Image Source: madamenoire.com
Shade’s
funeral was very quiet, discreet and among family alone. Oni was there, Shade’s
family was there as well, they had all flown in from the U.S. Granny grans had
been discharged but was at home, Temi, Tara, Timilehin and Yemisi were present
too. Everyone was part of the ceremony except Aunty Mo, Yomi and a few other
relations.
No one could weep any further, Shade had died a careless death. Oni
in particular couldn’t forgive himself for his cousin’s death, not that he
could have changed things but knowing that they were related would maybe have
prompted him to take her for better medical care instead of the first aid he
had given her.
Oni
had left the gang for good, he didn’t care if Yomi hunted him down or his gang
mates, he was turning a new leaf. Granny grans had immediately started
responding to treatment after he had paid her a visit and it so obvious that it
was his absence was partly what caused her illness in the first place.
As
soon as the University placed the news on Shade’s death on the notice boards,
Ada’s cult members were found and all those associated with them, expelled even
though Ada escaped before the University was able to summon her to panel.
Two
hours after the funeral, the Dolapo’s gathered round in Granny grans sitting room.
Tara’s father had found out about Temi’s twin sister Timilehin and like a
shroud, the fact that Temi wasn’t his daughter, still hung in the air. He had
absorbed the news like poison, thick and deadly but had soon replaced the
feeling with bitterness for he had heard of his niece’s death and that was
another blow too big to take in.
Jumai,
wasn’t ready for drama, she had felt that she had conquered all opposition till
the family came together as a strong force and showed her that there was no
room for her in the Dolapo’s household. She had even tried reclaiming her
daughter Tara who publicly, told everyone that she didn’t to be associated with
her mother. Eventually, Jumai moved on, spilling the truth that Tara was really
a Dolapo and not as she had told her previously.
It
was a Friday and everyone was tired, sad, angry and depressed, no one expected
such calamity to befall the family. Godwin was seated, hurdled close to his
brothers, cold nights and sunny days spent on the streets had made him realize
how privileged he was to have a family.
Timilehin
felt like an usurper, the outsider and the outcast, she was pointed at and
spoken about more often than not and she was so used to it, and so was her
mother.
Temi’s
mother had been forced to come forth with her secret as soon as Temi had
spilled to Yemisi’s mother the details of the meeting with her mother at the
shop after she had returned from Abuja. Temi’s mother had no choice but to let
out the secret she had felt so obliged to keep and due to Shade’s passing which
had been the issue at hand at the time, they had kept her case till after the
funeral.
Image Source: www.annastoydepot.com
Now,
the fairly large family of the Dolapo’s seated around in a circle, Tara’s uncle
Ade cleared his throat, he had been away from the family compound for almost a
decade as he had built a home in Brazil with his family. He kept in touch often
and wasn’t necessarily missed but as soon as he heard about the state of his
family, he had hurried down to Nigeria to see what the problem was. He was the
speaker of the day, as Tara’s father who used to formerly covet the title was
still tongue-tied.
“Greetings
to everyone. It is no huge surprise that we are gathered here today as one
family due to issues that reared its ugly head. A clear example is the death of
our daughter Shade which has by the way been taken care of as she’s been laid
to the earth. The second and most pressing issue however is the fact that the
Dolapo’s never knew of any twin children, either dead or alive and having to
see identical twins in our household sixteen years after our sister-in-law was
delivered of one child, is a mystery. We will not delve into the events or
happenings of that time but will address the issue here, as it is. So, soon we
will be joined by the man who is said to be the biological father of the twin
children that we have here, Temi and Timilehin. Of course their mother is here
as well but we will wait till our visitor arrives before calling on her to
speak. Temi who we have known from her childhood till today was missing and has
returned to us whole, all thanks to a young woman Bee, who she says took good
care of her. As we speak, Bee is on her way from the airport to meet us, we
have to show her our appreciation and thank her for taking Temi as her own
daughter. While we are at it, all the children and teenagers should excuse us
as we have adult matters to discuss.” Said their uncle Ade as he regarded the
young ones in the sitting room carefully.
They
all left, including Tara, Yemisi, Temi and Timilehin. The girls went outside
the house and walked towards the gate.
“Why
is she following us?” Tara whispered referring to Timilehin who was following
them behind.
“I
have no idea…I guess she feels she’s part of us now.” Yemisi whispered in
return.
“Look…girls,
let’s drop the attitude okay. I’ve been through worse these past months and I
am not going to live the rest of my years carrying a grudge on my twin all
because she came at the wrong time of my life.” Temi cautioned.
“Well…you
can say that because she’s not your sworn enemy. This girl made my life
miserable.” Tara said pointing at Timilehin.
Temi
turned to look at Tara and sighing aloud she said;
“Do
you realize that it’s my fate that’s been decided in that sitting room? As well
as Timilehin and my mother’s?”
Tara
was about to speak when the gate swung open and a lanky man walked into the
compound.
“Daddy!”
Timilehin whispered as her palm swung to cover her mouth in shock.
“Timi…”
Her father started and turned to look at Temi as well.
Temi
felt a cold shudder run down her spine, she didn’t know what to do, she didn’t
know the man and didn’t feel any connection to him.
“I’m
sorry that I ran away daddy…I had to find my mother and…” Timi continued.
“I
understand.” Her father replied, then turning to Temi he said, “This is my
other daughter.”
“Nope…you’ve
got that wrong mister. I am not your child.” Temi snapped.
“By
upbringing, no! By blood, yes.” The man said.
“They
are waiting for you inside the house, the …family members.” Timilehin said as
tears rolled down her cheeks.
Her
father nodded and went towards the house, they all stared at his retreating
back.
“You
both don’t look anything like him…your mom’s gene is more dominant…you guys
didn’t take his height either, he’s tall.” Yemisi supplied.
“I
really don’t care but regardless of what happens after the meeting, I am still
a Dolapo and I will always be a member of this family.” Temi said with tears in
her eyes.
Tara
reached out to hug her.
“You
are and will always be my sister, forever.” Tara said.
“I
guess I’m the odd one out and even though you guys might term me a witch, a
wicked girl and all, I’m still human and that’s my dad and he’s the family I’ve
always known.” Timilehin said.
“It
wouldn’t have hurt to tell the truth…when you came, you made us believe that
