I imagine God as a chubby, aged man that sits all day, clenching everything to himself, the wind, the sun, the earth – very possessive fellow. I imagine my mother as his favorite disciple.

The first time I walked home with a boy from my street, mother had held me tightly, her teary eyes glaring at me. “Oluebube, kedu ihe i mere? What have you done? You’ve left God?”

“No, mother, he’s a friend. No, mother, I wasn’t sleeping in church, believe me. No, mother, I’m still here. It’s me. Mother, please stop crying. Mother, please forgive me.”

And this was how I sinned every day. I grew up fearing God, sin, and everything, especially mother’s eyes.

The University was the farthest thing from mother. Here, you were accepted with open hands, and there was no mother. You felt out of place in all the crowds and paranoid in front of people, but it felt safe. Mother’s eyes weren’t close.

One day, you found a boy and the boy found you too. You felt your pulse rate each time he was close by. Until the day he held you and you realized mother’s eyes had found you somehow.

No, no, please, mother is watching.

Chukwudalu Abugu is the author of the poetry chapbook, I Tried To Spell You In Clouds And Their Waters. She has her works published in the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) 2020 Rape Anthology, NSPP 2021 Anthology, and was a joint winner of PIN 10-Day Poetry Challenge, May 2020. Chukwudalu spends her leisure seeing cartoons, volunteering, jogging, sleeping, and listening to her voice.