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Our little rathole.

I still remember the aura of our little old room; a rainy smell, mixed with the smell of burnt paper and some sunshine, which was always generous on our aluminium roofing sheets. 

Mom and dad had freshly seperated and my sisters and I were still adjusting to not having our father at home. So mother rarely stayed indoors, she would often leave before cock's crow to struggle for her profits on the goods she distributed to various shops. She usually returned when we were asleep. I missed her always. 

My mum, my sisters and I struggled to create space for sleep in the little room we occupied somewhere in the outskirts of the town. The room was too small to contain all the 'nkukusaka' of five females; yet that is what my mother could afford. She was still traumatized by the seperation and her feminine ego of independence will not recieve any kind of financial support from my father or anyone else. There was nothing to complain about; we had our daily three square meals, water to bathe and a roof over our heads. It was just enough. 

We used the porch as kitchen and  partitioned one room into two; one as a sleeping area and cupboards to store our clothing, and, the other as a sitting space with chairs and TV to welcome and have discussions with guests. Due to this improvisation, the room was poorly ventilated and always had a 'stuffy' aura. We could not afford a wooden ceiling to shield the heat that was absorbed by the aluminium sheets. The aluminium will always diffuse the heat it asbsorbed during the day unto us.  Since we could not afford air conditioning, our room was always warm, dark. 

I always thought we lived in a little crowded dark hole, hence; 'our little rat hole.' 

I will reserve the tears, embarrassments, and other psychological struggles for another writing; but I'm happy and grateful to God that my sisters and I turned out beautifully. My mother now owns a two bedroom apartment at Achimota, and a flourishing business of her own. My parents are also sorting out their differences and I hope they get back together soon. 

No one ever believes me when I mention the struggles I've once faced; probably because I choose to keep my smiles radiant and real. 

I still choose to smile and remain kind, regardless of the situation. 🙏


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