For some of us, there is no redemption.
There is no light at the end of tunnel. There is no one coming to save us.
This life is just an endless rerun of the previous; and it goes on and on…
My physical attributes gives me away.
Who have I offended? Why me? …Maami asks everytime I return.
Still she allows me to suckle at her breasts hoping for a better end than the last.
She’d rather have been barren than endure this endless pain; constantly repeating itself over and over again.
Indifferent, I am to her pain and pleas for this to stop.
Over and over again, I continue to taunt her … Why? Of this, I am unsure.
Banished iroko trees from our environ… Baba wants no reminder of this torture.
To appease the spirits or not… again?
Maami has enough faith to have kept us all. Still, we decided not to stay. This time around, her belief is sturdy.
I have no name anymore. Just a number… “The fourteenth“.
Baba no longer has interest in maami nor I.
He proclaims that after the sacrifices are done, he will no longer be a partaker of this facade.
In his right; why should he? This is enough to drive a mad man to sanity!
I’ve put him through enough pain and shame everytime… Thirteen times.
Maami walks right passed the village square and picks sand from beneath the iroko tree.
She glares up at the tree. No words are uttered but her silence challenges a dare between her and the spirits that supposedly live on it.
Almost as if to say; let me watch you take this one.
She throws the sand on the floor and spits on it.
She cries just a little. She dies just a little.
These past eleven years have been nothing but joy yet mother begins to anticipate my twelfth birthday with fear and intense worry.
Would I choose to stay or would I go?
And as it was, the latter was the end result… I left. Like I always do.
Because I was never meant to stay.
Cruel joke by the gods but I doubt even they find this torture funny…
Till next time, I suppose.
I may return… Just to another because maami’s faith finally ran out.
Signed… The fourteenth!!!
*Abiku is a Yoruba word that can be translated as “predestined to death“.
It is from (abi) “that which was born” and (iku) “death“.
Abiku refers to the spirits of children who die before reaching puberty; a child who dies before twelve years of age being called an Abiku, and the spirit, or spirits, who caused the death being also called Abiku – Wikipedia, 2018.