1. Your mother was god; overseeing the affairs of the household, showering you with blessings when you did right and punishing you when you transgressed. Your father was not immune to this dictatorship.

2. The year weeding became your chore, you did it without your mother asking you to and she gave you a curt nod of approval because she looked around and saw that it was good. She was god and you were thirsty for redemption.

3. You loved weeding. You loved coercing the roots out of the earth wedged in between the inter locked tiles. Or when you were angry, yanking them out in one fluid motion.

This was also the year Tise moved next door to you and your father was relieved that you were speaking to someone other than the ghosts clinging to your walls. And your ceiling. And your clothes.

4. Yes, this was the year Tise awoke strange sensations in your body by using just her tongue. She often broke you apart and then left you wobbling to your house to piece your shards together by yourself. You always did it wrong and no one noticed as you walked around dissatisfied because Tise made you a mismatched puzzle.

5. This was also the year you grew to hate weeding. Because Tise had gently coerced your roots from the grounds of morality and purity and Christianity. She turned you into a child that did not know its homeland. A wanderer. A fugitive. A simple weed tossed carelessly out of the ground into a pile to be burned with the other weeds who did not make the cut. You began to hate your mother because she was not your god anymore and you realised redemption was not for lost children like you.

6. The end of this year was when you finally figured out how to split Tise into two unequal halves. You did not gently uproot her but instead, you yanked her out of her comfort zone in one angry fluid motion because the hatred for your mother had taken root in your chest and you did not know how to be gentle anymore. Your compound became overgrown with weeds and your mother forgot how to be god and the ghosts now lived on your skin.

About the Author

Olabimpe is a law student who often thinks the world is a simulation. Her works have appeared in Fiction Limbo, wndrr and Nantygreens. You can find her on Instagram @borednigeriangirl. 

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