The first time I learnt I was in a strange home I was just eight years old. I had just returned home from school and was having my bath which was a tradition for me each time I returned from anywhere I had gone for over some hours, when I heard a familiar horn at our gate. I quickly ran the water all over my body and got dressed.
The horn was a familiar one and I already knew who it was. It was my aunt who usually visits every Fridays. I was happy to know of her presence as there is hardly a dull moment around her.
The last time she came, we played the WHOT game together and she usually allow me to beat her. I got to know why she always allow me to beat her on purpose. It was her way of winning my heart which she succeeded.
When I heard her hello, in her usual voice that sounded like a singer in a studio, I ran out still battling to zip my trousers and went into her outstretched hands. It felt like paradise to me.
Mum stood far away beside the dinning chair looking at us and I saw clouds of tears in her eyes.
She answered aunty Aisha as though they were not in a good term and on a several occasions they would talk and laugh but mom would laugh that kind of laugh that only ended on the lips.
I did not know why but my eyes were fixed to mum's that each time she turned to looked at me, our gaze would melt into one another. I felt it deep down that something was wrong but I was too childish to understand.
It happened more than twice before she asked me to go back to my room and play. I don't have anyone to play with I said as everywhere became mute like a grave yard.
The silence rendered everywhere cold, even our hearts too. She tried to share me up but I was not interested. Then aunty Aisha asked me to get either a WHOT or my painting tools so we could play together.
I was in the room when I heard mom shouting on the top of her voice. "I did not breast feed her and so what?" She roared. I could not understand what they meant.
In what seems like a split seconds, they became exchanging harsh words and then mom said something that hurt not just her but myself as well.
"If not because I could not bear my own child, why would I adopt someone that would another more than me". I was a child but I understood that vividly. I ran out of the room and both became mute as though my presence had snatched away their voices.
Throughout that day, our conversations were only when an errand is to be made. When dad returned, he pretended to be in a good mood and took me out.
Each time I remember that day, it would be as though I were not good enough for my own mother that I had to be adopted. I could not ask for my real parents or how I came there either even as an adult. I had to accept my family that is not blood but money.
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