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Unilag for Humanity Pic-Fic Series: I will put a Pen to it: An Email By Carolyn Banks Ose (1994 - 2016)

Dear BOI,

I choose today to take sides with many who believe life has no meaning, and those who see life and all its meaningfulness. My reason being that no matter what we term life to be, we can never get the real definition of it. Life wears a garment of complexity.

When I was much younger, I wanted so many things and above all, I wanted to be loved. While growing up, ever since I was able to talk and reason, I desired something that no money in the world could buy me and that was Happiness. Happiness that I could share with everyone I knew and loved. I was nicknamed Miss Children and Miss People Lover, because of my excess love for children and people. I never wanted to see anyone suffer, die or get hurt. I always dreamt of becoming a philanthropist; I always hated the idea of making people suffer for gain. I loved the poor and hated the rich, whom I thought were selfish and wicked.

Even with all these thoughts, I was never truly happy because things remained stagnant and I didn’t understand anything. As a child, I didn’t know much of God; neither His rules nor His purpose. I had numerous questions but no answers. I went to church on Sundays; only then did I open my bible to read. And all the preachers I had met failed to answer any of my numerous questions.

When I became sixteen, I had the zeal to serve God and I started to read and study my bible. In it, I found out that the God I served was amazingly mysterious. Every day, I wanted to know more about God through the bible. It was at this age that I found answers to numerous questions. Knowing this made me forget all the unhappiness and pain I had had all my life. Knowing God killed my shyness and brought out the boldness in me. Knowing God changed my life, giving me a new view of life.

But this experience was short-lived. As I became 17, the experience I had always wanted to write an autobiography about crushed on me and all my hopes and faith faded away like the dew of dawn. My world crashed and I started to ask new questions.
“Is there truly a God that loves and cares? Is there anything like love? Is there any worth in loving people? What is life and its purpose?” All these questions and many more, but there was no man to answer me correctly.

I’ve found out that man and all his ways are lies and a fraud. A fantasized reality that we’re unconsciously blinded to. The God that many, including myself, believe in has done a wicked thing, though He claims they are for our good. He has given us a ‘forever’ punishment to chase after the wind that we do not see nor will catch. We will all die trying.

Boi, men are fools for believing they have a choice in everything they do, but the reality is this, we have no choice, we’ll never and can never have it! The only choice we have is to live the part created for us. God, the Creator, is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. DO SHEEP QUESTION THE ORDERS OF THEIR MASTERS? Of course not! Instead, they obediently follow him to the slaughterhouse.

Boi, do not get me wrong. I do not see God as completely wicked, but I see a wicked thing in what He has done to man. Religion has so falsely led us all to a pit and we all follow blindly from behind with all willingness. We fail to see that religion is man searching for God while true worship is God searching for man.
I’ve realized that man is not to blame completely for all his actions but God and His antagonist. Man walks in fear, and blindly preaches the incomprehensible way of God.
I used to tell myself positively that the world will be better, but today I have forever killed the belief that people will change their ways and become better. The happiness that we all seek is the wind that we chase and will never catch. What a wicked lifestyle!

Waking up this morning, I realised that my life has ended and there is no reason for me to live anymore. The world is not a place for people like of me. I truly can’t take it anymore. I’m just twenty-two years old. I grew up with my parents divorced and I always finding it difficult to choose which side was right to stay on. Since I was three years old, I was made to stay with my paternal grandparents after the law found my both parents to be irresponsible, worthless pieces of shit, unfit to live together!
My step-grandfather took interest in me. He toyed with me whenever grandma was not at home. He molested me. When I told my ‘sick’ parents, they intentionally refused to believe me. They said I was lying, thinking I wanted to destroy the reputation of the old man in the society, who was a well-known clergyman that never failed to preach holiness in all his sermons and publicly condemned the act of paedophilia. You would always find him with his big bible and bald head screaming “GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST” through the waste-ridden Dustbin estate.

