Monthly Archives: July 2018

The blame game

Toyin opened the door of her room and the sight before her shocked her. She felt like she had been hit by a thunderbolt. Her eyes grew big and she opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. Chike held his little member with one hand and stroke it like a pro while he caressed Chinwe’s bust with the other. He parted Chinwe’s legs and moved closer to her. A sharp pain spread across Toyin’s chest and she found her voice. She screamed and collapsed on the floor.

Chike and Chinwe were startled by the scream and looked towards the door. They had been so engrossed in their act that they had forgotten to lock the door. Chinwe stood up and got dressed in a hurry while Chike pulled up his boxers. They ran towards Toyin who was still unconscious and began to shake her.

“Bring water quick.” Chinwe commanded.

Chike ran to the bathroom and came back with a bowl of water. He stood before the two ladies as he put his hand on his head in lamentation. He ran to get a piece of paper and began to fan Toyin with it.

Chinwe rubbed Toyin’s face with water and she opened her eyes. Toyin looked at them and burst into tears.

********

“It’s important to discuss sex education with your kids.” Omolade said.

“Abeg, I don’t want to introduce my kids to what they shouldn’t know.” Toyin replied.

“Would you prefer they learn about it from outsiders. You need to let them hear it from you.”

“My mother never taught me anything on sex education and I turned out well. I don’t believe in exposing them. Chike is nine and Chinwe is twelve and you want me to start telling them what adults do.”

“I didn’t say you should tell them. I said educate them on what they need to know about their bodies; you know things like puberty and how to be conscious of sex predators.”

Wo o, Omolade, change the topic. Sex education is not happening in my house. If my mum had taught me, I would have been curious and eager to experiment. My kids are still too young to start putting ideas in their heads. So let sleeping dogs lie, abeg.”

Omolade shrugged.

 

As tears streamed down Toyin’s cheeks, she remembered the discussion with Omolade like it had happened yesterday. Two months ago, Omolade’s maid had told her six year old son, Jola to caress her bust. Jola had refused and told the maid that his mother asked him never to touch any lady there. Jola reported to his mother immediately she came back from work and that had ended the maid’s stay in Omolade’s house. Omolade had praised Jola and told him she was proud of him for speaking up and encouraged him to never keep quiet on sexual issues.

Omolade and Toyin had discussed about it the next day at work and Toyin had been adamant on not educating her kids.

********

 

“Where did you learn about….ermm…about…” Toyin stammered unable to complete her sentence as she wiped her cheeks.

Chike and Chinwe bowed their heads as they stood before their mother.

“About sex?” Chike asked without looking up.

Toyin took a deep breath. Her nine year old son wasn’t even ashamed to talk about it.

“Ehn…yes, about that.” She asked.

“From daddy’s phone.” Chinwe answered.

“What?” Toyin shouted.

“We saw the videos on daddy’s phone.” Chike said.

“Jesus! Emeka has killed me.” Toyin put her hands on her head as she burst into fresh tears.

“Is this your first time?”

Chinwe and Chike shook their heads.

“Ah…ah, mogbe! How many times have you done this?”

Toyin looked at her son as he counted six on his fingers. Toyin hit her hand on the bed and screamed in anguish.

What was she supposed to do? She was confused. She couldn’t talk to Omolade. She would say “but I told you”. She was also wary of exposing her irresponsible husband.

Her kids needed to see a doctor but right now, she wasn’t sure if she could bear to take them to a therapist. How much damage had been done to their minds? As she thought about it, her heart broke.

As she dismissed her kids to their rooms, she refused to take the blame. As far as she was concerned, Emeka was the culprit.

Who is to blame? Emeka or Toyin?

Please share your thoughts below.

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Stages of Life

Lara saw her best friend on TV and smiled. Yemi was anchoring a game show and she was good at it. Lara remembered how close they were in secondary school. They had been best friends and other students had envied their relationship. A few friends had even tried to come in-between them by telling tales but they had seen beyond the envy and jealousy and stuck together.

Lara went on to study Chemistry at the University of Lagos while Yemi had studied Mass Communication in a University in South Africa. They had tried to keep up their friendship through phone calls and text messages but after a while, Yemi became unreachable. All efforts made by Lara ended fruitlessly and she concluded that Yemi must have changed her number. She had also tried to search for Yemi through Facebook but that had also been unsuccessful.

 

*****

Ten years after graduation from secondary school, Lara watched her friend on TV and was proud of her. Watching her now, she realized the reason why she hadn’t been able to find her on Facebook. Yemi had dropped her first name and was now identified by her second name, Joyce. She did a quick search on Facebook with the new name and found her. She immediately sent her a friend request.

