The story was told of Mrs. Agbo that she laid the foundation for her children’s future long before she had them.
Growing up, Mrs. Agbo was our role model.
To our 10 year old brains, she had everything we felt amounted to the perfect life.
She had a fine house – rented or not, a nice car and a job – at least we thought she did considering she left home and came back in the evening like all the adults in our lives.
Mrs. Agbo was also beautiful – anyone who was multicoloured (she had a white face, offset by pink cheeks, white and black arms and her legs were orange, brown and yellow) to us at that point had to be beautiful and then she had gorgeous children, 2 girls and a boy.
They were all far older than us but we knew enough about beauty to know they were easy on the eyes.
As far as we were concerned, that was all you needed in life. I lost count of the number of times we talked about how we wanted to be like her when we grew up.
But then again, when you are ten, life is simple and straightforward.
We didn’t know much about her past. That hadn’t been such a big deal as we didn’t know that of all the adults around us anyways, nobody thought it necessary to fill ten-year-olds in on the story of their lives, so of course, we hadn’t cared much for her past.
However, we knew she was divorced but it hadn’t seemed to matter either, everybody said men were cheats. Hadn’t we even heard our elder sisters saying it?
Consequently, in our minds, her ex husband must have been the cause for the divorce.
But apparently, Mrs. Agbo’s past had been very eventful. She had been of the opinion that you only live once and had therefore lived the one she had to the fullest.
The story was told of Mrs. Agbo that she had been a very generous woman, with everything, including her body. She had had little patience for selfish women who hoarded their body. Her mantra was giving it out, physically and intimately.
And hadn’t she been rewarded immensely for her selflessness? While other women had been out there broke and alone, she had never ran out of companions and there had always been money in her pocket.
Best of all, she had married way earlier than those goody-two-shoes who were her mates in the little town she grew up in.
She hadn’t married anyhow either, she had married Mr. Agbo, one of the richest men in town then.
Although, he had been married already but she hadn’t minded been the second wife.
After all, she had been his trophy, the one he took to events. It had seemed like all her efforts to become multicoloured had paid off after all.
Mr. Agbo hadn’t been able to get enough of her; they had been the perfect couple.
The only issue was she hadn’t known he expected her magnanimity to other men to end.
And after many years, he discovered he preferred his selfish first wife and her conservative children after all.
Luckily for her, he didn’t forget his responsibility to her children. He settled her hugely and she left that town to move three houses from mine in another state.
We didn’t know all these at first, we only saw a liberal mother who gave her children a free hand, while ours were ‘hard, wicked’ mothers that complained over the slightest mistake.
So imagine our shock many years later when Mrs. Agbo and family began to experience a downward spiral and we were told it was most probably because of her past.
Aunty Lily, the first child who is probably in her late 30s is still unmarried; we heard her last fiancée discovered she had dated his father.
Uncle John now walks around the streets like a living corpse, smoking weed and using drugs, with no clear direction in life.
Aunty Ella, the youngest child was luckier, she had gotten married well, only to find out her husband liked punching women.
Mrs. Agbo, our vivacious and perky neighbor became scrawny and lethargic herself.
All these developments were perplexing; we couldn’t understand how life could turn its wrong side on this gem of a woman. It didn’t seem a puzzle again however when the story was told of Mrs. Agbo’s past.
We discovered soon enough that her children were only lying on the bed she laid, they were only experiencing consequences for her actions.
A lot of times, we live our lives carelessly and without qualms because we feel we can. And sometimes because we have examples of people who did the same thing and got away with it.
People fail to understand that karma might just not rear its ugly head directly on the offender but wait for the future generations to mete out its consequences.
We all have moments when we want to act selfishly, it is part of being human but you have a choice to either go ahead or to remember you are not just living for yourself.
A lot of destinies are depending on you to get it right.
Are you going to live carelessly without one care for generations to come through you or will you make a selfless decision that posterity will thank you for?
If you can’t do it for you, then do it for your children.