you were Temi and that was a lie. You did a lot of things to make me angry and
hurt…” Tara sobbed.
“You
didn’t give me the chance to prove myself to you, honestly you didn’t!
Immediately I came into this household the first thing you said was that I
wasn’t Temi and I knew you were right so, I panicked. If you guys made friends
with me and were perhaps a bit nicer to me, I would have been different towards
you.” Timilehin said.
“That
does not justify your actions. We were all split, Temi was nowhere to be found,
Yemisi was all alone and pregnant and I was battling with the realization that
I had a mother somewhere who eventually proved to be my undoing.” Tara said.
“Hush
girls…it’s not worth it. We are alive and well, Shade is dead and gone, is she
still arguing or making plans or laying blames? No, she’s not! Let’s be
thankful for each other. Even after the final verdict from the family, we will
still be girls and will grow up into strong women and mothers too. I can’t say
I understand the cycle of things but everything happened for a reason. When
school resumes in October, we will be seventeen and in Senior Secondary three
and ready to take our final exams which will launch us into the university.
Let’s leave these fights behind us and let’s move forward okay…” Yemisi
reassured.
“You
guys can all dance around merrily, I’m actually still in junior secondary
school…so, I’m not in your league.” Timilehin said sadly.
Image Source: www.cineuropa.org
“Does
it matter? What matters is, you are strong and capable of making your own
life-changing decisions. It’s not how far but how well. After everything, we
will build individual paths for ourselves and create the circle of friends we
want to be with and I cringe to think that we still fester old wounds. I want
us to all be friends, Timilehin included. We will be sisters always.” Yemisi
said with tears in her eyes.
“Sisters
always.” The girls said hugging and laughing in relief. It was the clearing of
throat that separated them.
“Excuse
me, is this the Dolapo’s house…” A lady asked.
“Oh
my God! Bee…I’m so glad to see you.” Temi screamed and rushed to hug her.
Bee
hugged Temi back in return and stared at the girls but was shocked when she saw
Timilehin.
“I
am a twin…I just realized it recently.” Temi said with emotion.
“Seriously?”
Bee said in surprise. She extended her arms and hugged Timilehin as well and
Temi joined in.
“So
this is Bee…the legendary live saver.” Tara said.
“Yes…”
Temi said breaking the hug with Bee.
“I’m
Tara and that’s Yemisi…we heard that you were very attached to my cousin and
even dissuaded her from coming back home and…” Tara started.
“C’mon
Tara…that’s past tense!” Yemisi said quickly.
“I
am truly sorry about that. Temi and I really bonded and since I’m an only
child, I really wanted her to be the sister I never had. I really miss Temi so
much and I have come to apologize for everything and meet your family as well.
Your relatives called me and asked me to pay a short visit so that’s why I’m
here.” Bee said smiling. “Plus, I promised Haruwa that I will send her message
to Temi.”
“What
message?” Temi asked excitedly.
Bee
rummaged through her bag and brought out a Tablet and Temi screamed for joy and
whopped.
“Wow!
Thank you…this is so kind of her.” Temi said.
“She
wants your friendship to continue so since you didn’t have a phone, she begged
her mother to get you something on her behalf so she got this. This will make communication
easier for you two.” Bee said.
“You
know you can’t use that till holiday.” Tara said, sounding jealous.
“I
think I’m the next person to disappear. I need a fabulous life like the one
Temi lived.” Yemisi joked.
They
all laughed.
****
Soon,
after Bee had officially met Temi’s family and was thanked for helping to take
care of their daughter, Uncle Ade called the family together and gave the
family’s verdict. Timilehin’s father was there, he sat beside his daughter and
held her hand.
“Well…it’s
been an eventful day and I must say, a fulfilling one. My brother has decided
to mend his family and forgive his wife for the lie she told years ago.
However, for the children, Temi and Timilehin, the ball is in their court. Temi
is welcome here, she is one of us even though she’s not blood-tied to us. But
as an adage says, family is linked by love and not only by blood, we love her
and we can learn to love her twin too. So, what do you say Temi, do you want to
discover your biological father’s family or do you want to stay with us?”
Every
eyes turned to Temi, she bit her lower lip and said.
“I’m
not going anywhere. This is my home and my father is the man I’ve known for the
past sixteen years of my life. My family is here.”
Everyone
seemed to let out a sigh of relief. Tara’s father held out his arms and Temi
rushed to hug him. Timilehin spoke.
“It
was nice meeting my mother and even though we don’t have as much luxury as the
Dolapo’s, I think it’s high time I returned home. I’ll still keep in touch but
now that I know my mother, and my sister, my mind is at rest. I won’t trade my
father or my family for the world.”
Temi’s
mother drew in a sharp breath, she had expected Timilehin to want to stay with
her but, it seemed that her mind was already made up.
“So,
it’s final then…Temi stays here while Timilehin is welcome to visit as much as
she wants.” Uncle Ade pronounced.
Everyone
bobbed their heads in agreement. The girls were more excited, not just about
the verdict but over Bee’s promise and their family’s agreement that the four
of them could go and spend the Christmas holiday in Bee’s mansion and Temi’s
second home in Abuja. They couldn’t wait for December and all the fun they were
going to have. Tara and Temi rushed back to their former life, hoping that
their parents could come back to loving each other as the old days, and Yemisi
spent ceaseless nights writing a journal on the experiences that they had all
gone through. Timilehin settled back at home with her dad, paying visits to her
sisters every other weekend.
The End
****
It’s
funny that people place so much value on life and have little or no regard for
friends and family. I hope that Temi, Tara, Yemisi, Oni, Shade, Timilehin, Robert
and Godwin’s story as well as the entire Dolapo family made you understand that
even though life is important, the people we encounter on a daily basis make
our lives fuller, richer and complete.
Join
me again for the Life of a very funky Naija teenager on Monday 15th
of September 2014, by God’s grace as we follow the journey of new teenage
characters. I promise that the new series would be more exciting than the
previous ones.
Meanwhile,
for those that never read or caught up with the first series of the Life of a
very funky Naija teenager, this is the time to read up! Do find the link http://www.adaezewrites.com/2012_09_01_archive.html   it
starts with ‘Her first Crush’ the story of Chioma, Queen, Tunde and Ego. It’s such an interesting read and you’ll be through with it before the end of the week. Read
up as you wait for the third series of Life of a very funky Naija teenager. Don’t
forget to be your brother/sister’s keeper by sharing.
God
bless you immensely.
Xoxo

