Wednesday, 22 October 2014
ON AIR PERSONALITY EPISODE 5
Tobi was concerned. Maybe it wasn't exactly concern...She was lonely and bored too. Jibola had left her. And her sister had gone back to her husband's house with her son. She missed Lolade. She realized they hadn't spoken in a long time. The few times they had, Lolade had been cold to her, but she hadn't really paid attention or given her remarks the light of day because she had been caught up in work too.
It was about 7 PM and she had just gotten home. All she could hear was the silence in her apartment...the very loud silence.
Lolade's caller tune replaced the silence. She smiled, Her sister was a die-hard fan of Timi Dakolo. She kept calling but Lolade wasn't picking up. Then the bizarre thoughts started to come. Had Brother Yemi done something to her?! What if he had hurt her or worse, killed her and dumped her somewhere? She punched her mother's numbers. Her mother also didn't pick up the phone. Her father's phone on the other hand was switched off. Then she began to get extremely worried.
She looked at the clock. It was just 7.30 PM. She could still make it to Lolade's house. She grabbed her car keys and dashed into her car.
Lolade was still in surprise. She couldn't still wrap her head around what was going on. She had just left her mother's house. She had gone there in tears, hoping somehow, she wouldn't have to go back home with wet cheeks. But leaving had turned out worse.
Earlier in the day, she had gotten into a fight with her husband. Lolade had sent Maria away the day before. Yemi had travelled so it was easier to do. She had actually never told him that she overheard their conversation in the kitchen the other night. She couldn't tell him that she knew he was responsible for Maria's pregnancy. Maybe she was afraid that he would hit her again. So she decided she would deal with the situation in her own way and get rid of Maria. She had gotten some money together and sent Maria to her people at Akwa-Ibom. She didn't want to send her back to the Priest at the church. The Priest would get to know about the pregnancy and who was responsible for it, and when the responsible person got to find out, she would suffer the consequences in the form of hits and punches.
Yemi had asked for Maria when he came back and hadn't seen her in hours. Lolade had told him that Maria ran away that morning. Then Yemi had asked if she left behind a phone number or anything to contact her with. Lolade said no. Then the Priest called Yemi's phone thirty minutes after.
"Brother Yemi, what is going on?" Father Dominic had asked him.
"Good morning, Father Dominic. I don't understand...what do you mean sir?" Yemi had replied. Lolade's heart started to thump loud. What if...just what if Maria had gone to the church instead of Akwa-Ibom? But how possible was that? She had put her in the taxi to Akwa-Ibom herself!
"I have Maria here with me. She says you sent her away. Has she done anything wrong? Did she offend you? Even if she did, I expect that you and your wife should have brought this to my notice instead of sending out this helpless innocent child." Fr. Dominic said.
Yemi sighed, flashing his wife a deadly look. Lolade knew what was coming. She knew he was going to hit her again, not minding that he knew she was pregnant.
"Father I'm so sorry. I'm not aware of this. I just came back from Port Harcourt this morning and I was told she ran away. I'll come straight away to pick her up, please." He said.
He didn't say a word to Lolade after he ended the call. He simply grabbed his car keys and headed for the door.
"Where are you going to, Yemi?" Lolade raised her voice. She couldn't take this anymore. Was he actually going back to get her? To bring her back into their matrimonial home?
"Don't push me, Lolade. I'm going to get her..."
"Are you crazy?" Lolade couldn't believe those words escaped her mouth. Yemi turned to look at her in anger and fury.
"Am I crazy? Me?" He yelled, coming towards her.
"Yes you." She took steps backwards. "I know about everything. You slept with her and impregnated her! Don't you have any shame? You slept with that small girl!"
Yemi stood still. He seemed lost for words.
"Answer me, you shameless man!" Lolade ranted.
"So now you have two pregnant women. You deserve a world record, you know." She said.
"I'm bringing her back." He said.
"What? You're not going anywhere! Can you hear yourself speak? Don't you have any respect for me? Am I not a woman? Yemi..."
"No you are not! A woman is supposed to be submissive! And you are not. Maria obeys me. She listens to me. I asked you not to work but no! You went ahead and took the job. Well, your job is your new husband! Sleep with him. And if you must know, she's better than you as small as she is, in that department."
Lolade couldn't take the insult anymore. She grabbed the collar of his shirt and shook him.
"You're evil! You're a beast, Yemi!" She wept in anger.
"Leave my shirt alone, Lolade." He said.
