Mrs. joy And Her Two Years Plan.

Written in response to: Write a story where someone says, “Everything is changing.”... view prompt


Black Fiction Indigenous

  The change is always noticeable in Nkpor city more than in other cities. How the city will be graded by those who know the criteria cities are graded is surprising to Mrs. Joy Ubaka. The flat she lives with her husband of six months that had been taking her about an hour or lower to tidy up, for a week now, had been an hour plus to be able to make it look manageable clean and manageable is not her thing. In her book, It equals failure.

The dry season comes with it's disadvantage she doesn’t like as a person. In a city like theirs, it comes with extra work. The roads are not tarred, the water corporation isn't working in the city, and the electricity is something you see once in a blue mood. 

To spend hours tidying a flat of three bedrooms, a parlor, kitchen, and toilet only not to even sit for five minutes afterward to see the result of your effort and at least deceive your mind that your effort wasn't in vain is the most annoying part of this dry season and this city.

Not actually that rainy season is better or preferably to dry season that much, both have their disadvantages but the dry season is the suffering season for housewives in the city. Had the electricity company been functioning, that would have been better. You will easily close the whole windows and doors and worry about cleaning only the windows but the sweltering weather doesn’t allow such privileges. 

She sighed loudly as she eyed the table top she had spent about six minutes on not long ago covered in dust again. She ignored it taking solace in the fact there Is no gems on it only the dust. “I know, I know,” she said aloud to herself as she smiled at her stupid assumption. Gems and dust send humans to the same place. Hospital if you don't mind them, they will mind you. 

Beds and books are not free of the changing season in this city. Both seem to be magnets of dust. The bedsheets she changed two days ago had changed colors too and needed changing again or you will be breathing dust in the night. She had turned to the idea of removing It from the bed each morning and cleaning the mattress in the evening before spreading the sheet on it again.

Maintaining adequate hygiene in a city like Nkpor isn't easy for housewives. The government seems to be interested in the money that comes from it and not the city itself. Nothing that makes a city a city exists in it. If not for markets everywhere in it, it is a typical village.

   To make the whole thing more difficult, the girl she was living with had returned to her sister’s house and the whole cleaning fall on her. Being newly married for six months still qualify you to be called “Joy just come” which makes the whole proven game thing a must. It is her first dry season as a married woman and she needs to prove to herself and her husband that she is equal to the task the changing weather came with.

Not only the season that has changed, her household and her system too. Everything seems to her changed in her calculation. Being four months pregnant is taking its toll on her strength too. Her husband had promised to look for a new house girl for her but until you see the person in flesh and blood, every other thing is story.  

She is getting tired easily these days and attributed it to her pregnancy, her first and the changing season her first too and she is not the type to lie low with excuses. No, it is the route to insult and poke-nosing. The house is hers and she needs to be the Captain Starring it in the direction she wants it to go. 

 No sister-in-law nonsense, no mother-in-law nonsense. All must be meant to feel like a welcome visitors any time they come visiting not partners in the house. Showing any sign of not being equal to the task is always ticket for your in-laws to enter into partnership in your marriage. Better to keep them at arm length.

Culture of the her people is something else too. A newly married is expected to be doing all those works alone to show she is qualified to be where she is and bear the name she is bearing as if where she is now is even purgatory, not hell or that her husband’s name she exchanged with her fathers has any advantage over that of her father.

 Talking about families and cities, her father is living in a first-class city and that was where five of her siblings that made up that family was born and educated. They could not fathom her going three pegs down in the name of love. She never expected them to and is determined to prove them wrong and bring them out of such reasoning like the ones her parents were into from what they had been exhibiting as excuses anytime her husband visited demanding their consent for marriage during courting time.

    She knew that dreams and wishes remain one if actions and self-control do not power them. She wanted to move away from the city to the first class city within two years of marriage. After the birth of his baby, she plans to look for work using her parent’s connections as distributors in many companies to secure work for her husband and herself. One of the reasons she sent the girl living with them home since she was too young to contribute meaningfully to the upkeep and plans she had for her new family.

The problem is that her mood kept oscillating from normal to abnormal for three months now. She knew it has something to do with her pregnancy but that isn't a good enough reason to be irritating most of the time. She snapped easily at people these days. One vegetable seller had studied her well and guessed what she believed to be the cause of her irritation and put it correctly to her in a manner that sent a clear message to her. 

“Do you think you are the only one ever to be pregnant before”

She had demanded when she asked her to be quick in whatever she is doing not long ago she went to buy things from the market.

She had eyed the woman with mixed annoyance, took solace in the fact that she knew what her problem was and that she sent a message also that it isn't proper to snap at people pregnant or not. 

Others don't do it while pregnant while should you? Everything is not changing in her life, most have changed unless they will still go a degree deeper in their metamorphosis. 

    She recalls the advice of Maya Angelou she read somewhere. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Change your attitude?- to suit what you don’t like. Meaning to change yourself to suit something else. That is not what she has the intention of doing or even trying. That is usually the route to irrelevancy. Stooping low and accommodating things and people that have no business being in your life.

She spent the better part of that day planning in her mind over and over again how to go about achieving the change she has in mind within two years. She was still at it in the evening when her husband returned.

November 26, 2022 06:06

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Graham Kinross
19:30 Dec 22, 2022

“once in a blue mood,” blue moon? I like the saying by Maya Angelou. Wise. Sounds as if the wife comes to regret her sacrifice for love and hopes to turn it around. Hopefully she can.


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Michał Przywara
21:55 Nov 28, 2022

Mrs. Joy copes with change and expectations. Her whole life has changed - she's married, she's pregnant, she's in a new city, and even the season has changed. And there are expectations of her now, to see if she's worthy. She must be capable of her duties, and able to do them without complaining and alone - and still be able to treat guests properly. No wonder she's stressed out. It's a lot of work to do without help, but she wants to prove she can do it. Not just to others, but to herself as well. Making a plan for the future is a good ...


Philip Ebuluofor
14:52 Nov 29, 2022

Shit, I think you know how to analyze a story well. Thanks for your in-depth analysis. Highly appreciated.


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