- The Storried Platform
ANNOUNCING THE WINNING ENTRY OF THE STORRIED MONTHLY COMPETITION #SMC FOR APRIL 2017 – WHAT WILL YOU DO? By Chinaza Attamah
What Will You Do? flows in a unique way that is both unpredictable and engaging to the end.
It is true that love comes with responsibility. But this is even harder when the object of love is a product of a horrible experience. In this case, rape.
The past and the present are gracefully interwoven to present to us a protagonist, the mother who is caught up in the web of resentment: her rape is a memory which is constantly made alive by her baby. Selling the baby it seems, is a rightful act to do away with this memory.
Yet, there is an end that catches us unawares. Or almost. A decision that hinges itself on the morality of love. Life is given it’s scared status. Love reigns. And that’s powerful.
APRIL 2017 #SMC WHAT WILL YOU DO? – CHINAZA ATTAMAH
Your attempt to murder the child, such a young thing, several times, hadn’t been successful.
A man had raped you in your final year in the university and you got pregnant. You wanted to abort the baby, but Aunty Shege, Mama’s younger sister, advised against it. You heeded her advice. However, you wished the baby would be stillborn, but it came out alive. A boy. A healthy boy.
Right now, your baby’s crying so loud you want to strangle him, to squeeze the life out from him, but you do not. You haven’t been able to bring yourself to love him. Aunty Shege has asked you to try to love him, but the more you try the more resentment sweeps through you.
Your phone rings. You lay the boy on your rumpled bed and get the phone.
‘I’ll be there in 20 mins,’ you say to Jabito, Aunty Shege’s neighbour, at the other end.
‘Do quick, abeg,’ he said, ‘I dey wait.’
‘OK. I hear,’ you say and contemplate what you are about to do.
During the pregnancy, you were absent from school. You stayed at Aunty Shege’s throughout. Family hadn’t been aware. Papa would never forgive you for that. It would break his heart. You had lied to him you were in school tidying up your project. He had been proud of that. It meant as Ada, the first daughter, you were a good example to your siblings. Then you lied to your classmates you were sick at home. That was how you stayed out of school for the whole year.
Meanwhile, you intended to send your baby to the motherless babies’ home. Aunty Shege discouraged you. You had listened to Aunty Shege so much you were no longer sure you could take decisions on your own and stand by them, until Jabito told you that you could sell your baby for N700, 000. You did not tell Aunty Shege this. She wouldn’t approve. N700k consoled you.
‘Because say na boy oh,’ Jabito had said. ‘Baby girls na 300 to 350k.’
You thought of N700k. How it would change your family’s life. And Aunty Shege’s.
You would send your siblings to better schools. It was Papa’s dream. Papa would start a better business. Aunty Shege would own a hair salon, buy hair dryers, and start selling hair extensions. Then you would go back to school.
Presently, your baby’s crying becomes louder and louder. A mixture of hatred and love fills you. You refuse to suckle him. 20 mins has walked past since your contemplation. Your phone rings. Jabito. You don’t answer until the second ring.
‘I don change my mind. I no sell again,’ you say and hang up before he can speak. Then you sit on the floor, tears welling
What Will You Do? flows in a unique way that is both