“Bridget, where are you?” Mrs.Nwokedi inquired as she paced about their house in search of her daughter. When she opened the door that led to her daughter’s room and called her, there was no response from there either. Surprisingly, as she was about closing the back coloured door, she noticed the unkempt nature of her daughters room. Clothes were littered in all corners of the room on top of the bed, beside the door, on top of the refrigerator, even on her bookrack. The mess made her angry.
“What is wrong with these girls? I cannot believe this I instructed them to tidy up their room and put it in order just yesterday evening. It seems my instructions were not heeded. This room is an eye sore,” Mrs Nwokedi fumed. Bridget’s two sisters who were playing hide and seek game in the compound abandoned the game and ran towards their room when they heard their mothers voice. They entered their room quietly and could not utter a word to her. They knew their mum was not happy about their attitude and tried not to do anything again to aggravate her anger. Mrs Nwokedi ignored them, closed the door and went into the compound in search of her first daughter.
When she saw Bridget, sitting alone and seemed to be lost in thought, she was shocked. For a moment, Mrs Nwokedi took a deep look at her daughter and wondered why she was moody. Suppressing her anger, she gently approached her.
Bridget was brilliant and hard-working. She was born after five years of her marriage. Mrs Nwokedi and her husband tried several options to get children but only succeeded in the fifth year. Bridget seemed to have opened her mothers womb because it was after her that other siblings began to emerge in quick succession. She had the attention of her parents who showered her with so much love before Kingsley, the couples youngest child was born. Their special attention initially given to Bridget was diverted to Kingsley.
Mrs Nwokedi approached her daughter and inquired what the matter was. Bridget was mute. Bridget’s mother implored her to talk to her and assured her that she would keep in confidence whatever she would tell her. It was then that the girl relaxed and told her mother what the matter was and how it all started. Bridget knew that her grades were dropping. She was not worried until her Mathematics teacher, Miss Vivian summoned her to her office and stated in strong terms, her disappointment in Bridget’s recent dwindling academic performance. The teacher tried to find out from her the cause of the drop in her grades. She had known her to be a very intelligent girl that was always unbeaten in her class. Though her Mathematics grades still registered ‘Excellent,’ she lost the first position. Her Mathematics grade was not what it used to be. It was just little above average which was quite unlike her. She confided in Miss Vivian that there was nothing wrong with her except that Mathematics was becoming a little difficult for her with the inclusion of Further Mathematics in the list of subjects they were studying. Her teacher, understanding the girl’s honesty, promised to be of help and encouraged her to work harder in her studies.
Bridget arrived home from school that day and was sober throughout that day. Her mother was too busy to notice her moody state. The thought of disappointing herself and her parents by dropping from first position in her class had occupied her mind. She could not sleep when she went to bed. She lay down to sleep but could not until around 1:45am. When she woke up that morning, she tried to put their room in order but the thoughts of her encounter with her Mathematics teacher the previous day struck her. Feeling of fear, sadness and depression overwhelmed her, making her lose interest in the house chores her mum had assigned to them. She left the room and sat some distance, away from every member of the family until her mum found her..
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