They had driven for hours and she had no idea of where she
was headed, all she knew was, she was making the right decision. Deep down,
Temi knew she would miss her family and friends badly and she couldn’t help but
feel bad over how things had turned out. As soon as Jide proposed, she had
accepted and they were on to the life they had always dreamed about.
“Temi…what are you thinking about?” Jide asked, staring into
her eyes.
“No…nothing…I was just imagining the happy life ahead of
us.”
“I know you are worried but all will turn out fine…trust
me.”
“It’s just that I am used to living with my parents and
family…it’s hard enough to be separated from them at this point in my life.”
“True but you have me and I am very mature and willing to
take care of you.”
Temi smiled and hugged the slightly bulky man that sat
beside her. Since she met him one month ago, Jide gave Temi more reason to live
and she was happier each day. Though fifteen years her senior, Temi felt she
could never tell the age difference between them especially since they both
treated each other accordingly. When Jide had suggested they elope due to the
fact that her parents wouldn’t understand their love, Temi had let the thoughts
sink in and after little thought, she had agreed. ‘Besides ,who needed parents
anyway’, she told herself;  this was an
opportunity to be her own woman, sixteen years of age was no game. She was
still cuddling when she heard a rough cough behind her and a snort; turning
back she stared into the faces of two female passengers that were seated directly
behind her and Jide in the eighteen seater bus. Jide was already snoring and
sleeping peacefully as he was usually bored with long rides.
“How are you?” One of the women whispered silently in a bid
to avoid waking Jide up.
Temi stared at the women in confusion, the words hung in her
throat.
“My name is Bose and my friend’s name is Anita.” The woman
continued, “I was wondering what you are doing on a bus ride without parental
supervision.”
“True.” Cut in the other woman. “What are you doing on a bus
ride to Akure in a man’s company, you should be no more than fourteen or
fifteen years of age.”
“Excuse me madams, am I a science project that you could
dissect without knowing anything of my history?” Temi spat.
“Oho…this one get sharp mouth ooo. Ya mama no train you?”
Bose retorted.
“Is that any of your business? I’m following my dreams, go
do same.”
“Dreams ko…vision ni.” Replied Anita.
“How well do you know this man?” Bose asked referring to
Jide.
“He’s my cousin.” Temi lied.
“Yes ke…after the intimate hugs and kisses both of you have
been sharing since you stepped into this bus.”
Temi’s held her tongue in check, these women had obviously
been monitoring her and Jide from the time they stepped into the bus park.
“Your point exactly?” Temi fired at them.
“Don’t throw away for future for some lazy man who cannot
take care of himself let alone a wife.” Bose said.
“Who says he can’t. Do you know him?” Temi asked.
“No, but I know his type, they cannot marry mature women
because they understand the responsibilities of marriage but for kids like you,
anything goes.”
“That’s a lie.”
“I’m sure he didn’t pay a dime on your head.”
Temi’s sudden silence proved there was a truth in what they
said and Bose went on.
“Why is he taking you far away from your home? The simple
answer is, so that when his attitude begins to change, you’ll have nowhere to
go.”
“You women are such bloody liars, I have a phone, I can call
my parents and they’ll come and fetch me.”
“Easier said than done…you’ll be so fooled that you will
never believe your parents will have you back let alone the courage to contact
them. Take our advice, cause a scene in this bus and demand to be sent back
home, he will have no choice but yield. Besides we have mature men and women in
this bus that will be willing to raise enough transport fare to take you home.”
Temi stared at them in confusion, Jide stirred and opened
his eyes, Temi immediately turned to face him and asked;
“Do you think I should call my parents? It’s past noon and
they will think I have gone missing.”
“Didn’t you leave the goodbye note on the dining table as
you said you would?”
“No, I left it on the table beside my bed.”
“Once they read that, they will never want to have you back.
Don’t you understand? You are mine now and there’s nothing they or you can do
against it.”
Temi nodded dumbly and held Jide closer than she did before.
****
“Where did you say she is?” Barked her father.
Tara looked at him with fear in her eyes, he was hardly ever
angry at her.
