Every time a car pulled up in front of the house, I knew I was going to be sent to either Mama Dada’s house, Tola’s mum or aunty kemi- to get Arodan. I often wondered why my mother only remembered she needed one when her male visitors came over.
I knew what she did for a living but I am not one to judge- (a man has got to do whatever is necessary for survival).
She once told me she sold “laptops”- I relayed same to my friends and anyone that asked- I just kept the brands to myself.
I didn’t know my father and we never really discuss him much. Rumours had it, he is the wealthy politician that lived down our street.
Mr T became my mum’s regular. He’s was a nice man, he bought me a lot of stuff and my mum was very happy with him (what more could I ask for). The other day Mr T stopped by, he and my mum had a heated argument, I saw him leave angrily on my way back from searching for arodan. My mum wept bitterly that night- the first time I had ever seen her cry.
The following week Mr T came by, I was glad. God had finally answered my prayers. My mum wasn’t as excited as I had imagined. I got prepared to go arodan searching but never got the instruction. I was called into the house. For the first time, she officially introduced me to Mr T (I had never been introduced to any of her male friends).
There was this look in his eyes that day, one I didn’t quite understand. I was instructed to wait in the room- I obeyed like a good girl. I felt stomach tighten- I just didn’t feel right that day- something was off.
I heard my mum plead with him to reconsider. He replied saying she had to make a choice- me or him. The shouts turned to tiny whispers, my mum came in with a teary smile to give me a prep talk.
“I love you and I’ll do anything to protect and provide for you. Now it’s your turn to help me out. Please do whatever he asks of you”, she said as she planted a kiss on my cheeks. I nodded knowingly.
She left me alone in the room for what seemed like forever. As he came in…I saw my mum hesitate to let go of his clothes. He smiled at me and beckoned that I should come closer, which I did obediently. He told me how beautiful I was- even more beautiful than my mother- and promised to marry her and give us a better life if I co-operated.
He began to unzip my dress. When it finally dawned on me what was about to happen, I started begging him to reconsider and slowly the tears followed. “You’ll love it..I’ll be gentle I promise” he said as he pulled me closer. I began to wriggle my way out as my begs and tears grew louder.
My behaviour irked him and he shut me up with a slap. I freed myself from his grip and ran towards the door which was already locked (I didn’t notice the key had been removed). He ran towards me with fury. He was no longer patient with me-he had metamorphosed from a dove to a beast within few seconds. I knew I was defeated, but I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. The more I resisted, the wilder he became. I was soon overpowered.
I shut my eyes waiting for the inevitable to happen. I tried to distract my thoughts with few happy childhood memories. The “soaps” I watched said it took only 10 seconds. I counted 20 seconds- (the extra 10 seconds were to allow him get his weight off my body) -in my head before opening my eyes when I didn’t feel any movement. Mr T was laying over me with his eyes shut… no movement at all.
I laid still with his weight on me for what seemed like 30 minutes till my mum came in and pulled him off. She had tears in her eyes.
Unknown to me…she had poisoned his drink before he came unto me. She stood behind the door praying earnestly that the poison kicked in fast enough before he could carry out the act (she wasn’t going to let history repeat itself).
Getting off the hook was quiet easy. Mr T was hypertensive and the cardaic arrest story we sold was bought. It also helped that the doctor was an old “customer” of my mum.
“Till we meet at the bossom of the Lord on the last day”, that was the preachers closing statement as we all stood by Mr T’s grave. My mum and I knew that was a luxury, one Mr T couldn’t afford.
*arodan- fruitless journey