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CHAPTER 6- Rivalry

Uncle John was proud of her academic performance and made sure that she was assisted and encouraged in many possible way he could. Beatrice also has a close rapport with her cousins who all treated her like a beloved sister. It was only occasionally that she misses her name but she has made it a point of a duty to write her mother and the twins since in a month informing them of all her experiences.

The only person who did not share her reasoning was Uncle John’s wife who saw in her the unfufilment of her desire to give her husband a female child, the woman believed in her heart that if one had been able to bear a female child she would not have had to nurture another woman’s child she therefore saw Beatrice as an unsurper and blamed her father for the unrealisation of her dreams. She was always complaining of that her husband was dotting so much on the girl to the detriment of his own children.

“If you must shoulder Beatrice’s responsibility she says a times “why don’t you let her go to the boarding house? But her husband would respond mildly that there was no point in doing that since the house was large enough to contain them all.

But by the second terms of Beatrice’s third year in school, Uncle John for the sake of peace finally succumbed to his wife’s pressure and Beatrice found he self going to the hostel.
This marks the beginning of Beatrice’s trauma she felt totally betrayed and unwanted by the Oju’s, she reasoned that if her Uncle claimed to really love her, he would have made his wife see reason as the head of the family, her cousin’s had their own share of the blame too, they ought to have prevailed over their mothers decision thought Beatrice.

Actually she understood that there was no love lost between her and Aunt Aisha, despite her being at her best to please the woman she will always complain that she has left off doing one thing or the other. She was however grateful to her cousins who always come to her rescue one way or the other against their mother’s disapproving look on retort to help her with any given assignment. What never fails to baffle Beatrice was why this woman resented her so much right from the way her Aunt has made her realize that she has made a mistake in staying where she has not wanted her at all.
One afternoon, when both of them were alone in the kitchen, Aunt Aisha has said “I wonder why you had not insisted on going back with your mother to the village’ Beatrice could not produce on answer but has looked down at the floor while the other woman continued “Well, I belief every Tom, Dick and Harry want to live in Lagos to be a pest on other people’s sweat and labour.”

Whenever Beatrice came back from school there will always be a mass of house-chores pile up for her to do before she can even sit down to eat her lunch but the boys made it a point of duty to assist her despite their mothers protest that Beatrice was quite capable and does not need their help she is a girl and has to be turned to be useful and not lazy.

With the boys helping her some of the times she always have a little time to do her home work before cooking. as soon a the holiday was over, Aunt Aisha had sent her maid packing with the excuse that she was just an additional mouth to feed.

Beatrice who had by now cultivated the habit of waking up in the middle of the night to catch up in the middle of the night to catch up with her school wok would gladly have continued like this to do the housework without any protest because in the village where she came from the belief was that only orphans and children from broken homes who has no body to take care of them are whisked off into boarding house. Being in her uncle’s house despite all the suffering still gave her a lot of family belonging moreover she does not count doing house workers a punishment but as a duty. A girl ought to perform the house chores.

In the boarding house, she lost her cheerfulness and become morose that one girl nick named her dragon face ‘not because she has an oblong face in actual fact, her face was quite round and beautiful but because she was always looking forlorn and sad, she wore or perpetual frown.
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