Yesterday Lives – Chapter 17

“Mummy, are you sure about this?” Ayotunde asked again.

Mrs. Taiwo looked at her adopted daughter. “How many times will you ask me, Ayotunde?”

Ayotunde shrugged. “I’m just not interested in having a graduation party. We still have university ahead of us. Besides, would my friends be comfortable coming to the proprietress’ house?”

“I never said I was throwing a party. I said call a few of your friends for lunch and drinks to celebrate your straight A’s. And your friends would only be scared of coming here if they have sinned.”

“Okay mum; you win.”

Mrs. Taiwo laughed. “It was never a contest. By the way, have you spoken to your father this week?”

“Yes ma. He is doing well.”

“And your mother?”

Ayotunde sighed. “Still giving him trouble as usual.”

*

It was a Saturday morning and they were seated in the living room. They had just had breakfast of pap and akara which had been prepared by Ayotunde.

Mrs. Taiwo’s phone began to ring.

“I’ll get it for you.” Ayotunde said as she stood up from the couch. She picked up the phone from the centre table and looked at the caller ID. “It is Ayorinde.”

Mrs. Taiwo smiled as she collected the phone from her daughter. “Ayorinde!” She stressed his name as she tapped the green button on her phone. “How are you and how is business doing?”

“I am fine ma. The salon is also doing well. How are you too mummy?”

“I’m fine. The Lord has been good to me.”

“We bless God ma.” Ayorinde replied on the other end.

“Has your sister told you about her WAEC results?”

“Yes mummy. She sent me a message last night.”

“I’m very proud of her and of you too, Ayorinde. Both of you have not given me a reason to regret taking you in six years ago. I’m sure your father would also be proud of you. You should inform him about your sister’s result.”

“Thank you mum. I called him last night immediately I saw Ayotunde’s text. He was overjoyed. He said I should let you know that he is indebted to you.”

“He should give thanks to God. We are all indebted to Him.”

“Mummy, I called to let you know that I want to expand the salon.” Ayorinde said.

“Okay, what are your plans?”

“I want to open a hairdressing salon by the side of the barbing salon. We usually get a lot of requests from ladies and there is really no established hairdressing salon in this area.”

“Okay, why not come over and let us talk about this?”

“Okay mummy. I will be there tomorrow morning.”

“What should we make for breakfast?”

“Mummy?” Ayorinde laughed. “I will make my breakfast when I come.”

Mrs. Taiwo yawned. “If you say so.”

“How is Nana and her husband doing?”

“Oh, they are fine. They finally settled down.”

“I hope the weather isn’t too cold over there.” Ayorinde asked.

“Well, they decided to settle for Canada.” Mrs. Taiwo said as she shrugged. “They don’t have a choice. They will have to get used to it.”

Ayorinde laughed heartily. “Okay mummy. See you tomorrow morning.”

“By God’s grace, Ayorinde.” Mrs. Taiwo said as she cut the call.

******

Ayotunde’s graduation party was fixed for two Saturdays after. Ayotunde called her father to inform him and wished he could be present but Ayo declined. He prayed for her on the phone and told her she had made him a proud father. He also prayed for Mrs. Taiwo and asked her to send his regards.

At about 2:00p.m, a few of Ayotunde’s friends began to arrive. She had invited only six of her friends. She insisted she wanted a very small party. When Grace arrived, Ayotunde walked out to greet her father. “Good afternoon sir.” Ayotunde said as she curtsied.

“Good afternoon Ayotunde. Congratulations on your result. Grace told me you had the best result in the school.”

Ayotunde smiled. “Thank you sir.”

“What time should I pick her up?”

“Daddy, I said I would call you when I am done.” Grace smirked.

“Your call should not come too late, your royal highness.”

Ayotunde laughed. “No sir. It won’t be too late. I’m sure anytime from 7:00p.m should be fine. I also don’t want to disrupt mummy’s sleep pattern.”

“How is she?”

“She is fine sir.”

“Extend my regards to her.”

“I will sir.” Ayotunde said as she held her friend’s hand and turned towards the house.

*

The aroma of finger foods filled the air. Mrs. Taiwo had made arrangements for a caterer to make bite sized snacks, finger foods and chapman for Ayotunde’s guests.

They were watching the movie “Lemonade Mouth” when Ayorinde let himself into the house.

“Where is the new graduate?” He asked.

“Ayorinde!” Ayotunde jumped up as she ran to hug her brother.

“Congratulations.” He said as he handed her a wrapped gift.

“I can see you and your friends are having fun.”

