I opened my eyes to rays of sunlight coming through the window almost blinding me. Instinctively, using my arm, I shielded my eyes from the sunlight. I had forgotten to draw the curtains last night; one of my many bad habits.

Nne m would have a fit if she came to my room right now. It’s one thing she won’t fail to do on a morning such as this. Talk of the angel, ‘she’ll live long’. I just heard her foot steps coming towards my door. I scrambled off my bed so she wouldn’t know I had just woken up. For more effect, I started doing some push ups… then the door opened.

“Nwa m, you’re awake. Haa! Even doing exercise so early in the morning”. “Nne m, iboolachi!, you know I always do this every morning”. I stopped the push ups and sat cross-legged facing her, letting my chest rise and fall heavily as I breathed in and out.

She regarded me for a moment and said,  “I don’t know why you bother. You’re as skinny as Nkechi, do you want to disappear? ” I couldn’t help but laugh at the comparison. Nkechi was the thinnest lady back in our hometown; so thin that you could see all her bones. To paint this picture effectively, just imagine a skeleton with brown skin covering it. Horrifying, right? I was definitely nowhere as thin as she looks; Nne m is just too good with her hyperbole. 

She blinked at me and shifted her gaze to the window and back. I saw the unspoken question in her eyes…”mommy, biko naaa”

“Okay o! I’m in the kitchen”. With that, she shuffled away without closing my door. I groaned as I got up to close the door. Nne m always dragged her feet when she walked. One of her bad habits; although she would never admit it. And she certainly never obliged me by closing my room door after her. Typical Nigerian mother! 

I did some more sit ups and jumping jacks. I thought that i might as well finish with the work out. By the time I was done, I was sweating like a Christmas goat. I chuckled to myself…whoever gave us this idea that Christmas goats sweat though? It’s probably just for laughs.

I peeled off my soaking wet nightie and threw it into the basket meant for dirty clothes. I had a costume for working out, there was just no time to put them on because of mommy. Taking my towel from the stand, I went into the bathroom.

Then I noticed one of those slimy creatures near the bucket. I jumped with fright, nearly hitting my arm on the pipe connecting the shower head. It looked like an earthworm; or more terrifying!, a baby snake. There was no stick nearby to poke at it. I poured water on it to see if it would slither. It didn’t.

I quickly tied my big towel round my chest and went to the kitchen in search of salt. If you’re like me who doesn’t like slimy creatures, you’ll understand why I poured almost a tablespoonful on the little beast.

Immediately, it wriggled it’s body and I screamed, as if it was on my body. I didn’t wait any longer, I emptied the bucket trying to flush it down the drain. It didn’t. So I took it outside with a parker.

As soon as I threw it outside, a lizard came to eat it like spaghetti. I couldn’t watch. I just committed murder. You might think I’m being silly but having my bath in that bathroom wasn’t the same again. 
                                         To be continued…

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