”It should have been you not your mother” were the last words he said as he took his last breadth. I remember it as though it was yesterday. Sitting down on his hospital bed, staring into his weak and feeble eyes. The evening was cold, the sun had long set and darkness was already creeping in. I was only a 4 year old girl. I pondered over and over again what I ever did wrong. Whether it was my fault he had lost the love of his life while I was being born. Despair filled my heart as I looked into the eyes of the man who was supposed to be my father. All I could think about then were all the nights I cried because I was sent outside to sleep, all those times I was beaten mercilessly without having a clue of what I had done wrong. Aunty grace who was sitting down on the white plastic chair next to the bed stood up, carried me and put me on her laps. She then said to me, don’t worry child, everything is going to be all right. As I sat on her laps and listened to the words that came out of her mouth, for once in my life, I felt safe. I knew she meant every word she had said. I then remembered all those days she would sneak to bring me food, beg my dad on my behalf when I was sent to sleep outside. I knew I was supposed to be sad because I just lost my father but I felt peace like never before. As the years passed by, aunty grace kept her promise. I called her mummy because she was the mother I never had. She made me forget all about the hardship I had undergone during my early years. She worked many jobs to make sure we had food to eat and still have enough to pay my school fees. She did everything to make me happy because she loved me dearly. I remember one hot Sunday afternoon when I was 9 years old, she had gone out for her usual hustling while I slept at home. I woke up only to notice the whole room was smoky. I tried to find my way out of the house only to notice that I had been trapped inside by fire. I cried and cried but no one came to my rescue. After some time, I gave up because I was becoming weaker and weaker. I then heard my aunty screaming my name. she had come to my rescue. Joy filled my heart because for a minute, I thought I was going to die. She had rushed back home on hearing about the fire and despite efforts made by neighbors to prevent her from coming into the house, she had come for me. she wrapped a blanket around me and carried me. We both made it out alive but she sustained severe burns which we couldn’t afford to treat completely. She got fired from her various jobs, lost most of her friend and even her fiancé walked out on her. She had no choice but to engage in frying akara and some other petty tradings in order to make ends meet. She was able to send me through primary, secondary school and also the university. I graduated with a 2-1 after which I went for my one year law school program. I got a job in one of the biggest law firms earning 150,000 naira for a start. Life was beautiful. A true story of from grass to grace. As the months and years passed by, I made more and more money and was able to rub shoulders with all the biggest girls in town. I built myself a duplex. I began to get carried away with all the money and fame. I began to call my aunty less and with time, I stopped calling all together. I changed my number so she was also unable to get to me. Despite how much I had wronged her, the love of a mother is immeasurable they say. She was able to trace me to Abuja. As she knocked on my gate, the gate keeper kept sending her away because she looked very tattered, she smelled horribly, her feet were all white from all the trekking, her belongings were in a GMG and she looked very unkempt. She insisted she was my mother and she wasn’t going anywhere until he let her see me. After severe persuasions, the gate keeper came and told me. When I went out, I saw this woman who had given away all her life just to make mine worth living. Tears filled her eyes as she said, my daughter, how are you? She looked a lot older than her age and even though I felt very ashamed of myself, I pushed her away when she came to hug me. How will I introduce this woman to my friends as my mother I thought to myself. I then turned to the gatekeeper and said, send this woman away because I do not know her. There she sat in front of my gate, not knowing where to go to. She had exhausted all her resources trying to find me, only to be denied. She couldn’t belief that the one thing in her life worth living for was gone.