“Good afternoon sir.” The children chorused.

“You have only six friends? Four girls and two boys?” Ayorinde looked at his sister in mock surprise.

Ayotunde shrugged. “I don’t really have friends.”

“This is Grace; my best friend.”

“Oh Grace, I have heard so much about you.” Ayotunde said.

Grace smiled shyly. Ayotunde went ahead to introduce the rest of her friends.

Ayorinde asked them to feel at home and inform him if they needed anything.

*

By 6:00pm, the guests began to leave and thanked Mrs. Taiwo and Ayorinde for their hospitality. Mrs. Taiwo said she hoped to hear good news from each one of them concerning their admission into the University. She told them to keep in touch and promised to call their parents to confirm that each one had arrived home safely.

Grace was the last to leave. She sat with her friend and they began to discuss about their plans for the University. They both decided they wanted to go to the University of Lagos.

“I doubt my dad will allow me attend a University outside Lagos. My sister really wanted to go abroad to study but daddy refused.” Grace said.

Ayotunde smiled. “I understand. My brother is also very protective of me just like your dad is. He may not also be willing to let me go out of Lagos. Besides, mummy is the only one at home, so it makes sense for me to stay here in Lagos.”

“Is it your brother that owns that big salon in Gbagada?”

“Yes, he owns it.”

“Wow!” Grace exclaimed. “You never told me. I usually see the advert on TV and I was wondering why his face looked very familiar.”

Ayotunde laughed.

“Can they make my hair for me?”

“Why not? I will let him know.”

******

At exactly 7:00pm, Mr. Johnson arrived.

“I think I can hear my dad’s car.” Grace said.

Ayotunde looked at her wrist watch. “It’s 7:00pm already. Where has the day gone to? Your dad must be an accurate time keeper.”

Both girls burst out laughing as they walked out of the house.

“I hope you girls had fun.” Mr. Johnson asked.

“Yes sir.” They chorused.

Grace eased into the passenger seat beside her father. “We would talk on phone to conclude our plans.”

“Which plans?” Mr. Johnson asked.

“Women talk, Daddy!”

Mr. Johnson shrugged. “My regards to your mum, Ayotunde.”

“Yes sir.” Ayotunde waved to Grace as the car sped away.

*

“Did you enjoy your party?” Ayorinde asked as he walked into the living room.

“Yes, I did. Thanks for the gift. My friends were wowed.”

“Anything for my little sister.”

“I ain’t little anymore.”

“Okay sis.” Ayorinde lifted his hands in surrender.

“Grace wants to make her hair at the salon.”

“Okay, when is she coming?”

“She did not say but I will let you know ahead.”

“She seems like a really good girl.”

“Yes, she is.” Ayotunde said as she picked up the remote to play a video she had initially paused.

“So what are your plans for Uni?”

“Grace and I were discussing it. We both want to go to Unilag.”

“Okay. Which course?”

“Guidance and Counselling.”

“Really? Have you discussed this with Mama T?” Ayorinde asked.

“Yes, I have. And she gave me her blessings.”

“Okay then. If she is cool with it, then it is fine.”

“Thanks.”

Ayorinde coughed. “About your friend.”

“Which one of them?”

“Grace.”

Ayotunde dropped the remote and looked at her brother. “What about her?

“I just want to know about her.”

“You want to know about her?” Ayotunde smiled sheepishly.

“Is that a bad thing?”

“No oh…..” Ayotunde laughed. “The look in your eyes says it all.”

“What do you mean?” Ayorinde asked as he rolled his eyes.

“You can’t even pretend Ayorinde. Every time you came to ask, if we were all okay, I knew you were coming to steal looks at Grace.”

“Was it that obvious?”

“It was to me. I think I should have an idea when I see love in my brother’s eyes.”

“Oh c’mon Ayotunde. You are making this look really bad.”

Ayotunde burst out laughing. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She stilled from her laughter and made a serious face. “What do you want to know about her?” She asked grinning.

“Anything.” Ayorinde shrugged.

“She’s a good girl. She has one older sister who is doing her Masters in the U.S. Her mum is late. Died while having her. So she is extremely precious in the eyes of her father.”

“Wow!”

“That’s her story.”

“When did you say she was coming over to the salon?”

“She did not say. She just wanted you to know.”

“That’s fine then. Just let me know when she is coming.”

“Hehehe….my brother is in love.” Ayotunde began to sing.

Ayorinde threw a cushion pillow at her. “Don’t tell her anything.”

Ayotunde put her hand across her lips to signify a zipped mouth.


