When I was two, I watched Papa die.
That day, I died too, as the happy little girl who loved blabbing gibberish suddenly went silent.
I grew up a bony child while Aunty Nkiru, Papa’s sister, squandered Papa’s hard-earned money on expensive wrappers and blouses.
Schooling was off the list for me, as who would want to spend money on a mute girl’s education?
“How will a dumb child like her learn to recite the alphabet, huh?” Aunty Nkiru had once questioned her friend when she was asked why I sat at home all day instead of joining my mates in school.
“She will learn to speak. Some children start speaking late, you know? Just give her a chance.” Aunty Sarah, her friend had replied.
First, she had warned me to never tell anyone.
Then, she had cut off my tongue to be sure I stayed silent.
If only she knows.