I’ve been subjected to both physical and mental torture since I was a child, and this man of God, my grandfather was the main source of my subjection.
In my pursuit for happiness, I hurried into marriage and I found myself hurrying out at the age of nineteenth. I got pregnant that year. My marriage went down into the gutters and the floods swept it away. My twenty-years-old husband thought drugs and alcohol were much important than love and his pregnant wife. His actions and abusive words further increased my torment. He said he was no longer attracted to me and that I was the worst thing that ever happened to him and the child I carried was not his.

Before the child popped out, he had left me. I had to work extra hard to eke out a living. I became a complete jest! My family abandoned me. I had no one to run for help. The church I attended was a museum for the rich and well-to-do, yet the poor, sick, broken and needy are neglected. They are like a floor for the upper class to step on. I left the church feeling frustrated and betrayed me.

When I was finally delivered of a bouncing baby boy, I named him Idhom, meaning ‘hope’, as I held him in my quavering hands. My step aunt and uncle come to my rescue when I could not pay my hospital bills; this was the first kind gesture I had ever received from my extended family. I tried to make my husband know that I had given birth and make him take responsibility. “I don’t fucking care!” He yelled at me.

I struggled and struggled to care and provide for my son as a single parent but nothing seemed to work out well. Every time I saw my child cried in hunger or illness, it broke my heart. I just hated myself so much for his suffering. I hated to see him suffer.
Last year, I pondered over and over a thought of giving my son a better life. I thought of providing him a temporal home and guardianship with someone I trusted. Then I thought of my step aunt and her husband, who after fourteen years of marriage, had no child, and they were there for me when I gave birth to my son. It was such a good idea. So I decided to give my son a new and better life in their house. They were so glad that I took my son to them. They promised to treat him as their own son. Although I had issues with trusting people, I still trusted them, enough just so my son can have a better life.

I left him in their care and moved on with my life. Occasionally, I came to visit him when I got free time. The very few months I came around, I got to see him a lot, but after a while, all changed. Whenever I came to see him, unlike before that I used to see him often, I was only allowed to see him once in my many visits. There was always an excuse from my step aunt and her husband to prevent my seeing him. Although it seemed odd to me, I always gave them the benefit of doubt.

Things were tough that was the only reason I gave my son to them and nothing more. At a point, things were so bad: no job and no home. I thought since they had been doing well and they were kind to me, there was nothing wrong in giving my step aunt and her husband full custody of my son. It was a good thing to see my son growing well and happy. They asked me to sign a file, making them the full guardian of the child, and I did. I did, even when an inner voice said I shouldn’t. I felt I was doing the best thing for my son.

One morning, I was online going through my Facebook account when I saw a post by my step aunt that my son name had been changed to George. I could not believe it. They had promised me such a thing would never happen and that they would always tell my child that I am his mother. Now, I found out that I have been deceived.

When I called my mother to inform her of this breach of agreement and trust, she said that I should not bother her, because she was not the court of law. I felt so annoyed when I later found out that the people I asked to be his guardian, temporal guardian, never called my son Idhom, but George.

Boi, why are some people so cruel? Why do they always look out for their own interest alone, not minding if another is hurt? The only thing I wanted for my child was the best. I feel childless now. I feel I have lost everything and I am completely alone in this wicked world. I feel very depressed, worse than I felt two years ago. I feel like an empty body, just a cavity.
I have been contemplating suicide and I have made up my mind. Only death can take away my pains and trouble. I am fed-up with life and the heartless people, occupying this world. My son was my hope. Now that I have lost him, I am hopeless.

Boi, if you feel my pain while reading this, you can write back to me. I just pray l will be alive when your email reaches me. I am yet to decide what I will used to kill myself that I will not feel much, or probably no, pain before dying. Although I am afraid my death may hurt my child when he grows up, I have no choice now but to die. I feel I can never give my son happiness or anything of worth, so he does not really need me.

Tonight, I will sing the song of the dead with the dead multitude. I will use my hands to beat the drum of the death. See you afterlife, Boi.


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