 

A week passed and Lara was yet to get an acceptance from her friend. She decided to send her a message. She was however shocked when she got a rejection to her friend request and a response to her message. The message read; “I have moved on from teenage friendships. Get a life.”

Lara must have read the message a thousand times. She wondered what could have come over her friend. Had she written something that resulted in such a response? She went back to read her message to Yemi again. She had congratulated her friend on the TV programme and told her she was doing a good job. She had also mentioned how she had searched for her for so long; not realizing she had dropped her first name. She had asked her to keep in touch.

As Lara deleted the message, she made a mental note to move on and forget she ever had a friend named Yemi.

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Desiring Diseases

As I drove into the car park of the departmental store, I saw a young man squatting down by the driver’s corner of a Honda Accord. I looked closely and noticed he was administering a local pedicure to a “healthy” man. The first thing that came to my mind was HIV. I shook my head and hissed. The kids noticed and asked what the problem was.

“I don’t believe that that “big man” cannot afford to go for a proper pedicure.” I said to them. I explained to them about the risk of infection using unsterilized instruments.

I was still conversing with my kids when I saw a woman discussing on her mobile phone. I saw her walk up to the man in the car. The look on her face was that of shock. She stood close to the man while she finished with her call. After she ended the call, I saw her scold the man in the car as she shook her head in pity.

Did the man care? I have no idea as I couldn’t see his face but the local pedicurist continued with his duty.

The woman walked away leaving the man to his fate and I wondered if three thousand naira or less was too much for a man driving a Honda Accord. He may be uneducated, who knows? But even at that, is it that he has never heard of the risk of contacting HIV through unsterilized instruments? Or was his health so unimportant to him that he would rather expose himself to a life altering disease? Or was he one of those who had the “something must kill a man” mantra?

Hmmm….I rest my case.

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Oshodi – For the brave-hearted only

During the era of the old Oshodi, I remember driving home from work one evening. It was about 7:30p.m. I had just driven out of Mafoluku area and turned into Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway when my car decided to die right at Bolade bus-stop on the fast lane.

Not now, I sighed. I knew what the problem was, I just needed to wait it out. My windows were always wound up almost to the top with a little space for air to come in; can’t be caught napping in Oshodi. All doors were always locked. If the central lock does not work, I take my time to lock all doors individually.

As I sat in the car, I looked into my rear view mirror intermittently and stayed conscious of my environment. Cars zoomed past as I waited for the engine to cool off. A few minutes into my wait, an area boy came towards the car and stood beside me. He tapped on my door. “Open the bonnet make I help you check am.” He said in his croaky voice.

“Thank you.” I replied through the wound-up window but I refused to pull the lever to open the bonnet. I ain’t letting any area boy touch my car at this time of the night; I said to myself (especially as I was sure of what the problem was).

Soon, another area boy appeared by my right. He tried to open the passenger door and realized it was locked. “Open the door, make we help you push am comot for road.” I looked to the left and to the right; an area boy on each side. I began to pray in my heart that the engine would cool off on time. There were no street lights and the only source of light was from cars passing by.

“Open this door, ah…ahn, abi you want make I break your side mirror?” The guy by the driver’s side said as he tried to open my door.

I turned the ignition and the engine roared to life all of a sudden. The guy beside me realizing what had just happened made an attempt to pull my side mirror. I swerved the car to his side, he jumped back and I immediately swerved to the right towards the other guy before zooming off. As the car screeched and raised some dust in the air, I drove off heaving a sigh of relief and saying a silent thank you to God.

Oshodi – A place in Lagos where your courage is tested.

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A chance to live

“Mummy, let us run away.” Chiamaka cried as she held on to her mother’s legs.

Even though she was just six years old, she was tired of the situation she and her mother found themselves in. The past twelve months had been traumatic for both of them. “Mummy.” Chiamaka said as she shook her mother.

*****

Kelechi rang the doorbell. Tope rushed to open the door and smiled. “Welcome darling.” She said as she hugged him. Kelechi refused to hug her back and she stepped back to look at him. “Is something wrong?”

Kelechi ignored her as he walked into the living room of their two bedroom flat and slumped into the couch. Tope looked on as she wondered what the problem could be. She walked into the living room and sat beside her husband. “Kelechi, what is the problem?” She asked.

“Please just leave me alone.”

“Ah…ah, Kelechi. How can I leave you alone when you are looking this way? Tell me please. Did something happen in the office?”

“Woman, I said leave me alone.” Kelechi snapped.