The story continues…

Yesterday Lives – Chapter 16

“Stop crying nau. Don’t let Mama T start wondering what the problem is.” Ayorinde said for the umpteenth time. He tapped the bell at the gate as Ayotunde used the back of her palm to wipe her eyes.

Mrs. Taiwo opened the door smiling. She walked towards them and stopped abruptly. “What is wrong with Ayotunde?”

“Nothing ma. Something flew into her eyes as we were walking down here.”

Mrs. Taiwo opened the gate with a questioning look. “Hmm….Ayotunde, something flew into your eyes?”

Ayotunde nodded without looking up.

“Let’s go inside so I can have a look.”

As Mrs. Taiwo closed the gate, Ayorinde looked at his sister and gave her a pleading look.

***

“So, let’s see that eyes before you do anything.” Mrs. Taiwo said as she sat down and tapped the seat beside her.

“I think her eyes are fine now, ma. I have looked at it.”

“Ayorinde!”

“Yes ma.”

“Sit down.” Mrs. Taiwo ordered. “Come here Ayotunde.”

Ayorinde obeyed and sat with his hands in his laps while Ayotunde walked towards Mrs. Taiwo.

Mrs. Taiwo tapped the seat beside her and Ayotunde sat. “I don’t condone lies.” She said looking at both of them. “I want the truth.”

Ayotunde burst into fresh tears. “Ma….ma…..some….someone stole my money.”

“Which money?”

“The…the…I was….I was saving it….for my….school fees.” Ayotunde said in between gasps.

Mrs. Taiwo looked at Ayorinde. “Can you please explain?”

“We have been saving the money you pay us inside her kolo. She has written the exam for Government College and she passed. So she wanted to break the kolo today. We have searched the whole house, we can’t find it.”

“Oh dear!” Mrs. Taiwo said as she pulled Ayotunde close and hugged her tight. When Ayotunde stilled from her sobs, Mrs. Taiwo held her face in her hands and looked at her. “You want to go to school?”

Ayotunde nodded.

“You will go to school. I assure you of that. I didn’t realize both of you had started planning towards this.” She said as she looked at Ayorinde. “I had already made arrangements for her to attend my school in the new session. I just needed to speak with you so I could get permission from your parents if they wouldn’t mind Ayotunde living with me.”

Ayorinde’s jaw dropped as he looked at Mrs. Taiwo. He had no idea that she had a school. And now, his sister was getting a scholarship they didn’t work for plus a beautiful home to live in. She would leave the shanties where they lived and get a proper education. He was overjoyed. He prostrated flat on the floor before Mrs. Taiwo.

“Ayorinde.” Mrs. Taiwo laughed as she tried to raise him from the floor. “C’mon.”

Ayorinde was in tears. He couldn’t believe their fortunes could change so quickly.

“C’mon Ayorinde. Get up and stop crying.” He obeyed and knelt before her. He placed his head on her laps as he continued sobbing. Ayotunde was also in tears as she hugged Mrs. Taiwo’s waist.

Mrs. Taiwo took a deep breath as she patted both of them. They could pass for her kids.

******

Kevwe stamped her feet round the room. “She no dey go anywhere.” She kept repeating. Ayotunde sat at her father’s feet crying while Ayorinde stood by the door.

“You haven’t exactly said what the problem is. You keep repeating that she is not going anywhere. Don’t you want your daughter to be educated?”  Ayo asked his wife.

“Edu-wetin? Wetin all your education do for you?” Kevwe sneered. “Since I don know you, which real work you get?”

“Mama?” Ayorinde shouted.

“Wetin? Why you dey call me? Na lie I talk?” She raised her hands to hush her son as she eyed him.

Ayo put his head in his hands and took a deep breath. Times like this, he wish he were dead.

“You no want make she go school, Mama? I sure say na you take the kolo wey she keep for behind curtain.” Ayorinde spat.

“Me? Ayorinde? You dey call me your mama; thief?

“How many of us dey dis house? I no say Papa no fit take am.”

As Kevwe stepped forward to slap her son, he held her hand and gave her a stern look.

Kevwe snatched her hand and took a step backward. She beat her chest. “Ayorinde, na me you dey take play. The thing wey your papa no fit do.”

“Enough!” Ayo shouted. “I have had enough of you Kevwe.” He looked at his son. “Which kolo are you talking about?

