• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

VAL

VAL

My father became a recluse after mom died. He was a shadow of himself and hardly spoke to me. We were both hurting, we both lost someone very special and he wasn’t dealing with the situation the right way. He made it seem as if grieving was his sole right.

Mom was gone. We were all we had and I expected us to be there for each other but he was being so difficult and it didn’t make any sense at all.

Barely a year later, he brought his new wife and her daughter into our home. If I thought things were bad before, then I wasn’t prepared for what was coming. My step mother Amara and her daughter Zarah were formed from the dirtiest dirt. They must have been tenants in hell because I have never seen a mother and child so dark and evil. They exuded wickedness from every pore on their skin and they were determined to make life miserable for me. I always had the fear of being poisoned or strangled in my sleep and I couldn’t put that past them. I didn’t feel safe being around them and I wasn’t going to wait to find out what they would do to me so a few months after I turned 18, I moved out of my father’s house to an apartment outside town. I was a young girl trying to figure out how to see myself through college while working two jobs. Times were hard.

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My life was chaotic. Badluck trailed me like a shadow. I felt so alone, even felt depressed and suicidal sometimes. Just when I thought the sun would never shine again, fate brought Val my way. We met at the train station, struck up a conversation, exchanged phone numbers and that was how our friendship started.
Val was the best thing since sliced bread. She was not just my friend but my sister and my biggest cheerleader, pushing me to be the best version of myself and helping me discover innate potentials I was clueless about.

She asked a lot of questions about my parents and her curiosity gave me the courage to dig into matters that hitherto had been ignored. I began to question a lot of things that happened in the past and the more I dug, the more dirt I uncovered. Startling revelations that unfolded made me detest my father even more. When I put all the pieces together, I discovered that Amara used to be my mother’s nurse for the longest time. I will not be shocked if she had a hand in my mothers death. More startling was the fact that my mother had left a trust fund which I was supposed to receive when I turned 18 and there I was at the age of 21 working my fingers to the bone just to get by.

I had cowered before my father in the past but it was time to confront him. So, armed with the information at my disposal, I decided to pay my him a visit and of course I was accompanied by Val. I had to ask her if she had been to the house before because she seemed quite familiar with the environment but she only flashed that smile that always warmed my heart.

My father was upset that I came with a stranger to his house, he made a fuss and tried to throw us out until Val shut him up with an information she had about him. The color drained from his face as he stood rooted to the ground, breaking out in sweat in the well air-conditioned room. She flung a brown envelope at him and screamed at him to open it. I watched as he went through the papers with shaky hands. I can swear that I heard him fart, probably peed on himself too, who knows? I had no idea what was going on but whatever game plan Val came with, it was actually working. She gave him four weeks ultimatum to return everything that was rightly mine. I have never seen Morrison Lloyd so flustered but I liked it.

Two months after, my life did a whole 360° turn around. Everything had fallen in place just as I always prayed. I was happy and grateful for the day I met Val
who by the way had been scarce for no reason.

One day, I received a text message from her and it read, “My job here is done. Love you forever… VAL”. My job here is done, what does that even mean?
Her phone number was switched off and she wasn’t responding to my text messages either. I went to her apartment and I was told that she moved out. I became really worried.

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As I lay in bed that night, reading her text message for the umpteenth time, the letters suddenly jumped in my face and I screamed. VAL was my mother’s initials… Vivian Anne-Marie Lloyd. I had goosebumps all over me. These are things you see in movies or read in novels and I was living it out for real.
It is mind boggling and hard to comprehend that my mother had come from the great beyond to help me put back the pieces of my life together.

I remember constantly teasing her about having a boy’s name but she would always laugh in response. It was all making sense now. The warmth in her smile, the uncanny familiarity, the way she called my name. The pointers were there all along but I could never have thought in a million years that she was my mother.