Monday Of Last Week

On Monday of last week, Jeremiah called me.

Mama was caught stealing. I laughed at him and hung up. It wasn't April yet. He called me again and told me in between sobs that Mama has been stripped by the angry woman she stole from.

I didn't believe him. I couldn't. I told ThankGod to stand in for me at the bakery. When I saw Mama, dishevelled hair , nothing but her white undies on and bruises all over, I asked her with my eyes to tell me the truth that it was a lie. That it was all accusations and we should get them arrested for assault although we couldn't afford the charges for the arrests.

She didn't hold my stare. She didn't answer my questions. I hated her. I wanted to leave.

Jerry covered her while I talked to the livid Nne Nneka. She wanted full payment for damages. I didn't tell her that damages was a tin of milk and three cubes of sugar.

Before Monday of this week, between sobs, Mama told me, "Nwam, no matter how thin you slice it, there's always two sides."

On Monday of this week, behind the empty caravan that was once her small retail shop, I saw Mama dangling from the cashew tree.


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