January 2012. 10:10 pm ‘One year ago’.


The sitting room
was bare and everything was gone. Where they all went to, he had no clue but
one thing he was sure of was, who took them. He sat hurdled in a corner while
his brothers sat close to him   whimpering in fear. They had heard the noise,
they knew what was going on.
“Shut up you
ugly woman. I hate you and your family…Dolapo! Dolapo! Dolapo! I am tired of
hearing that name!” His father screamed.
“If you’re tired
of hearing my family name, then own up and be a man. I married you because I felt
you were a man of wealth, riches and fame. Now, look at yourself, all dried up
and useless.” His mother fired back.
“Oh no! Please
stop lying, you married me because I got you pregnant…haha!” His father mocked.
“That’s not true…yes
I was pregnant but I knew where I was headed.”
“You’re
absolutely right! You were headed out of your father’s house, he couldn’t take
in the shame you brought to the family.”
“Please spare me
that! My brother’s girlfriend was pregnant too. Oni was born a few days after
Yomi.” His mother said.
“Well…your
father preferred his son’s illegitimate child to yours. I’m sure you wished you
never had Yomi…”
“How dare you?
If only I knew my teenage fantasies of you would end up this way, I never would
have fallen in love with you!”
“Yes I know
about that right? The tracks I released had you swooning and begging for more.
I was there already! I had made a name for myself, I was one of the biggest
artistes in Nigeria till you swooped down with your ill luck and cursed my
life. I regret the day we met.” His father spat.
“I would have
returned to my father’s house the first day I realized you had nothing.”
“I still have
nothing! Why are you here?” His father screamed.
A heavy blow has
heard and the shattering of glass, Yomi and his brothers held their ears closed
with their palms. This wasn’t the first time they were going through this and
this won’t be the last time. In tears Jerry looked up at Yomi and held his gaze
for a long time and asked;
“Brother Yomi,
are we going to go through this forever?”
The question
broke Yomi’s heart and he hugged his brother close.
“No.” Yomi
replied.
“I am tired of
all this, why can’t we have a normal life? No one associates with us, they keep
pointing fingers at us and saying stuff like; we have bad parents and therefore
we are bad examples. I feel so bad, is there no way out of all of this?” Larry
asked.
Yomi stared
ahead and shook his head in dismay.
That night when
all were asleep, he set out into the dark, he wasn’t scared of what could
happen to him, he was a young teen of seventeen. His fear was of how his
brothers might end up. He knew where he was going, it wasn’t far and he had
been there a few of times. The story of his mother and her family was no news,
they had been at their throats for a while and it all started eighteen years
ago when his mother found out that she was pregnant for his father, she was sixteen
at that time. The night seemed to grow darker and he couldn’t see the road
ahead of him till he bumped into a bulky figure.
“Ex..cuse me..”
Yomi stammered.
The grip was
hard and heavy as it held his throat tight while he struggled like a rat caught
in the jaws of the cat.
“No…ooo…pl….eee…se”
Yomi choked.
“Let him go
Tuber!” A sharp voice commanded from the dark.
“He is trespassing
and at the middle of the night too…” The man with the strong grip said,
sounding displeased that he had to let go of Yomi. He quickly pushed Yomi to
the ground.
“Who are you and
what is your mission? Where you sent to spy on us, by Jibunoh and his men?” The
sharp voice asked.
Yomi crouched to
the ground in a helpless heap and coughed out loud, in desperate attempt to
clear his chest.
“Are you going
to answer Killer?” Tuber demanded.
Yomi breathed in
and exhaled loudly, his neck still hurt.
“I don’t know
any man called Jibunoh…I am on my way to see my grannygrans.”
“Who’s that?”
“My grandmother,
that’s what we call her.” Yomi answered.
“Hmmm…and you
expect us to believe that! What happened to the afternoons and early evenings?”
“It’s an
emergency.” Yomi replied.
“Emergency? Are you
in labour? Only women in labour has the right to leave their homes for the
hospital at night and in an ambulance too.” Killer said, walking up to meet him
and lighting a cigarette.
“I am really
confused, my family is a wreck right now and I wanted to see my grandmother and
have her come and talk to my parents or maybe help us somehow, for the sake of my
brothers.”
“Listen to me
son, why is the dark called night?” Killer asked as he took in another long drag of the
cigarette and continued “The real spelling starts with the K which when adds up
leaves you with Knight and this means that the night is meant for only Knights. Knights are those who can defend themselves in the dark. Do you understand?”
Yomi nodded even
though he didn’t understand a word of what Killer had said.
“You will go no
further, you’ll spend the night with us. Tomorrow you can go and visit your big
old granny and tell her all you want to. Tonight, I’ll teach you survival
skills, that’s if you are ready to learn.” Grunted Killer.
Yomi looked at
the two men in the dark and trembled, quietly, he felt them push him towards their hideout. 
****
Present day 1:15pm
“Have you seen
Oni?” Granny grans  asked Jerry who was
curled on the sofa in her house and watching cartoon.
“No ma.”
“What do you
mean by that? You boys have been here all morning…it’s now fifteen minutes
