“Joyce! Joyce! Where is that good for nothing girl?
Mother shouted and walked to me, I stood immediately being terrified.
“So you are here and I have been calling you since?
She shouted with a knock on my head.
“No mother I did not hear when you called me”
I replied massaging the knock she gave me on my head.
“You are now deaf and dumb that will not hear me abi?
“Am sorry mother!
“This your ears are they blocked, next time I called you and you did not answer me immediately I will deal with you”
She shouted dragging my ears.
“Am sorry mother, it will not happen again”
“Sorry for your stupidity! Hurry up with that thing you are doing and prepare dinner am hungry”
“Okay mother! Am almost done”
She shouted and went inside.
I don’t know why mother hate and despised me so much, any little thing I did she must find fault to it.
I have apologized and tried to make her to love me like my other sisters but all to avail.
Since father passed away she has made my life so miserable, I don’t know what I have done to her anywhere to warrant this ill maltreatment.
Done with the watching and rushed inside the kitchen to prepare dinner before mother will start shouting again.
Thirty minutes later am done with the food and dishes it out.
‘Bia this girl! I hope what you prepare is sweet because I don’t want to eat nonsense ooooo?
Lucy the one I senior direct shouted at me, I ignored her and served the food.
“Didn’t you hear what she said? Stupid child!
Mother shouted at me.
“The food is sweet you will like it”
Just about toleave,
“Bia Joyce! What is this? Did you want to kill me?
Mother shouted as she thrown up the food.
“What type of food is this, did you want to kill us with pepper and salt”
Pepper and salt! No mother! I did not over added pepper and saltto the food”
“Wait oooo! Are you calling me a liar?
“No mother that’s not what I mean”
“Joyce you called mother a liar abi! You prepared poison for us to eat and die, it will not work for you”
“Lucy did you really have to say that? It’s just a mistake it can happen to anyone”
Rita the last born said.
“Will you shut up that your brat! What did you know”
Lucy shouted back at her.
“Joyce come here!
“No mother! I know I did not over added salt nor pepper to that food, am very sure that I did not”
I said with my whole body shaking.
“I said you should come here! I don’t want to repeat myself again because if I do Joyce, you know how it use to be nah!
“Mother is calling you, you have enter one chance”
Lucy laughed out.
I went closer to her.
“You opened this your dirty mouth and called me a liar”
She shouted and gave me a slap on my left cheek.
“No mother I did not do it someone meant how done that just to frame me up”
I cried out holding my cheek.
“You want to kill me? It will not work for you, you will be the one to die, you see this poison you must eat it and finish it, they will not be any food for you until this poison is finished”
She shouted and poured the soup on my face.
“My eyes! Pepper! My eyes”
I cried out.
“Mother! You don’t have to do that to sister Joyce nah, I don’t like the way you are treating her as if she is not your blood”
“Will you shut up that your mouth before I will shut it up for you!
“Joyce you have not seen something”
Lucy shouted and laughed and poured wash hand water on me.
“Haba! Sister Lucy did you have to pour that dirty water on sister? I don’t like the way you and mother is treating sister is not good oooo”
The pepper was too much for me to bear so I ran out immediately.
“Make sure you enter inside that kitchen and prepare something good if you like again you can over add pepper to it, stupid child, good fornothing human being”
Mother shouted to my hearing.
I rushed to the kitchen and washed out my face, the pepper was so hot.
“I know I did not over added pepper and salt to that soup, I tasted it very well before dishing it out”
I said still cleaning my face.
“Sister I know you did not do it, I know very well is sister Lucy that over added the salt and pepper just to frame you up, wipe your tears and stop crying”
Rita said wiping out my tears.
“Why did mother hate me so much? What have I done to her that made her to have this so much hatred on me? I have done everything humanly possible to please her and for her to love me like the way she loves you and Lucy”
I cried out.
“Sister stop crying, it torns my heart when I see you like this, I know that one day everything will be alright”
“Rita you are the only one that loves and cares for me in this house”
I said as I hugged her.
“I hope you are almost done with the food”
Mother shouted from inside.
“Yes my mother! I will soon bring it”
I shouted to her hearing.
“Sister I need to help you out so that you can finish on time before mother will come out and started shouting at you”
I told her all she need to do before some mintues we were done with the food.
