#Opinion: Bisi – By Ucheoma Onwutuebe

#Opinion: Bisi – By Ucheoma Onwutuebe



I hid the money in the highest shelf in the pantry. It is wrapped up in an old NEPA bill. I did that to save you from coming up with a tall story if your madam manages to waddle in and starts making inquires. She might ask, weren’t the bills paid last week and is this money not too much for power bills? Tell her it is for next month’s; tell her I was having excess cash and I deemed it wise to pay ahead of time. The remainder is for Musa’s daughter’s school uniform, the little girl goes to school in rags.

You had better not let your lips quiver as you make your replies, lest she beats out the truth from you. You know how combative she can be and believe you me, if you say anything contrary, I will personally wash your mouth with vinegar for betraying trust. But I seldom think she’d drill you seeing she lets you run the home. Yet it is safer for us to have our armory filled with alibis; we can’t afford to be taken unawares….

Be careful not to act weak in her presence: sweep with more vigor when she comes around; dash to open the door when she knocks and can you try harder to swallow your spittle? This spitting around would do you in and I hope you don’t expect me to take a stand beside you!

Tonight as you serve us dinner, wear your longest face. Then I will raise my voice and give you a dressing down: ‘Why does this girl always carry on as if she were mourning?’ then I want you to break down and cry. Say that news got to you that your mother just suffered a severe stroke that left a side of her face paralyzed and she is confined to bed. I will show deep sympathy – I hope she does too- and we would ask you to leave for your hometown.

You will set out by the crack of dawn since the journey before you is quite a distance anyway. Pack a few clothes and your school books and do not forget the NEPA bills; I repeat, DO NOT FORGET THE NEPA BILLS! since you are wont to letting things slip your memory.

You will go to that house I pointed out on Saturday as we drove by when we all went shopping- the house I said I would love to rent as my new business center which made your madam laugh and say it was too old. I did that ostensibly. Go there. Some people await you.

Hand them the NEPA bills and say to them I sent you and that you have come to check the sex of your puppy. They’d ask you undress, make you lie down and they’d put poultices on your belly. Their method is quiet crude but somewhat reliable; we can’t risk any of these hospitals lest someone that knows someone that knows the family finds you out and mouths start wagging. Many talebearers abound.

If the pup is male, you’d be quarantined for half a dozen plus three months. You’d keep your mind busy with your school books, alright? Do not bother about your madam. I’d make her believe you eloped with some lover of yours since she is already given to the notion that helps are prone to wantonness.

If the pup is female, then this visit to your mother’s would last for three weeks only. Now I require your bravery and that you bear what comes next like the big girl you are. This would hurt Bisi. This will. Drink all the herbs and adhere to all instructions. Your insides have to be cleansed of this mistake and then you’d come home and we will try again.


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