“Arrgh! Why is there a Saturday?” Caitlyn Coker mumbles to no one but herself groaning into her pillow as she hears her mother yell her name like every Saturday. Still drowsy from sleep, she stood up, using all her strength to walk down the stairs to meet her mom in the living room.
“Coming right down mom” she said quit less audible for her mom to have heard.
Not realizing her daughter was actually coming down to meet her, Funbi Coker-Cait’s mother-yells another
“I’m coming now ah!” Cait yells back finally finding her strength. Her mom could scream more than a banshee sometimes, like what the hell ma?
She finally got to the living room, and was greeted with the same complaints she has gotten quite used to in years. “Awon egbe e ti ji lati five to clean the house (your mates have woken up since five to…), you are here still staggering on your feet. How many times will I remind you that Saturday is a day for sanitation ehn Caitlyn? It’s not good oo. Omo obinrin ni e (you are a female child)”.
This was Cait’s typical Saturday, her mom would be awake and dressed for the market by 6 am, to get fresh tomatoes, vegetables, eggs and fruits. “The best of the stock are best bought in the morning” Funbi would always say, hence her reason for waking up that early. She wouldn’t want to come back to the house and meet it dirty, she always loved to see her home clean. In short, she could be a neat freak sometimes.
Not minding her mom’s complaints and scolding, Cait just gives her her “do like I care?” look, told her “good morning” and went to get a broom, thus starting her chores for the day. She couldn’t complain because it would be irrational to do so. This is because while she went to her place of work every Monday-Friday, her mom was always at home, cleaning the house and having dinner await her daughter. So, it was only right that she helped her mom during the weekends. What she finds rather annoying is why it has to be done so early in the morning, it’s not like they received so many visitors. But Funbi ever being a woman of orderliness would want the house cleaned in the morning, have her breakfast ready by 9:am, lunch by 2 pm, and her dinner by exactly 6:30 pm.
Seeing that her daughter was already on her chores, Funbi took it as a cue to leave for the market. “I’ve gone oo”. She said as she exited the door of the living room.
“Alright don’t be long”. Cait replied her mom.
With her mom gone, she finally grumbles. “Ugh! Can’t one Saturday be different? Mrs. Sanitation!” Waking up by six in the morning was definitely not ideal for her, being that Fridays was practically her worst day of work. She works twice her normal routine on that day for Dr. V.O Falana, the popular billionaire and owner of Tremline Oil and Gas, her place of work. Being his personal assistant is entirely stressful, but on Fridays, it was rather killing! He had certainly warned her during her job interview on February, 2012. “ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE UP TO THE TASK MISS COKER? WE WORK HERE YOUNG LADY, WE DON’T PLAY, AND I’M NOT ONE TO PAMPER.” He had said those words sternly, looking at her through his rectangle shaped glasses, with his palms clasped together on his large office table.
Trying not to be intimidated by his terrifying voice and menacing stare, Cait gave her best confident look and a strong yes, while secretly praying in her mind that she gets the job.
For nine months now, she has been his P.A, a record breaker she had been called by her colleagues in the office, as it was rumoured that none of Dr. Falana’s P.As lasted not more than five months. Being his P.A although is quite annoying, still has its advantage. The duplex she rented in Ikoyi is all but a function of her surprisingly good salary. The man definitely pays well, guess, he is not so mean after all. Maybe he is one of those pain is gain kind of people. Like Cait gave a shit. All she knows is that she has a job that pays the bills, and gives her mom most especially, nothing to worry about and a beautiful home.
Getting the house had always been Cait’s priority, it signified that the new beginnings she had been anticipating since the age of fifteen, was coming to reality. Fifteen was a significant age for Cait. It was the age she found out that her role model-her dad-was not who he had always portrayed himself to be before her eyes. It was also the age she got to realize that her mom had never being happy since she had her daughter. Charles Coker, Cait’s father, having discovered from the doctor that his wife would never be able to have another baby after Cait, practically showed her no love hence forth. He wanted a son that would uphold the Coker name, but his wife’s condition made it impossible. He had stayed as a father and husband because of Cait. He felt it wasn’t the child’s fault, but her mother’s. All these revelations came down to Cait on one faithful Wednesday night. She had woken from sleep to get a glass of water downstairs, for she was thirsty, while she overheard voices from her parent’s bedroom.
“Get your hands off me, you whore! Only God knows what you had done before I married you. You might have deceived me on our wedding night but the truth always finds its way in the end. Doesn’t it?! Bitch!!” Charles had said harshly to his wife that night.
“Ah…Charles please stop talking like this, we both saw the blood. I was a virgin. You are the only man I have given my heart and body to” Cait’s mom replied in choked tears.
“Liar! Well for your information, I now have a son, and he is coming to live in the house with his mother! You will welcome them warmly as they arrive next week!”
“Charles…this is not fair. What about Cait? What are we going to tell her?” Funbi asks dumbly, instead of being furious.
Hearing her mom conceding to her father’s wishes like a slave angered Cait! With determination, she wiped her tears with the back of her palm and barged into the room.
” There’s is no need for that. I think I’ve heard enough. Mom, stand up!” She told her mom having seen her on her knees.
“C.C”. Her mom said, with a shaking voice, definitely as a result of sobs.
Cait almost broke down seeing her mom’s overly moist eyes, but she stood her ground. She had to be strong for herself and her ma. Her father just looked at her with a mighty scrowl on his face, and she gave him her own menacing look as well. “Look dad, your son and whore can come here and stay for as long as they want. But we are not staying! We deserve better than this and we are better off without you”. She said to her dad without blinking and pulled her mom forcefully out of the room.
Her mom was all but numb from shock as she allowed her daughter to pull her away from the beast she had married. It was not until they had entered Cait’s room that Funbi finally found her voice. “C.C are you insane? What did you just do? Where are we going to start from. Without Charles, we are nothing! Are you out of your mind? Let’s go and apologise now!” She said to her daughter, walking towards the door of the room.
No mom! Can’t you see it? My so called father did not even bother to stop me from walking out of him. He showed no remourse mom. Is that not enough for you to realise that he doesn’t care about us at all? If you really love me, you wouldn’t want me to be with someone like that”.
Funbi considered her daughter’s words, but it wasn’t the words that made her to go along with her daughter’s decision, it was the hurt she saw on her face. At that, she broke down and her precious little girl followed her steps. They cried on each other’s arms till they slept.
The following day after the revelation, Cait and her mother left for Lagos, leaving their so called home in Abuja. Life was quite tough for them. Funbi had to use the money she had been saving to open a mall to train her daughter in school. Cait had to work as well, especially during her university days. She did petty jobs when school was in session and worked as an intern every holiday that she got. She knew she had to support her ma, especially in paying the rent of their small two bedroom apartment.
Finally getting a job that pays well, Cait made sure that she gave her mom the life she deserved. She deserves to know how to be happy without the help of a man. She deserves to have what she wants and how she wants it without asking a man. The beautiful duplex she was now grudgingly taking care of, was definitely a watershed for herself and her mom.