“Bia! This good for nothing child! I hope this food is not rubblish?
I shouted as I dished out the food.
“Mother the food is okay because the person that ruined the first food did not smell the kitchen”
Rita said starring at Lucy.
“That’s your luck,you know that poison food you cooked is what you will eat until its finish”
Mother shouted as soon as tasted the food.
I did not utter any word to her and went back to the kitchen.
I dished some food and starred at it.
“How can eat this food, Lucy have the guts to did this to me and even poured that dirty water on me, she should not worry I will soon get back to her”
I said and started eating the food.
I have no other option but to eat because am dying of hunger, I have not eaten since morning.
“Are you eating this food sister?
“What did you expect me to do Rita when you know I have not eaten since morning?
“No sister! You don’t have to eat that it meant cause you running stomach, I brought my food for us to share together”
She said and sat beside me.
“You brought your food? You know if mother seen me eating this food she will not be happy with me”
“Sister you don’t have to worry, mother will not do anything beside she has gone to bed already so let’s eat”
We ate together and tidy up the kitchen before going to bed.
I added that salt and pepper inside the food to humiliate that stupid girl, who did she even think she is?
I hate and despised everything about her beside her presence disgust me.
I hope and wished she was not my sister.
I will surly deal with her for taking all praises that has always meant from me.
When father was still alive he shower her with praises and made me feel that am not important to him because she bewitched father and father took her as his favorite child.
Even when we are still in school everybody likes her and talk more about her which made me to feel so jealous and I vowed to make her life miserable with the help of mother being on my side she will help me to take my revenge on her.
I will surly deal with her in this house until she ran out from this house I don’t even care if she is my sister or not.
I went to the sitting I met mother counting a lot of money, I need money to register for my JAMB, since I left secondary school I have not been able to further my education to the high institution, mother always tells me that’s no money but when there’s money.
I have to try my best hoping that I will succeed.
I stood there mopping at her, not knowing how to start up to avoid her from getting angry with me.
“Yes what is it?
She shouted with a harsh voice.
“Mother, is…….. Is… I want…….
I stammered with my whole body shaking.
“Speak up what is it? If you dont have any reasonable thing to say you better live my presence as you can see am busy”
She shouted still counting the money.
“Sister what is it? Talk to mother and stop being secard”
“Mother you know Jamb registration has started and I need money to buy the forum”
I said with a cracking voice.
“You need what? Did you give me money to keep for you? Wait oooo! Because you saw me counting money and you brought your smelling self to ask for money, if you need money you go out there and work, you see this money is for my daughter’s up keep”
She shouted at me.
“But mother Sister Joyce is also your daughter too”
“Will you shut up that your mouth?
She shouted at her and hit her on the head.
“Mother am also your daughter, why is it that you always make me to feel like am nobody in this family like I don’t belong here?
I cried out.
“You are nobody to me and your presence irritate me so much, at the count of three I want you to get out from my sight smelling he goat, you need money you did not work for, stupid human being”
Mother shouted and slappedm me, I ran out immediately to avoid another slap from her.
Why is mother doing this to me, she don’t want me to achieve my dreams in life? Why did she hates me so much? Where on earth have I offended her?
All I have ever wanted is for us to be happy and be in peace like one family.
I thought with a broken heart and tears rushing down from my eyes like a river.
What is the meaning of all this? How dare her to spare her dirty clothes on this rope?
I shouted as I threw the clothes on the ground.
I shouted and spared my own clothes.
“Lucy why did you threw my clothes on the ground?
The smelling he goat shouted.
“Why shouldn’t I throw it? Have I not warned you serveal times to stop sparing your dirty smelling clothes on this rope?
I shouted at her.
“Lucy this rope is meant for everyone so you have no right to threw my clothes on the ground”
She ranted like a mad dog and picked the clothes.
“Pack those smelling clothes and don’t you ever spare them on this rope again, this will be the last time I will warn you, if I set my eyes on this dirty clothes of yours I will not only throw them rather I will burn them to ashes”
I shouted also clapping my hands to prove to her how serious am I.
She laughed as she packed those her dirty clothes.
“Lucy you have been finding my trouble in this house and I have been keeping silent and my silent dose not mean am a fool, am waiting for the day your cup will be filled, that day you will see the type of stuff am made of”
She shouted like a mad dog.
