Nike
carried the tray into the room and plopped down on the bed beside Preye. He
looked at the food and drawing in on his cigarette, he exhaled.
“What
is this?” Preye asked.
“Oat
and bread.” Nike answered.

“I
just came in from a foreign country babe, I don’t need no white breakfast.” Preye scoffed.
“But
this is what we are having for breakfast…” Nike supplied, defending her household.
“I’m
not eating it.”
Nike
was so disappointed, she had prepared the oat herself, a chore she never did.
“I
made it specially for you…” Nike started.
“Is
there no native food?”
“We
have amala but it’s not made yet and poundo yam as well, but I can’t make
that.”
“I
want poundo yam…I don’t want to eat this rubbish for breakfast…take it away
will you?” Preye said as he waved her off.
“I’m
not your slave you know…” Nike warned, looking vexed.
“What
did you say?” Preye asked in anger and looking at her menacingly.
“I…said…I’m
happy you hate the food…I’ll go make another one.”
“Take
it away…I can’t stand it and I want an African food this instant. Can you make
that happen? Or should I go into the city of Lagos and get myself something to
eat since you aren’t woman enough to get it for me.”
“I’ll
do my best.” Nike said as she walked out of the room with the tray in her
hands.
“Get me some whiskey to drink while you’re at it…” Preye ordered.
Nike banged the door shut behind her and stormed into the kitchen.
As
soon as she got to the kitchen, she dumped the food into the garbage bin and
threw the plates noisily into the sink.
“What’s
all the noise for and why aren’t you in school?” Her grandmother asked.
Nike
startled at her grandmother’s voice.
“I…I’m
not feeling too well…menstrual cramps.” Nike murmured.
“Hmmm…you’re growing up really fast, I remember your baby days.” Her granny reminisced.
“Yep.”
“Has
your mother given you the talk yet?”
“Talk?
What talk?” Nike asked, looking so confused.
“The
mother and daughter talk.” Her granny said.
“Granny,
you know that mom and I are different people, we hardly talk to each other.
Besides, I really need to eat poundo yam with soup, is there any way you can
teach me?”
“Hmmm…poundo
yam? This morning? Okay, I’ll help you make it, as long as you let me give you
the mother-daughter talk.”
“Okay…but
are you sure that mom wouldn’t be mad at you for stealing her spotlight? I
mean…I’m her daughter not yours.”
“Don’t
worry, she wouldn’t mind besides I’m your big mama.” Her grandmother said as she reached for the poundo
yam sachet at the top of the kitchen counter.
“Thanks
granny for your help, I’ve been thinking of how to prepare this all morning.” Nike lied.
Granny
nodded and smiled, she turned on the burner and began preparing the poundo yam.
“So…tell
me, have you been getting the whistles from men?” Her granny asked.
Nike
rolled her eyes and looked away, she didn’t want to talk about men with her
seventy-three year old maternal grand-mother.
“What’s
that?” Nike asked absent-mindedly.
“You
are a young budding woman, your breasts are so big already and I see you’ve inherited my hips. You should be getting advances from men or
something is wrong with you.” Her granny said.
“Hahaha…really?
Granny!” Nike smiled.
“Have
you been getting advances? Nike…I was once your age you know…I used to hide
myself away because I was scared that men would notice and I’d have to get
married early.”
“Did
you get married early?” Nike asked, changing the topic.
“Yes…I
did…but he died shortly after…”
“So
you were married before you married my grandpa?”
“Yes,
I was…we were together for five years…”
“Wow…long
time huh?”
“You
are deviating from the topic dear girl…have you been getting advances?” Her
granny asked.
“Well…not
much…”
“Have
you been handling them properly?” Her grandmother asked.
“How
do you mean? Is there a particular way to handle advances?”
“Ofcourse there is. You
know, not every man that says hello, is a potential mate or boyfriend. You
should learn to choose right.”
“Seriously?”
“You
must pick a man who shares the same values with you and most importantly, at
the age you are now, you should be in like minds with a young boy of your age
who shares the same fears as you do. Although I wouldn’t advice you to get a boyfriend
because at fifteen years of age, you don’t need one. Men bring a lot of things
with them; hurt, pain, betrayal…if you do not take time, you might lose your
focus in life all because of a man.”
“That’s
not particularly true…I know some women that are married to older men and they
are living happily…age is really not a barrier. And besides, a lot of girls in my school have boyfriends.”
“For
your age, dating an older man or a more mature man is problematic, it places you at a whole level
of risks. You must understand that a man of let’s say twenty-five or thirty years old has
nothing in common with you. All he wants is a naïve girl to have sex with him
and perhaps put her life on hold for him. And for the girls in your school that have boyfriends at fifteen, how many of them do you know who scales through in their studies. You can’t have it all, it’s either you are in a relationship, or you are studying. You have to choose one of the two. At this point in your life, men are a distraction.”
Nike
remained silent for a while and thoughts of Preye went through her head, he was
in his twenties and from his facial features, he looked more like thirty
instead.
Nike’s
granny turned off the fire and turned to face her grand-daughter.
“Food
is ready…” Granny said.
Nike
wasn’t listening, she was lost in thought.
“Nike…Nike…”
“Oh
granny…sorry I wasn’t here…what were you saying?”
“I am glad we had this chat and I know it must be strange for you to hear me say all of this. Stay away from men, at this age, they are bad for you and they can
ruin your life. However, attract more good friends, both male and female, that’s
more like it.” Granny said and patting her at the back, she left the kitchen.
Nike stared at the pot of poundo yam and sighed, Preye was upstairs in her room, ready to bark orders at her and bull her to do his will, was this really the love she had envisioned? Was this what she wanted for herself?

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