You were born on Monday. Very early on that Monday morning. Your mother had been given her delivery date and walked into the hospital by herself .
The nurse on duty had looked at her and said “Madam go and come back, you’re not ready to born”
Hours later, you came out wailing, arms and legs in the air.
“Congratulations it’s a girl ”
Your mother took you home, your grandfather’s sisters took a look at you, at your full head of hair.
“Okwa nne, nne anyi a-na ta go. Our mother is back”
So they called you Nne.
Actually, after 3 months, you were taken to the church where a priest in white poured water on your head and freed you from the hereditary sins of Adam & Eve. He gave you a clean slate and put two godparents in charge of you. They named you Ogechukwu Olivia.
So they called you Olivia.
But the few who knew called you Nne m o.
The story was that Nne, your great grandmother was very fond of your father, her grandson. Nobody dared scold him whenever she was around, not even his father. The story has it that one time, when your father was in boarding school, Nne gave your grandfather a live chicken to give to your father’s teacher. Her reason being that, whenever everybody was getting punished, your father, her grandson will be spared.
You were 15 when your aunties took your grandfather’s only surviving sister. She didn’t see very well, you heard she was almost blind. Everybody had to be reintroduced, nwa onye a , this person’s child, that person’s child.
It was your turn, she had her hands on your shoulder and asks
“Onye bu ife a, who is this?”
Your father’s last sister replies “ o nwa Oliver, Oliver’s child Nne”
“Nne m o!” she shouts. Her hands are running all over your face and she brings your face to her chest “Nne m”
You had taken a fondness to your father, doting over him, always making sure that he ate. Reminding him that he needed to rest. You made sure he never saw you scared when he was sick, but he knew you were. With your father you loved, you forgave and you chose to forget. People would say oh well, daughters are usually fond of their fathers, but what if Nne just wanted to still be with her grandson. You never did ask questions about her but you often wondered.
Years would pass by before anyone else called you Nne m o. Your mother, of course, calls you nne , every Igbo mother or aunty calls any younger girl they are fond of nne. But your mother would call on that fateful day. You would tell her that your birthday falls on a Monday this year and she would tell you the story of how she bore you on a Monday. A story you have heard countless times. Just before she got off the phone to go to bed, she said
“Nne m o