See, in that my neighbourhood, people used to talk. People talked a lot. Somebody’s business was everybody’s business. Words travelled so fast.
Rumours about the married woman who had several young men to ‘service’ her, the mechanic who stole a car, and the pastor who impregnated one of the choir girls. All you had to do was step out of your house and by the time you returned, your ears would be trying to recover from being bombarded with stories.
I never liked my neighbourhood, especially the people in it. I had no friends and kept a lot to myself. People used to whisper behind my back as I passed.
When I asked momma why, she said I wasn’t yet ready. Ready for what exactly, I asked. She refused to tell me, on the grounds that she was trying to protect me. From who or what, she never said.
In school, the bigger boys bullied me and the other girls booed at me. My teachers never liked me and I never knew why. Thankfully, they never extended their scorn to my academics, as I managed to pass all my subjects.
One day, a girl called me a ‘bastard’. I thought it was ‘normal’. Unfortunately, ‘normal’ for me meant insults, boos, bullies, etc. I had learnt how to live above all of them; well, that was what I thought.
Later at home that same day, for an unknown reason, ‘bastard’ repeatedly rang in my ears. I was gloomy and cried. I lost appetite and I had a fever. When momma returned home from work, she was shocked to see me in such a condition.
To be continued….