“I have no idea daddy, we both left home at the same time
and got to school and all of a sudden…I didn’t see her.”
Temi’s mother grew hysterical, she wailed and struggled to
get her hands on Tara, Tara ducked from her step-mother’s angry grasp.
“No! This is not the best explanation to this….no! Where is
my daughter? Tara! Where is she?” Cried her step-mother.
“I still do not understand everything you have said, the
both of you were enrolled in the same school so as to look out for each other.
This is unacceptable!” Exclaimed her father.
The door opened and most of the family members walked into
the flat, Granny grans led the pack, Tara closed her eyes and wished the ground
would swallow her. Yemisi stood close to the door and didn’t take one more step
in.
“What did I just hear? Where is my granddaughter?” Asked
Granny grans, trying hard to control her emotions.
“Ask Tara…I don’t know what she has done to my daughter.”
Wailed Tara’s step mother.
“Will you shut up? Tara this, Tara that…do you want to kill
her? Or is Tara the only girl in this compound that attends St. Clara girls? Give
me a break.” Granny grans snorted.
“Yemisi…where is she?” Tara’s father barked while staring at
Yemisi.
“Oh…I don’t know.” Yemisi shrugged, quaking in fear.
“I do not know what is going on but you girls must produce
my daughter now or else?” Temi’s mother warned.
“Don’t you dare point accusing fingers on my well-behaved daughter?
I raised her properly and she tells the truth… go and look for your wayward
daughter, who knows…she might have run away.” Yemisi’s mother spat.
Tara’s father lunged towards his sister in-law in an intent
to hit her but her husband ran to stand before her in defence.
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my wife.” Yemisi’s father told
his elder brother.
“And how dare you challenge me?” Tara’s father responded.
“Boys…this is not the time to fight, let’s understand the
story and start searching for Temi, it’s almost dark.” Granny grans said.
“That’s the best answer I’ve heard all evening…abeg bring
solution joor… I have a party for tonight.” Yawned Aunty Mo as she tilted her
bottle of scotch into her waiting mouth.
“Will you keep quiet…you drunk!” Temi’s mother spat.
“Chill ooo…abeg wait…who did this woman call a drunk? Me?
You wan craze?” Aunty Mo jumped from her chair, waving the bottle from side to
side.
Her relatives rushed to take the bottle from her and wrestle
her to the chair, knowing the eventual outcome of the fight. The last time
Aunty Mo fought, no one had been hurt except herself.
“Are you sure she’s not going to come back soon?” Aunty
Felicia asked sounding worried.
“Yemisi…Tara…come here.” Granny grans commanded. Everyone was
used to granny grans tone of voice but grew more scared anytime she used it.
“Yes ma.” The two girls answered.
“Can you give me an account of what happened?” Granny grans
asked.
“Well… we left for school together and when we got to the
school, Temi started acting strange, she wouldn’t come with us to buy buns so
we figured she wanted to be alone. We left her and decided to buy the buns but
when we came back the bus had already started loading so we thought she had
already boarded only to get to the excursion venue to find out that she never
boarded the bus at all.” Yemisi supplied.
“Are you sure she didn’t board the bus?” Granny grans asked.
“Yes ma…we checked the attendance list and her name wasn’t there
either.” Tara answered.
“You are mad! Look at this useless girl I took under my roof…it’s
not enough that you cut off all Temi’s father’s love and attention from her,
now you have made her disappear. I don’t want you in my house again … you
witch!” Screamed Tara’s step-mother.
“Tara is going nowhere besides you are doing her no favour…she
has a father who will never turn his back on his daughter.” Yemisi’s father
snapped.
“Shut up you silly children…our daughter is missing and all
you do is bicker!” Granny grans shouted.
They all kept quiet and stared at one another. Aunty Felicia
spoke up.
“We must all evaluate ourselves, if Temi is missing then we haven’t
been doing our jobs properly as parents, guardians, brothers, sisters and
extended family. There must be a solution to this problem only if we reason
together.” Turning to Tara she asked, “Has Temi been behaving strange of late?
