Hair

He said, ‘Go somewhere; let your hair down and have some fun!’

***

As a single mother, I hadn’t no greater a resolve than to be a model to my 17-year-old daughter, Dinah. She was just 6 years old when I broke up with my husband of 10 years and I remember how irresponsible I was with her in the first few years of the divorce. It took a year of post-divorce therapy to free me from the anger, resentment and emotional and psychological stress that had me bound in drunkenness. I owed a greater part Dinah’s good upbringing to my little sister who took her in during those trying days.

I learnt in therapy that if not for anything, at least for the sake of my daughter, I needed to be strong; hence my resolve. I invested so much in building a good relationship with Dinah such that we tended to relate as siblings rather than as mother and daughter. Several of my friends raised concerns about our relationship. Some even went to the extent of accusing me of having lesbian relations with her due to the fact that I hadn’t had a man ever since I resolved to commit my entire life and resources to cater for me daughter and also due to the way we lived at home. I practically shared a bed with Dinah although we lived in a two-bedroom house.

I managed to keep a job as a marketing officer with an insurance company in addition to taking care of my dear daughter in spite of the fact that both of them were very demanding.

On this fateful day, when I arrived at work, my boss called me to his office and broke a very good news to me.

‘We couldn’t think of any better person other than you to be Marketing Manager. Congratulations!’ He concluded his ten-minute speech.

I was in high spirits the whole day because I had been praying for this for some time now. The icing on the cake for the day was when my boss asked me to take the rest of the day off to celebrate my promotion and prepare for work the next day.

He said, ‘Go somewhere; let your hair down and have some fun!’

I drove straight home to celebrate with Dinah who was at home because school was on vacation. Sadly enough, she wasn’t there when I got there.

Disappointed, I poured myself a glass of wine and turned on the stereo player and started shaking my body to the music it played. Before long, I was done with a whole bottle of wine. The thought to control my drinking crossed my mind but I brushed it off before it had the chance to take a seat. I moved the celebration to the sitting room where I turned on the television and sipped the last of another glass of wine.

I shuffled through all the channels on the television yet none of them showed anything that caught my interest so I decided to watch a movie instead. When I sought through the drawer in which I supposed the VCDs will be in, there was none.

It was either we had discarded all the VCDs or Dinah had moved them into another drawer. Because I was tipsy, I was not in the right frame of mind to know which of the situations was the case. I opened the next drawer my hand could reach and found an unlabelled CD. I slotted it into the player and went back into the seatie. I poured myself another glass of wine and leaned into the chair to enjoy the movie.

The first scene of the movie hit me like a thunderbolt. The VCD was a recording of me and a stranger having sex during my first few difficult months of divorce from my husband. Those scenes were so gruesome that I couldn’t believe that I was in that video. A lot of questions run through my mind at the instant. The greatest of all the considerations was whether Dinah had seen this video.

Before I could snap out of my thought and take the VCD out of the player, I heard a voice from behind.

‘Mum!’ It said.

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