In spite of everything I went through while growing up, one thing I did often was smile. Yeah, I smiled a lot, with my front teeth that looked like that of a vampire.

I have never been ashamed of my dentition. It’s a scar I wear proudly.

I had two younger brothers who were very playful and stubborn. They were my siblings and I had always wanted to do the things they did. In fact we caused havoc together. I didn’t behave like a young girl should. I played as hard as the boys. I wasn’t your typical Cinderella while growing up.

Whenever they were playing hard, my grandmother would warn me not to join them, but I would be so unhappy and I would wait for her to leave the house before joining my siblings.

Growing up, I took lots of risks and did everything I was challenged to do. I remember there was a 20 foot high table from which my siblings would jump down to the staircase. It was a game- whoever jumped from the high table without missing a single step was declared the winner.

Unfortunately, there was never any winner because the table was really high. Only God knows how they managed to avoid getting injured. My grandma never knew about their game. They did it whenever she’s not around.

One day, while grandma slept in her room after warning us to play safe, my siblings started their game. I was merely an observer until my immediate younger brother challenged me to join them. He said if I win I would be entitled to the meat on his food forever. Oh boy! That was too good an offer to ignore.

I climbed on the table but as I was about to jump down, my siblings saw grandma coming and ran away while telling me to come down. Out of fear, I jumped and I fell landing my mouth on the staircase. I felt pain sear through every part of my body as two of my front teeth broke in half.

Even at that, grandma still spanked us for not listening to her.