this dream begins with my mother tying a red cloth around her waist. I think it is because of the red cloth my grandmother tied her photograph to and placed inside a calabash, under her bed. we discovered it after she left. my father loved women but not enough to free them. there are women all around her, cheering her on. a wide smile is on her face; it is the happiest I have ever seen her. but all the women are younger than her; in fact they look like my age mates. they seem to be friends. I think it is her wedding. on rainy days, the way she dug her fingers into the earth ever so often, I knew my mother was a child in an adult’s body. I wonder if it is me who stole her childhood. sometimes I feel I came too early, I think that is why I lose myself in a gathering of people. my grandmother came knocking yesterday. three times, she rapped her knuckles against our wooden door, just like in Nollywood. I think she is the witch she accuses me of being. there are folklore I know that my elders do not house between their lips. I think I am walking in the footsteps of my mother. I am tired. I want to shed her skin off my shoulders. I came too early, I don’t want to leave before my time too. two men came to ask for my hand in marriage yesterday. little do they know that I cannot cook. it’s not as if my mother didn’t teach me, I just didn’t learn. I can’t feel my inner thighs. someone has stolen from me. every night in my mother’s palm-wine shop, I have to run from beasts. it is a blessing that the moon keeps following me. but wait. I have to wake up. my legs are hurting from hanging them on the walls throughout my sleep. my grandmother tries to tell my mother to stop me, she says only witches put their legs on the wall while they sleep. I am not sure if I am heading back to the earth or the spirit world. but I must leave now. the day is starting to break.

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