Did she keep a particular sort of friends? Did she behave out of proportion
sometimes?”
“Well…she’s being acting a bit strange of late…” Tara
blurted.
“Strange? Really? How do you mean by that? ” Aunty Felicia
asked.
“Well… she hides things and doesn’t gist with me as much as
she used to …it’s like she built a wall around herself.” Tara supplied.
“Shut up! What kind of wall? Do you even know what you’re
talking about?” Tara’s step mother screamed in anger.
“Yes mummy, she has…she even started talking to that notorious
woman down the street whose reputation is stealing people’s husbands.” Tara
continued.
The slap landed faster than Tara could catch her breath, no
one moved, everyone stared.
“You succeeded in making everyone love you more than they
did my daughter, you made my husband look at you with more approval than he did
Temi and here you stand and say foul things about her to us. I never trained my
children otherwise, I never trained them to associate with the wrong people.
This is the height of it, I am sick and tired of having to mother a child like
yourself, it’s either you go or I leave this house with my children.” Tara’s
step mother screamed as she stared at the red mark she had left on her
step-daughter’s face.
Yemisi watched the bitterness on everyone’s faces and knew
she had to speak of forever remain silent.
“It’s true…it’s not Tara’s fault. Temi has changed…some
weeks ago, I saw her alighting from a car and ….”
“You are a liar.” Screamed Tara’s step-mom.
“Don’t you call my daughter a liar, I brought her up to be
an example to all the wayward children in this household.” Shouted Yemisi’s
mother.
Everyother woman in the room grew angry and erupted in loud
shouts and banters.
“What do you mean by that?” They screamed “Mrs. I know-it-all.”
They kept repeating but granny grans hushed them up.
“Continue Yemisi…you were saying something earlier.” Granny
grans said.
“She alighted from a car at about seven pm and soon after
that, I heard a phone ring in her bag. I knew she didn’t have a phone because
her dad didn’t buy her any …but what really caught me off guard was the packet
of …condom that fell from her bag.” Yemisi finished.
“Yekpa!” Everyone screamed.
“I don’t believe this…. Shola, I told you to let your
attendants take care of that supermarket of yours but you refused. Do you need
to be at the supermarket all the time at the detriment of the time spent with
your kids? Do you see what this has caused? My child had a condom in her possession.
My God!” Tara’s father told her step-mother in accusation.
Everyone was quiet for a while, then Aunty Mo spoke up;
“Is the first time a sixteen year old girl ever held a
condom? Her own better na? She even knows that she should protect herself.  As for me, I have got issues to sort out at my
friend’s bar, I never knew it was condom issues that brought me here…mtcheww.”  She said as she stood up from the chair with
her bottle of scotch in hand.
“Will you sit down? This issue isn’t resolved yet.” Granny
grans said.
“I wish I could sit down and resolve the issue but no I won’t,
besides when I was about to break up with my husband, no town meeting was held
on my behalf. Abeg leave the girl…she’s a Dolapo and a Dolapo’s gotta do what a
Dolapo’s gotta do. The mango doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Aunty Mo spat.
“Modupe sit down this instant.” Tara’s father barked.
“Look at our exemplary parent, ordering me to sit down… I laugh
in Greek         …when you impregnated Jiboh’s
sister in SS3, how well did you handle the issue? What of Tara whose mother was
your concubine while you were planning on marrying Shola, Temi’ mother. Don’t let
me spill out your dirty secrets…” Aunty Mo continued and walked out on her
family.
There was silence, no one spoke till Aunty Felicia cleared
her throat;
“Can someone go into Temi’s room and go through her stuff?
We must have an idea of where to look for her.”
Yemisi went alongside one other cousin of theirs, Tara cried
and stared at her toes, she was used to the derogatory remarks of how she had
happened into the Dolapo’s household but her step-mother’s words hurt her
deeply and she was already beginning to hatch a plan of her own. Running away
was the closest thought to her mind. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. This happens in reality… Its typical of some carefree homes, stories like this ought to be published on tv inorder 2 enlighten parents on how to get more attached to their teenage children. . U doing a great job sis!

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