5/08/2017

Chapter Three : The Fifth And The Last Child

Tonia leaving the house
They are Catholics, they go to church late because most times they walk to church, which was very far but because they walked together they didn’t really feel it. Whenever, they get to church they go into the Sunday school class or sometimes sit outside. Because they don’t dress well, most times they hide from the crowd, they watch other families sometimes in church having thanksgiving celebration and participate with church activities but they couldn’t because they didn’t have a real family and whenever they try to attend any society, their dad and step mom expects them to be back immediately after church and they still walk home after church.

Meanwhile, their dad, his wife and beloved children attend their own parish. He takes  them with his car to church, they ate the best part of the food in the pot, the biggest meat and sometimes the only meat, wore the best clothes, went to the best schools, you name it... they had everything a child could ask for. And the story continues…
Stepmother: Antonia, were did you get all these clothes from? Eh heh, dear come see all these clothes come and see where your money has been going to.

Dad: Antonia, where did you get all these clothes?
Antonia: I…Bought them.
Dad: with which money? Where did you get the money to buy all these clothes? Eh, prostitute, so you’ve started sleeping around (slaps her) for money?

Antonia: daddy, please I have been saving I am not sleeping around for money.
Dad: shut up, so I am now your mate (still beating her). Useless girl, Where is the money I gave you, go and bring it. And make sure you burn all those clothes.

Antonia: daddy please no I don’t have any clothes.
Stepmother: dear, don’t worry, I’ll burn them myself.
Antonia: (crying deeply) please…
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Sometimes, their father, Daniel and step mom, Patricia quarrel a lot that they wish it could all end. Sometimes, Patricia threatens to live the house while sometimes he even packs her things out but she never left. The eldest sister was tired of staying at home and been called names and treated like a house maid. You know, one of those days where you just feel like you’ve had it. You don’t care what happens, all you care about at that moment is how you feel, what you want and the way you know it should be.

All her siblings where in school when thier father’s wife started calling her and their mother, names... Tonia got so pissed she mentioned her mother and said “I can take your insults but I won’t let you insult my mother”. Her step mom tries to beat her for talking back at her and she holds her hand and they start fighting until people came to settle them. Then Antonia packed her bags and left the house because she knew if her dad had gotten home and heard what happened he would deal with her.Her siblings got back from school and after a while started asking after her. Her dad returned from work and did the same, and then his illegitimate wife narrated the story. The following day Antonia came to see her siblings but hid from both their dad and his wife.

Nathan: Antonia, what happened? Where did you sleep last night? Why did you leave?
Antonia: I and that witch fought yesterday.
Nina: Why, daddy is really not happy about that. Why did you do that? You didn’t have to run away. He’ll just beat you as usual and you'll be with us by now.
Kelvin: Now it’s times two.
Antonia: I know that’s why I can’t come back, at least for now.
All: why?
Antonia: I have to help myself and you guys. Can’t you see? All my mates are either in school or working. I’m neither in any. I can’t continue to live like this; I just have to go (crying).

Nina: but where will you go?
Sarah: who will you stay with?
Antonia: don’t worry; I can take care of myself. God will protect me. Just promise me you won’t have any problem with her. Just concentrate and finish your secondary school ok! And you know what, I will see mummy. So you see, I’ll be in safe hands.
Nathan: please be very careful and greet mummy for us. Tell her we miss her.
Antonia: I will, I have to go before daddy comes back or someone sees me and report.
Sarah: May God be with you.
Antonia: Amen,thank you.You all be good ok?
All: OK. (crying and hugging)
The eldest sister comes around to see them sometimes. Their father was getting worried, people started talking. His friends kids were doing well in school, they were through with secondary school even some of his sisters and brothers kids were doing so well, he realized that he had not actually been the father he ought to be. Antonia lived with different people. She went through a lot of challenges she was tired of roaming around every corners of Lagos, she decided to go see her mother. She traveled with her cousin to see her mom in her state.  Then there were no mobile phones, it was mostly hand written letters and it takes months to deliver. Her mom wasn’t expecting to see her...
Mom: Wow, Antonia, what are you doing here? How are you? Are you alright?
Antonia: I’m fine.
Mom: Okay, have a seat. How are your siblings? Hope everything is okay?
Antonia: No mum, everything is not okay. I just left daddy’s house.
Mom: Why? What happened?
Antonia: I fought his wife and I’m tired of daddy beating me, so I (before Antonia could finish her sentence) …
Mom: My dear no, you don’t do that. You shouldn’t have left the house, where are you going to stay now?
Antonia: I’ll stay with you
Mom: you can’t stay with me. This is a village and you know how my people are. Besides I am managing myself, it has not been easy for me you know? You have to go back to your father, you can’t stay with me. There are a lot of people monitoring me around here.

Antonia: (disappointed) it’s okay mom, I’ll go.

She spent the night and went back to Lagos but not to her father’s house. She stayed with different kind of people, started schooling and trying to make ends meet. Their father was pissed about the whole situation and kept threatening her siblings about what his going to do to her. Daniel and his wife kept quarreling most of the time…

Click Here for Chapter Two....

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