Apr 9, 2008, 5:35 AM
I am an orphan. Yes, an orphan. Not the one who lived with relatives if I ever have one, but one who was found dumped in the street of a slump that was cold, dirty and deserted. Just two weeks old I could have been dead because I was left to my own devices if not for the Ceesays who found me lying on the ground and picked me up.
I was fortunate to be discovered on the same day I was dumped by my mother for whatever reasons she had. The Ceesays never gave me any cause to want or crave for my real mother. I was treated equally with their daughter who's fortunately the same age with me.
We practically did a whole lot of things together, wore the same clothes and shared the same room, although we had our separate rooms. We were teased and called 'more than sisters' by all who knew us.
That was before Bradley came into our lives. He was my foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ceesay's guest. He was in his early thirties and the most affable man ever created by God. He had the knack of always making us laugh our heads off with his jokes. We really enjoyed having him around. For some unknown reasons, he seemed to enjoy my company a lot and that triggered my foster sister's jealousy. I knew it because I could feel it in my bones and I have lived with Fatima all my life and she was never like that.
By all means I tried to avoid Bradley and allowed them enough space. I thought he might get to know her better and in the course of that forget about me. This I did, because I never wanted anything that would hurt Fatima if I could help it.
I began to feel emptiness inside me, something yearning for Bradley, but I managed to brush it aside.
I always reminded myself that Fatima's happiness should always come before mine.
I buried myself in my work and whenever he asked me why I wasn't out like the rest of them, I gave the excuse that I was busy with work at the office.
Fatima must have thought that was good riddance, because by then she had him all to herself.
It was one fine evening, when we had taken our dinner and Mr. and Mrs. Ceesay had taken their leave to retire to bed and the three of us were left at the sitting room watching T.V. I just concentrated watching the soap-opera and Fatima was going through much pains trying to get some attention from Bradley who obviously wasn't interested.
The veins in his neck nearly exploded when he said, "Please stop Fatima, and don't make a fool out of yourself."
It was then I turned to look at them. Fatima's gaze and mine met and she hated me with all the hatred in her. Nobody dared to swallow spit at that cruel moment. I tried to move my stiff legs, which were dead with embarrassment because I felt for her.
Women always forget what they do not wish to remember and remember all what they do not wish to forget, but for her at that moment I could see that she had a long way to go.
She looked at me with eyes that could spit venom, got up hurriedly and walked away to her room.
'You shouldn't have treated her like that even if she was a pest,' I spoke for her.
'Didn't you see her?' He said while a furrow formed around his forehead, 'she couldn't take no for an answer and I was tired of that.'
I knew that she was going to think that I was the reason behind that, but I wasn't the one to be blamed. Inside me, I could feel satisfaction mixed with guilt.
The following morning, when I woke up and went to the kitchen to prepare some tea for breakfast, I met Fatima already there brewing some.
I greeted her good morning and she muttered between clenched teeth something that sounded like an answer. And before I knew it, she poured the hot water on my face and ran away. I held the side of my face and cried and screamed for help. The light in my world switched off and before I entered oblivion I felt my foster parents and Bradley hustling me into the car taking me to the hospital. For days her name wasn't mentioned in the house, because to the Ceesays she wasn't their daughter anymore since sister had nearly killed sister for unknown reasons.