52 ways cover stripThe first thing Queenie’s mother did was to call her father on the phone. He was at the school within the minute. He was shaking all over with fear, rage and generally his adrenaline rose. The headmistress had been alerted and was there too. The police were on their way, and the whole place was chaotic. Adaora was hysterical in the midst of this all. She’d tried her best to explain all she could and was tired and scared. When Queenie’s father came to the scene, he demanded that she explain it all over again.

She did.

When he heard, he turned to Queenie’s mother, and slapped her. This caused another pandemonium. Queenie’s mother lunged at him and people had to hold them apart.

“Are you satisfied?” he yelled. “You see how you’ve raised her? No discipline, no caution!”

“You are mad. Totally,” Queenie’s mother sobbed. “This man is mad. You have kidnapped my daughter.”

The headmistress pulled her aside and spoke between her teeth. “Are you two out of your mind? Can’t you even control yourselves? We have a situation here for God’s sake!”

“He kidnapped my daughter.”

“Then why did you call him here?”

“Find my daughter for me! Just do it or I’ll sue this school!” she yelled.

The policemen arrived and Adaora was presented yet again. She started to tell the story amidst flowing sobs.

Queenie’s father interrupted the interrogation.

“Her mother is responsible. She has been the one spoiling that girl. She gives her everything she wants. She can’t say ‘no’ to her. She can’t correct a wrong. She can’t stand anyone doing it either.” He burst into tears.

At home later, safe and away from the stress of the day, Adaora slept peacefully.  I imagined the kind of dreams she could have and shuddered. It was such a hard day. I reflected on it all, on what Queenie’s parents had done, causing a scene. It was a true picture of a home divided. Queenie’s father had been right. I had the privilege of seeing Queenie with her mother a couple of times.

“Mummy, I want lolly,” she whined once.

“You just had two lollies, baby. You’ll be sick,” her mother said.

“I said I want lolly!” Queenie snapped.

“Alright, alright.” Queenie’s mother shrugged and bought another giant lolly for the girl. There were smaller ones there.

“What do you say, girl?” she asked. Queenie continued licking without even sparing her mother a look. “What do you say to Mummy, baby?” Silence. “Say thank you, Mummy.” Silence. “Queenie …”

Queenie burst into tears. She said, “I don’t want the lolly again!”

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The next few minutes, bent over, her mother pleaded with her to take the lolly. I stood dumb founded and watched. Queenie’s mother straightened uncomfortably and smiled at me.

“She’s just so temperamental and if you spank her now, her skin will start peeling.” She smiled uneasily and left with her spoilt child.

I was more shocked than disgusted. But I wasn’t in any position to judge her. I’m not so good myself.

Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here