I dragged her back as she was about to leave.
“Come back here am not done with you! Joyce or whatever your name is you won’t do anything beside you can’t be more than a hanging towel”
I shouted dragging her and well ready to fight her.
“Lucy live me! I said you should live me! Eeeeeeeheeeh! Lucy!
She shouted as I was still dragging her for a fight.
“Joyce I said you won’t do anything! I will deal with you until run out from this house”
I shouted and pushed her on the floor.
She stood up immediately and gave me a slap.
I slapped her back, we started fighting and exchanging words, insulting each others.
“Today you have bitten more than you can chew, what sort of nonsense is this!
I shouted as I highjacked her and threw her on the floor and beat her up mercilessly, she deserve the beating.
“Please sister live her, stop fighting”
Rita cried out as she rushed and separated us from the fight.
“Leave me let show this stupid girl something”
She shouted like a mad dog she is, struggling to give me a slap but Rita dragged her back.
“Is okay nah sister! Rita shouted.
“It seem the beating I gave you is not enough and you want me to break those your cockroach legs for you”
“You have luck that am not in the mood to fight I could have design that your ugly face more for you”
She ranted like a mad dog.
“What is going on here?
Mother shouted as soon as she came back and saw us quarreling.
Lucy ran to mother shading crocodile tears.
“Mother is this good for nothing girl that call herself Joyce, I did not do anything to her and she started beating me like a goat”
She cried out.
“You said what? You mean this animal, this idiot have the guts to touch you?
“Yes mother, see how my body is”
She cried out.
“So Joyce you want to kill my daughter for me eeeeh! I will first kill you today”
Mother shouted coming closer to me.
“Mother she started it all, she was insulting me”
I tried to explain but she took my explanation as nonsense to her.
“So Joyce it has gotten the extend of you beating my daughter”
She shouted and slapped me repeatedly.
“Mother I don’t like what you are doing, sister Lucy started it first, she was insulting sister Joyce”
“Who did you think you are? That my daughter will not insult”
She shouted continue slapping me.
“Am sorry mother, it will not happen again”
“I will show this stupid child something today so that next time she will not have the guts to lay her fingers on you again, Lucy get me that wire over there”
Lucy rushed immediately and brought the wire.
Mother flogged me mercilessly with the wire, I cried and pleaded for her forgiveness but all to no avail, I was rolling on the ground as she was lashing my body with the wire without no mercy.
“Mother flogged her very well so that next time she will respect me in this house”
Lucy shouted and laughing at me.
“Mother please stop flogging her like a common criminal, she is a human being like, for crying out loud she is your own daughter”
Rita shouted and held mother’s hand as she was about to lash another strock of the wire on my body.
“What is wrong with this girl? Will you leave mother let her deal with this idiot?
Lucy shouted at her and pushed her out.
“Lucy did you still have any atom of sympathy in you?
“Good for nothing she goat, the next time you will lay those your stinking witches hands on my daughter again I will not flog you rather I will drag your grave and bury you alive”
She shouted and gave me another strock of the wire and walked.
“You have not seen something oooo”
Lucy shouted and kicked me as she walked inside.
“Sister please stop crying, its okay”
Rita said with a tearing eyes.
“Rita what have I done to mother, where have I offended her, why did she hate me so much and make me to feel that am not her daughter?
I cried out.
“Sister stop crying, I know you are my sister and you are mother’s daughter but what I don’t understand is why she had this so much hatred towards you”
“You know it was not my fault but mother takes Lucy’s side instead of mine”
I cried out.
“Sister stop crying, one day everything will be well,let’s go inside see how badly your body is, I need to massage it with hot water”
She said and held my hand and we went inside.
My whole body was filled with marks of the wire so so painful.
She boiled the hot water and started massaging my body.
“Ouch! Take it easy Rita”
I shouted, the pain was so unbearable for me.
“Am sorry sister, I will take it so gently”
Lucy came out and started laughing like a little witch.
“You deserve every bits of the flog, I warned you but you did not listen, if you see me just clear my path because next time you raise those your hands on me, shai! You still remember what mother said, she will bury you alive”
She laughed out.
“Sister don’t mind her”
Rita said still massaging me.
Later in the day, mother made me to prepare dinner without minding my present condition and even starve me on top but thanks to Rita who brought her food I could have die of hunger last night.