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Aunty Lilian is a house with only walls. She became so when Uncle Rufus died. All who were in were in and all out remained out. She refused to let new folks in her life and if you were (un)fortunate to have being in her inner circle before Uncle Rufus died you were doomed. Aunty Lilian would stalk your death bed, If she was tech savvy she would have monitored your pulse with GPS. They said Aunty Lilian went insane, the weight of Uncle’s death crushed her resolve. She still choose to live albeit she became obsessed with possessions, Aunty Lilian will never let you go.

Aunty Lilian used to be an open book, people breezed in and out of her life. Uncle Rufus’ death changed her, she became the house he couldn’t complete. But she built one close loop. She forgot doors and windows , Aunty Lilian mocked the standard of civil engineering. She became a none  conventional contractor. She built another life on her own terms.

Aunty Lilian called us on New Year day. She said she is a new creature. That she has broken down her wall. She said if a thing is truly yours let it go and it will come back to you.

Aunty Lilian let us go, she said if we want we can leave. That she would not force anyone to stay in her house. That she has ceased to be the house with just walls.

We were all dazed, we stared at each other confused. Aunty Lilian was serious, she left for her room after her speech. She didn’t say a word to anyone and she was smiling too. She asked we come to her for money if we want to leave knowing we had none. It was like the Egyptians offer to Moses, “stop being our slave, leave our land and we will give you gold and silver while you are at it.”

Two days past nobody left. A familiar strangeness hovered, scratching the walls of our heart but instilling fear.  Aunty Lilian was cloned , her clone was always out, returning with new friends each time. The Aunty Lilian we knew would not be out at gun point and the only friends she brought home lives in DVDs of soap opera we would grudgingly watch.

One week later Aunty Lilian was still a clone, So yesterday we went to meet her.

“Aunty we need money, we want to go back home…..”
The statement wasn’t concluded before Aunty Lilian flared.

“So here is not home enough for you eh? I am not good enough for you eh?
Silly children. You want to leave me all alone in this house eh?” Aunty Lilian ranted.

“It won’t happen, wait until am dead then you can get rid of me easily. As long as I am alive, you are all mine and I am yours. We will stay together without any division, that’s what family do. And the last time I checked, we are family. So kindly unpack your bags and join me in the Kitchen.” She concluded.

PS: The Resolutions of the New Year, how many of them are still standing?