after one pm, where is Oni?”
“I didn’t see
him last night ma.” Larry replied, his eyes still on the television screen.
“Really? Go and
check his room. Where could he be?” Granny grans asked in a worried voice.
Larry rose from
the sofa and hurried out of the sitting room, moments later, he walks in with a
negative look on his face.
“Oni is not
there ma.”
“What do you
mean by that? Go and look for him…knock from door to door now! Jerry, I am
speaking to you as well.”
“Granny we haven’t
eaten.” Jerry said, rubbing his stomach.
“You’ll eat when
we find my grandson.” Granny grans said, a worried look crossing over her
features.
Jerry and Larry
exchanged glances and murmuring, they shuffled their feet as they walked out
through the door.
****
“Isn’t this
cool?”
“What?” Yemisi
asked puzzled.
“All this?
Leaving school and living free.” Bella replied.
“You shouldn’t be missing classes, you’re almost through you know.”
“Oh please…spare
me the lecture ma’am.”
“Okay…so where
are we off to?”
Bella smiled and
winked.
“Somewhere
private where we can live free.”
Yemisi shrugged
and walked along with her, the streets looked empty and the sun was scorching hot.
They walked into
a small yellow building, and Yemisi wasn’t sure it was Bella’s house. Bella was
the original Lagos girl with the sultry eyes, ready smile and lovely figure.
Her uniform was worn the other way round, the shirt which was supposed to be
tucked in, was left flying while in exchange of school shoes, she was wearing
an Indian slippers. Her face was not free of make-up as there were highlights
of powder and foundation.
“Just noticing
your shoes…weren’t they seized at school?” Yemisi asked.
“The teacher got
tired of seizing them besides I gave her half a dozen of beautiful slippers,
she couldn’t resist.”
“Where do you
get them from?”
“Does it matter?”
“Well…to me it
does…”
“Then that’s
your problem!”
Yemisi kept
silent and followed Bella into the building, Bella fished out the keys and
unlocked the door. As soon as Yemisi stepped into the apartment, her mouth hung
open, the place was like a palace.
“Wow!” Yemisi
exclaimed.
“I know…” Bella
said rolling her eyes.
“Your parents
are filthy rich.” Yemisi said.
“Don’t make me
laugh…this is my money and my house…this is ‘my alone space’ besides my parents
live far away, I go home to them at five pm.”
“What? How’s that
possible? Where did you get the money from? Do you drill oil or what?”
Bella opened her
bag and brought out a cigarette, she lighted it, dragged in and blowing the
smoke at Yemisi’s face she said.
“I play my cards
right.”
****
Tara couldn’t lift
her head from the toilet bowl, she felt hazy and in daze, the air bubbled in
her throat again and she threw up. The door opened with a bang and she couldn’t
even lift her head to see who it was.
“The brandy
bottles are empty…how much did you drink?” Her uncle asked.
Tara couldn’t reply,
she threw up some more.
“Try getting up
and step into the shower, that’ll help.” Her uncle supplied.
Tara still knelt
there, hugging the toilet bowl and feeling awful. A chair wheeled in and her
mother spoke.
“This is all
your fault.”
“My fault? Did
you just call it my fault? Who got pregnant in her teens? Who didn’t take care
of her child and instead left her for her father? Whose alcoholism left her in
a wheel chair?” Tara’s uncle spoke in an angry voice.
“Will you stop
it? That’s enough!” Her mother spat.
“No! It’s not
enough that you are confined to a wheel chair but you have to drag your daughter
into your mess. Face your sins alone and stop dragging people in with you.
“Is this what it’s
all about? The hatred you have for me? You are pathetic.” Her mother shouted.
“Why wouldn’t I hate
you? You didn’t just cripple yourself when you soaked yourself in alcohol on
your thirtieth birthday, you crippled my life, Jumai. I made a promise to daddy
to take care of you but not to take care of your child too. I am just one man
and I need a life of my own.”
“Why don’t you
get a life? I can take care of myself and I don’t need your help!” Her mother
snapped.
“Can you hear
yourself? You just said that you can take care of yourself, what of your child?”
“I never thought
her how to drink, it’s either you did or she decided to inherit my drunken genes on her own.”
Her mother replied.
Tara felt as
though she was in hell, she had consumed as much brandy as she could last night
and while she crawled up the stairs, she knew in her heart that she had just
begun.
The maid walked
into the room and said,
“Her tutor is
here.”
“I duuuunwarra
go!” Tara slurred, her voice didn’t seem like hers anymore.
Her uncle’s phone
rings and his curse could be heard miles away.
“It’s Tara’s dad…what
do I say?” Her uncle asked.
“Tell him she
has gone to school.” Her mother replied.
Her uncle picked
the call.
“Hey watsup….yes
she’s fine. She just left for school, sorry you missed her. No we don’t need
any help…I’ll tell her… Thanks bye.” He hung up.
“What did he
want?” Her mother asked.
“He wanted to
know how she’s doing and he wanted to tell her…that he loves her.”
“Humph…” Tara’s
mother grunted.

Tara felt
another huge one coming and she bent her head quickly else it misses the
toilet.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Just to apologize for the delay in posting. Still struggling to post weekly but with two blogs + my job, it hasn't been a walk in the park. Thank you dear friends for reading, you guys keep this blog going. God bless you.

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