Ada.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! I've been following this series from day one! Nne you really, really tried. Every edition was superb. I'm loving the other series too, can't wait for the next set of funky teenagers. Congrats on all you've achieved so far, your consistency is admirable

  2. This Ada Ada… is growing in leaps and bounds … really enjoyed this series.. did I also tell you that wife material is a yes yes yes for me?
    Abeg don't keep us waiting ooo

    frank tuesday here I come!

  3. wow wow wow…………..
    and they all lived happily every after *big smile*

    This story thought me lots of things…..and I'm super grateful to the brain behind it. God bless you abundantly.

    Family……not necessarily by blood but LOVE.
    I'm glad Timilehin chose to return to her biological father.

    Regarding the shade character, I hope university students/wanna Be's get to read it and learn from it. you don't have to be a cult member/aristo chic to be the 'In girl'
    May God help us all.
    Bee make sense no be small.
    Once again Ada……Thank you. greater heights dear.

    • Thank you too Ayo for following the series to the end. You're a big motivator! I'm glad you enjoyed the last part and you learnt a lot too. I learnt a great deal while writing.
      God bless you dear.

  4. This story had my heart skipping in my chest – at times in fear, excitement, sadness etc.

    When I read of Temi's MPD, my mind went to a novel by Mary Higgins Clark.

    However your story about Temi's condition hit closer to home because it is plotted in Nigeria and has use of Yoruba names.

    I found myself praying Shade would not die……even though it's just fiction.

    I would love to see this published as a novel. The lives of teenagers and their daily challenges are well portrayed.

    God bless you for using your writing skills as instrument of correction, encouragement, enlightenment and hope for teenagers and parents alike.

    PS: I noticed that along the line, there was a mix-up in names of Tara and Temi (between when Temi left for Akure and Tara went to her birth mother's house).

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