"I won't! Do your worst. I won't leave it alone. I'll tell everyone what you did. Father Dominic doesn't even know you're sleeping with her. She's a child! That's child abuse! She's not old enough to even give consent!"
"Lolade, I won't ask you a second time. Leave my shirt alone." He warned.
She held the collar with one hand and grabbed her phone with the other. She searched for Father Dominic's contact on her phone and started to dial him. Yemi saw the screen of her phone.
"What do you think you're doing?" Yemi said.
"What does it look like? Let's come out clean and tell him everything."
That was it. Yemi grabbed her phone and pushed her to the floor. And when she struggled to get away from him, he placed his foot on her head and kicked her. After a couple of other forms of violence, the man she called husband, walked out of the house.
She got on the next taxi and headed for her mother's house. She knew her father wouldn't be home. She wanted to call Tobi but she hated her that minute! Yes, she blamed Tobi for everything. It was while she was at Tobi's house that her husband had been busy getting another lady pregnant.
"Stop crying, my dear." Her mother had said, as soon as she told her everything. She got to work on wrapping ice blocks in a towel and pressing against her daughter's swollen face.
"Mummy, I'm never going back. I'm fed up. He cheated on me with Maria! And he still has the guts to tell me she's better than me. That man is a beast Mummy." She cried.
The woman massaged Lolade's swollen face amidst her wimping and jolting in pain.
"Let me tell you something," Her mother started.
"Your father cheated on me. I swore I would never tell either you or your sister but I have to. He cheated with my friend's younger sister. Yes she got pregnant."
Lolade was surprised. She couldn't believe this.
"Does that mean...." Lolade was about to ask the obvious.
Her mother shook her head.
"I took care of it. I made sure she terminated the pregnancy."
Lolade stared again in shock. Her mother was capable of such?!
"Before you judge me, that was the only choice I had. I have slaved with your father to get to where we are presently and I won't let his quest for a male child interrupt anything. It was his mistake, it was his mess, and I had to clean it up."
"What are you saying, Mummy?" Lolade flinched at the pressure of the ice on her mouth.
"I'm saying, we are African women. We are strong women. It is our duty to clean up our husband's mess. Men are babies and we have to clean up after them. You just have to forgive him."
"Babies don't beat you up! Babies don't sleep with your maid!"
The older woman laughed.
"My dear, you don't worry. Let the girl come back. Be nice to her. It's part of the strategy. I'll handle the pregnancy. It's still weeks old, isn't it?"
"Then go back home to your husband. Don't let a teenage girl take him from you."
Lolade nodded again, holding her aching jaw and arm. At that point, she really didn't mind if Maria took her husband.
"I have been worried! I have been...oh my God!" Tobi reached out to hug her sister. She was standing by the door. Lolade had come to get it.
Lolade didn't return the hug. She just stared at her sister.
"What's wrong, oh my?" She saw Lolade's swollen face.
Lolade hissed and shook her head.
"Talk to me, sis. What's going on?"
"It's you now. Clap for yourself, Tobi. You will have a story to write on your blog and papers. A Victim of domestic violence whom you tried to help."
Tobi gave her a puzzled look.
"I'm lost here..."
"I should never have listened to you. It's your fault. It's all your fault. You asked me to stay at your house and my husband was busy sleeping with Maria!" Lolade laughed sarcastically, shaking her head.
"Oh no!" Tobi gasped.
Then someone walked towards the door. It was Maria. She wanted to go outside. She didn't say a word to either Tobi or Lolade. She even shoved Lolade a little. Lolade didn't say a word.
"Is this not the girl you just told me...." Tobi started, almost running after Maria to hit her.
Lolade closed her eyes. She remembered what her Mom had said. She had asked her to be nice to Maria. It was afterall, part of the strategy.
"Tobi please just leave. I don't want Yemi to see you here." She said.
"Are you kidding me? I can still see the bruises on your face! What is wrong with you!"
Then Maria came back again, strolling. She had clothes in her arms. Clothes she had gone to fetch from the line downstairs. They were Yemi's clothes. Tobi sighted his boxer shorts too. She couldn't hold it anymore. So she reached for the girl and grabbed her by the collar of her dress.
"Are you mad? You Idiot! And you have the guts to pass this place without opening your mouth to greet, eh!" Tobi yelled.
"Tobi, please I don't have your time today. I have to go and iron Yemi's clothes."
Tobi wasn't thinking. She didn't know when she raised her hand and gave the girl a ridiculous slap in the face.
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