Uploaded by chinelo on June 20, 2012
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The Devil's Overtime
MY MOTHER wanted to see the world, but I was like a noose around her neck, a piece of rope that tethered her to the village, a swollen foot that would not let her run with the wind and take flight.
She used to sit outside my grandparents' house, chin in palm, while her eyes stared into the distance wondering what could have been. I'd sit and watch, even though I pretended to be playing with stones. Most times, when I thought she had fallen asleep, but her long drawn-out sighs would remind me that she was not asleep, just lost inside her own head.
She was happiest and saddest when an old friend, who had left the village, returned with tales of the city and how wonderful things were there. My mother would be full ofquestions, the way a boil is full of pus, and when the friend left, my mother would lie on her bed and cry.
My mother didn't speak much to me. She made sure I was clean and fed and out of the way. I didn't mind, until my grandparents both died two months apart. That was when I began to notice that my mother really didn't want me around.
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