THE BAD YOU DO
AUTHOR/WRITER: TERIBA NIMOTA.I
You’ll leave this house for me today you this usless child. I’m going to kill you before you kill me because you can’t kill me the way you killed your mother. You burnt my pot of soup, I can’t blame you because even before the death of your mother, she didn’t cook something like this for you, you wretched child. This was all I heard a woman and her young daughter say to another young girl of her daughter’s age, whom I’m guessing is her step daughter, as they both beat and curse the girl. This suffering was too much for her, while I stood at the shop where I went to get things from. The girl kept saying I’m sorry! I’m sorry! But they wouldn’t listen, as they kept on pounding her and giving her all sort of slap while the other girl whom I’m guessing is the biological child of the woman kept on saying “mummy beat her very well” or “send her away from our house, when daddy ask of her, we would tell him she left the house without our notice”, she said, while she added her own share of slap to the ones her mother has given the girl.
I couldn’t take it anymore, as I mutterd curses under my breath. The shop owner noticed my reaction, while she smiled to herself and said you’re not the only one who feels pity for her, everyone that lives around here do. That pretty girl, I don’t think she has had peace of mind in a day. Its always beating and curses here and there from both mother and daughter. I know the God we serve will disappoint those two and make that girl successful. Thank God she’s almost through with her secondary education, she’s a bright child and I’m sure she’ll scale though by the end, the woman said crying. Her mother was such a nice person, she use to live down the street, the girl was her only child and she adored her so much. You know the saying good things don’t last long? Yeah its true, because her mother was a such a good woman and death took her from us, she added. Why has no one helped this girl, despite the fact that you all know about this? Where’s the man of the house? I mean her father, I asked with so much pain in my voice. She acts very good to the girl when her father is around, but the man is not always around as he sells things from one place to another. We here always try to help the girl when she’s been tortured but that woman picks a fight with anyone that helps the girl, and may likely beat them too along with that her ugly daughter. There’s nothing good about that girl, she’s suppose to be pleading on behalf of the step child and warn her mother to desist against the bad act but she wouldn’t, instead, she’ll join in beating and cursing the girl, such a dullard she is,the woman said in pain. I can’t offer to help the girl with money becasue I’m also managing. It is he who wears the shoes knows where it pinches, she added. I couldn’t stop looking back at the young girl as she was been tortured by her step sister while all she did was plead for their mercy. What is wrong with this witch girl? I asked myself, I’m going to go there and speak some senses into her head, I thought to myself as I went there with so much anger. Stop hitting her was all I said, when I felt a pot of soup land on my head. I screamed in pain, as the mother said oh so you’re one of those she sleeps around with? That’s why you’re here to help her, she said laughing while she dragged her daughter inside with her saying don’t let me see you in this house o, wretched being. The poor girl kept crying, as she came closer to me, with a swollen hand. I’m sorry, let me take you to the tap, she offered, while she grabbed the soap beside her. Such innocence in her voice, what a pity, I thought to myself. She held me by the arm and took me to the tap, while she washed away the soup which was alreday swimming down to my nose, she washed it with soap and used her skirt to dab my head down to my face. She washed her face too and came to stand beside me. Such beauty,I thought to myself. I’m sorry you had to have a share in my punishment, she said with a smile. Punishment? You called that a punishment? They tortured you like a Criminal, did you steal? I asked her. No, she said while she swiftly moved her head. Then what did you do? I asked in return. I burnt the soup, I didn’t do it deliberately, she sent me on an errand at that moment and told Toluwani to help me check the soup, she said. Who’s Toluwani? I asked her. She’s my sister, she answered. Is it the one I saw torturing you along with the woman? I asked. Yes, she answerd. The woman is her mother and she is my sister, she added.
Is this how you’ve always been beaten? Yes, she answerd in tears. But despite everything, I still love them and I pray for God to touch their heart, she added.
What class are you in? I’m in S.S.3, I’d be writing my WAEC soon, she said with a smile.
What class is your step sister? She’s in the same class with me, she said. I looked into her eyes and all I could see was a young girl filled with love.
We had a little chat where she also told me she wanted to be a doctor because she wants to care for sick people and save as many lives as she can. She also told me she bears Toluwalase.
What are you doing here? She asked. I came here for my service and today is the last day, I wish I’d known you for a long time, I said. She smiled and said its getting late, go home. I smiled back at her and I asked her if she wasn’t going back home too. No, I can’t go back home as Mummy said earlier, she’s going to beat me. I felt pity for her, while I her held her hands and told her she should make sure she becomes a doctor. She said yes with so much determination, while I gave her some money and my contact too. That’s too much for me, she objected. Just take it and spend it for as long as you can I said to her. She said hugging me while she said you’re my bestfriend.
You didn’t tell me your name, she added. Its written in the paper. She checked it and said oh Mr Dapo that’s your name. I smiled at her and offered that she followed me home. I meant no harm as all I feel for her is pity and I wish I could take care of her. She objected saying I don’t want mummy to think I’m sleeping around. Call me if you ever need me,I said to her. But for years now, she hasn’t called.
I heard a knock on my door, come in, I said. Oga, the new staff is around, my staff said. Send her in, I said. Not quite long, the new staff walked in. I immediately recognised her as it was Toluwani. How can I forget her, the girl who tortured her sister along with her mother, the girl filled with so much bad acts. What a world!
How is your sister? I asked her. She smiled at me and asked how I got to know about her sister. I know you more than you think I do. She smiled, its certain I’ll get this job then. I smiled back at her as I asked for Toluwalase’s number. I don’t really have her number o but I’ll ask a friend of mine. Why do you need her number though, that girl is a bad person she added
I smiled at the fact that she hasn’t changed. She put a call through her friend and got the number for me.
I wonder why you don’t have your sister’s nunber, I teased her. No o , I can’t associate myself with her she answered. I smiled at her and told her I know her pretty well while I narrated the story to her. She immediately went blank. If I think of your act, I wouldn’t give you this job but I don’t want to be that way. You can lose this job easily too, it all depends on you because no matter how much I forget, the bad you do follows you about also the good you do follows you about. You could have lost this job because of one bad act you did over the years. But I’ll leave you to work for the love I’ve for your sister.