“Mama T usually paid us money every time we cleaned her house. Ayotunde was keeping most of the money in her kolo so that we could use it when she wanted to enter secondary school. We have searched the whole house and can’t find it anywhere. Mama T noticed Ayotunde must have been crying the day we went to clean her house and she asked us to tell her the truth. That was when she offered Ayotunde the scholarship in her school and also asked that we seek your permission that she lives with her.”

Ayo took a deep breath. “Hmm….she seems to be a very nice woman.”

“Yes, she is sir. Please let Ayotunde go and live with her so she can go to school.”

Ayo looked at his daughter. He wiped the tears on her cheeks and hugged her. He was going to miss her but he had to let her go. “You can go Ayotunde. I will miss you.”

“I will miss you too Papa but I will come home sometimes to visit you.”

“No, I want you to stay there and read your books. I will be fine here.”

“Thank you Papa.” Ayotunde said as she started sobbing again.

“Thank you sir.” Ayorinde said.

“Ayo, Ayo, no try me oh. I dey tell you. No try me oh.” Kevwe shouted as she pointed towards her husband.

Ayotunde looked at her father’s face.

“Don’t worry yourself. Let your brother help you pack your things.” Ayo concluded.

******

The next morning, Ayotunde, Ayorinde and their father set out early to Mrs. Taiwo’s house. As Mrs. Taiwo opened the gate for them, she scolded the children. “You shouldn’t have brought your father, I would have come to your house.” She looked at Ayo. “I’m sorry the kids made you go through the stress to get here.”

Ayo did a half-prostrate. “It is not stress ma. Thank you very much ma. I am very grateful.”

“Oh, it is fine. I take them as my kids.” She said as she led him into the house; Ayotunde and Ayorinde already ahead of them.

“Please sit down.” She said as she pointed to a couch. “What can I offer you?”

“Nothing ma. I am fine. I just wanted to escort them here, that’s all.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to make a quick breakfast?”

“No ma.” Ayo said standing up. “I should take my leave now. I also need to get to work.”

“Okay then. If you say so, let me get the children. They must be in the kitchen.”

Ayo opened his mouth to say something but Mrs. Taiwo had already turned her back and disappeared into a corner of the house.

He wondered how his children met such a kind woman and was surprised she mentioned that they were already in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning or eating? He looked round the living room. There was a picture of Mrs. Taiwo and a man with a teenage girl. They all had smiles on their faces and were well dressed. He assumed the man was probably her husband.

He looked towards the credenza and saw another picture of the girl; this time in a University matriculation gown. Mrs. Taiwo was all smiles as she stood beside her but the man was absent.

Ayorinde and Ayotunde walked into the living room. “You are ready to leave Papa?” Ayotunde asked.

“Yes, I need to go to work.”

“Okay Papa.” Ayorinde said as he opened the door to let them out. When they got out, Ayorinde took out a brown envelope from his pocket and handed it to his father. “Mama T said I should give this to you.”

Ayo opened his mouth in shock. “Ah! God bless this woman. Her children and children’s children will never know lack. The eyes of the enemy will never find them.”

“Amen!” The children chorused.

Ayorinde opened the gate for his father and let him out.

Ayo looked back at his children. “You children are the only source of joy I have. Both of you give me a reason to continue to live. Ayotunde, don’t let your guardian down. Please make her proud.”

“I will Papa.” Ayotunde said as she waved to her father.

She wiped a tear from her eyes as she walked back towards the house. Ayorinde stopped her and looked at her. “I know you will make Mama T and Papa proud. I trust you.” He said as he pulled her into an embrace.

Mrs. Taiwo stood at her bedside window looking at the two children and wiped a tear from her eyes.

——

The story continues…

Yesterday Lives

Dear Reader,

You know our love is forever and this union of ours is tied to words.

I write to you again today. As you know, the story; ‘Yesterday Lives’ is already in its 14th Chapter and we have come to the end of Part 1 of this series.

What if I told you I have mixed feelings about continuing the story.

Wondering why? Well, my mind tells me that not everyone is following this story. And OMG, you know you should 😊

I would love to share this story in its fullness with you, but I also want to know that you are following the story carefully and intriguingly.

Well! If you are enjoying the story, Leave me a comment.

Do you think the story isn’t worth your time? Drop me a comment still.

It should delight you to know that reviews; whether good or otherwise spur the author to keep writing for you, for the world.

So let me know what you think about ‘Yesterday Lives’ so far.

If you are here for the first time, I am glad you came. Whoop! Whoop! 💃💃

Binge read on all the previous chapters of ‘Yesterday Lives’ and let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading. Please come out of your ghost mode 😁

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Yours in writing ✍

Olubukola