“Okay, okay.” Tope said standing up. “Are you ready to eat now?”

Kelechi nodded a response.

Tope dished the food and put it on the table. She called her husband to have his meal and left to clean up the kitchen.

*****

The next day, Tope woke up at 6:00a.m as usual. She had her bath, woke her daughter, Chiamaka and got her prepared for school. At 7:00a.m, Chiamaka asked her mum. “Where is daddy? He hasn’t come out of the room. Isn’t he taking me to school today?”

Tope looked at the clock on the wall. Kelechi should have been out of the room by now, dressed for work and ready to drop their daughter off at school on the way to his office.

She went back into the bedroom and saw Kelechi still sleeping. She sat on the bed and tapped him. “Darling, you are late for work and Chiamaka is almost ready for school.”

“I am not going to work today.” Kelechi said as he turned his back to her.

“But you did not tell me you are going on leave. We always planned for it together for Chiamaka’s school vacation period.”

Kelechi turned to look at Tope. “Look Tope, can you please leave me alone?”

Tope’s jaw dropped as she looked at her husband. “What is going on?” She thought. She took a deep breath. “Your daughter is ready for school.”

“I am not taking her to school today.”

“Kelechi, what is the meaning of all this? I have been asking you since yesterday what the problem is and you have refused to say anything?”

Kelechi stood up from the bed all of a sudden. “You want to know, abi? I have been sacked. Sacked, do you hear me? Sacked?”

*****

The next twelve months, Tope had done her best to take care of the family. She paid their daughter’s school fees, provided for the home and made sure they lacked nothing. She was a school teacher in a private secondary school. Her salary was not fantastic but she managed whatever she received and prayed that Kelechi would get another job to relieve her of the financial strain.

Kelechi went out every evening and came back home drunk. Initially, Tope complained and each time she did, she got beaten. She was reminded that the fact that she took care of the home did not make her the head of the house. When Tope got tired of being beaten, she stopped complaining. She left the door unlocked every evening for Kelechi to come in whenever he decided to.

*****

Tope had been so tired when she got back from work that she forgot to leave the door unlocked. Kelechi rang the bell so many times before Tope opened it. As she did, dozens of slaps landed on her face.

“So you have the guts to lock me outside now, ehn?” Kelechi shouted breathlessly as he continued to pummel her face.

Tope screamed but the more she struggled, the more kicks and slaps she got. When Kelechi was done, he walked into their bedroom breathing hard and slumped on the bed. In a few minutes, he began to snore loudly.

Tope sat on the floor as she cried. She was tired of getting beaten every time. Everything she did or said was used against her. She thought of leaving but what would people say. What would her friends say? What would her family say? What would her church members say? All these questions bothered her.

She crawled into her daughter’s bed and folded into a foetal position as she cried to sleep. Chiamaka woke up at about 6:00am and saw her mother lying beside her. There were bruises all over her face and body. Chiamaka burst into tears.

“Mummy, wake up and let us run away.” Chiamaka said as she tapped her mother. “Mummy, wake up.” She cried.

Chiamaka stood up from her bed and opened the door of her room. She could hear her father snoring loudly from the bedroom opposite hers. She walked to the main door and opened it. She stepped out and banged on the door of the flat opposite theirs.

 

Kola walked to the door groggily. He opened the door and was shocked to see Chiamaka standing before him. She was still in her “Dora the explorer” pyjamas. Kola bent down and looked at her. “Chiamaka, what are you doing outside at this time of the morning? Where is your mummy and why are you crying?”

Chiamaka wiped her cheeks with her hands. “I have been waking my mummy up so that we can run away but she is not answering me.”

Kola took a deep breath. He understood what Chiamaka was talking about. He had talked to Kelechi once about it but Kelechi had told him to mind his business. He even told him that his inability to mind his business was the reason why he was still single.

“Let us go and see your mummy.” Kola said as he held Chiamaka’s hands.

Chiamaka led him into the house and into her room. Kola was shocked when he saw Tope. He lifted her up and carried her out of the house. He placed her gently in the backseat of his car while Chiamaka eased in and sat beside her mother.

“Are you taking us far away from this house?” Chiamaka asked Kola as he eased into the car.

“Chi, your mother needs to see a doctor first.”

“Okay sir. But we don’t want to come back here and I don’t want my daddy to know where we are.”

Kola sighed. “Okay Chi.”

 

A week later, Tope was discharged from the hospital. Kola took her straight to her parents house. Her parents welcomed her back with open arms. They hugged Chiamaka with tears in their eyes. They were grateful to her for saving their daughter’s life.

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