. 

Nuraini, Nafisat Abdulrahman

Shinning Gem


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