Madam Tomatoes

Every weekend I buy some foodstuff.
I buy as much as I can and get my fridge stuffed.
Buy all the necessary things, you know say man must chop.
Whether I dey receive salary this month or not.
Belle no dey hear story, belle no wan hear that one.
So I land for market, my customers start to hail their bros.
They know once I show something must drop.
So I start to order everything I go need small small.
Ogbono, check. Vegetable, check. Chicken , check.
Tomatoes…ch….where this woman waka go sef?
Madam chicken told me she travelled and would be back soon.
One week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, no show.
Surprisingly this thing has started to bother me.
I had to get her son’s number and asked him “where is your mum?”
He told me she was sick and admitted in UBTH for more than a month.
“Admitted in UBTH, are you kidding me??”
I don’t know why but I started to feel sick inside.
I do not know why I felt like she was going to die and leave her kids motherless and rudderless.
We were not close at all, but her absence created a void.
I started to think, is it that I don’t want to change my routine?
Is it that I actually care for these people subconsciously?
Is it that I felt bad because I knew our hospitals are really pre-cemeteries?
Is it because I knew she was about to meet her end because she could not make ends meet?
Sad thoughts stampeded my mind, the happy thoughts suffocated to death.
Where is the God they all pray to before they open their shops?
Why would He let a struggling woman strive to her grave for no reason when the wealthy are feeding fat and giving tithe?
Is it possible that this tithe thing actually works based on how much you pay?
But then again, the rich also cry.
The church started to organize prayer sessions for her and to be fair, they tried raising funds.
But it was never enough and I started to lose hope even more.
I tried to recall our last conversation and tried to picture her face.
I would walk pass obituary posters and see her face on some.
I cursed the world, cursed the country and vowed I would do anything to be rich.
I was almost depressed and soon started avoiding that market altogether.
A few weeks later, I heard she was back. She had a clot in one of her arteries.
Luckily, her first son was a G-boy and could afford to pay for her surgery.
She looks better now and I am back to buying my fresh tomatoes from Madam Tomatoes.

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