“A Day in the Life” – A Purple Hibiscus Diary Entry Series

Beatrice – “What Can I Do?”


Tuesday 16th May, 2017



After ten days of their absence, Jaja and Kambili have finally returned home from their stay in Nsukka. I am rather thankful for their return, as I missed them dearly. Although Ifeoma insisted that they remain there a day longer, Eugene had lost his patience. Ever since their departure, Eugene had been in a constant state of irritability and anxiousness. He had never been separated from the children for such an extended period of time – neither of us had. In addition to worrying about the children, he had to bear the heavy weight of issues revolving around The Standard on his shoulders. Not only did soldiers find and terrorize offices for The Standard, but they even took Ade Coker into custody. That’s why I could understand why he hit me again, last night – the stress was too much for one man. However, I could not understand why he felt compelled to soak his children’s feet in boiling water, simply due to the fact Papa-Nnukwu had been under the same roof as them. Eugene did not even tell me that the man had died; he was too preoccupied with the idea of his children living with a “heathen”. All I could do was stand in the doorway of the bathroom, watching with my own eyes – one of which was puffy from his beatings – as he poured boiling water into the tub that each of them had stood in – Jaja first, then Kambili. All I could do was cry in fear and in shock; Eugene had never done this before. All I could do was tend to their burned feet and help them back to their rooms. All I can do is wait and hope that it gets better – hope that one day, he will stop. I know that Eugene simply wants the best for us; I know that he loves us. He is a good man, which is why I will wait. After all, what else could I have possibly done? What can I do?

Image result for bathtub
The tub where he soaked his children’s feet in boiling water.

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Disclaimer: All characters mentioned (i.e Eugene, Kambili, Jaja, Beatrice, and Aunty Ifeoma) are property of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “A Day in the Life” Diary Entries are simply part of a class activity, which allows students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Adichie’s characters through embodying and portraying them.


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