A short story of Love, Betrayal,Corruption,Nigeria and Life
Today,Uncle Abiona will come home with his bride,the woman Mama has sworn to make life unbearable for,We will be going in the only “fine” car available in the village,Baba Jo’s rickety car that makes different sounds made of loosed bolts and clinging metals.
Mama told me to wear my colourful gown that is oversized,the gown reminds me of Joseph’s robe in the bible,but i don’t want to be thrown into a well so I decided not to show my friends,she bought it at the last market day and threw a broom at me when I wore it outside to go and show Dunni, the only friend that I know will not throw me into the well, Mama is wearing her yellow lace with her hairnet still on her head,she says it is not right for a woman her age who has grey hair to open her head because of Angeli . Uncle Abiona is coming from the white man’s land and he is coming with a WIFE! What will Mama tell Risikat who comes to cook and clean for us? What will she Tell Ayoke who brings Yam and pounds it for Mama? Mama has promised them all marriage to Uncle Abiona.
They said Uncle Abiona is very wealthy,a business man,Uncle Abiona is my mother’s younger brother,I live in Igboora,a little village where mud houses with tached roof till stood,where people still gather under the tree to listen to stories, where we still fetch from the stream ever since the borehole which has a big picture of the governor in his flowing agbada stopped working a week after it was erected,we still play boju-boju and the girls with their small breasts still walk around without wrappers.I am one of the girls and my name is Durojaye.
Mama told me that I’m an abiku and my mother died right after she gave birth to me and named me Durojaye ,Mama hates me and I hate her too because she calls me an abiku ,Aunty Comfort who was my mother’s best friend said I’m no abiku but my mother named me that when she knew she could not hold on any longer and my name means “Stay and Enjoy Life” which implies that I should live.
I’m in Baba Jo’s car,we are 5 at the back,I can’t breathe well,The trees are moving fast and the sun has been following us,I think the sun is my mother, she would love to see her little brother and his strange wife, My mother is the sun in the day and moon at night.I am juat waking and We are now in Ibadan,The dodo’kire left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
We are in the airport,the place is big and the floors are smooth,the air is cold and feels like I am in a new world,we were told to sit in a section and wait while Baba Jo went somewhere else,I looked around saw a woman whose skin is as pale as the albino in Igboora,but no,her skin is way better than the afin ,Everyone seem to be in a rush to get somewhere with their bags,I was still looking around when mama’s scream brought me back to life,I don’t know where she got the strength to run and jump on Uncle Abiona,I was so excited but Uncle Abiona looks different from the uncle i saw when I was 6 when he left Igboora,his neck now has layers and his skin is shining,Mama held on to him until he broke away looked at me.
“Jaye! Look at you,the last time I saw you you were still crawling”
He carried me and hugged me so tight I felt my ribs were about cracking and he whispered ‘I got plenty gifts for you’ I looked beyond his neck and saw her,looking pale and lost,I saw in her a mother and a friend,our story started there…