For those who’d get bored in the middle of this, I must ask a teeny bit from you—your vote.
Sima Essien has written a beautiful story that requires you to read, comment and share. I think you should, I think you should because Sima wrote something beautiful here and explored places that we would rather not go, places we sometimes shade out of our lives because they are dark places and they are real and they can break beautiful souls…and I should probably stop and let you do the reading.
Tainz. Don’t forget; read, comment and share (these are the most important parts).
Now, shall we get to awa #throwbackthursday?
I think I post my old stories with too much glee. I think it’s something about how I think:
Thought: This is a horrible story.
Me: But we’ll post it because we want to give someone out there headache.
Thought: Yeah…since S.J is busy being responsible to pay attention to us.
Me: This is totally S.J’s fault yeah?
“Take this food to your father” Mrs Alao told her daughter Sade who stood—a sullen expression on her face—near the wooden pillar of their kitchen, not moving. Mrs. Alao narrowed her eyes in warning. Quickly, Tofunmi, her younger sister, stepped forward and took the tray, her mother’s voice stopped her cold.
“Sade, mo n ba e soro!” (I’m talking to you) Tofunmi immediately glanced at her older sister, pleading with her eyes. Please, just this once, listen to her. Sade however did not move. She kept her eyes on the ground.
“O gbo mi ni?!” (Are you deaf?!) Both girls jumped at their mother’s yell. Tofunmi struggled to keep the tray balanced in her hands. Sade mumbled under her breath.
“Ki lo so?” (What did you say?) Mrs. Alao’s eyes were slits as she regarded her daughter. Tofunmi bit her lower lip as tears rushed to her eyes.
Mother, please, just leave her be. I’d run through the world and back for you if you’d leave her be.
“I can’t mommy” Sade’s voice was loud but it shook. Tofunmi felt her legs do the same.
Mrs Alao was quiet for a while, silently observing the girl. She jerked her head sharply in Tofunmi’s direction and the latter heaved a sigh of relief as she hurried into the house, to her father’s room. She struggled to hold the tray as she knocked.
“Daddy?” She inquired shyly
Gripping the door handle and praying the tray did not slip, she went in. Her father was sprawled on his bed with a loincloth slung low on his hips. Tofunmi averted her eyes and busied herself with placing the tray on the stool and dragging it towards her father.
“Where is your sister?’ He asked when she finally placed his lunch in front of him.
“Why didn’t she bring the food herself?” Tofunmi, thinking of her sister’s reaction, lied “I think mommy wants to send her on errand-”
Her father’s irritated voice cut her short “And she didn’t think to first send her in with my food?”
Tofunmi was puzzled “But daddy, I’m here na.”
Her father shot her a baleful stare and Tofunmi shut her mouth. She watched her father roll lumps of eba and dip in the soup.
“Call your mother for me.”
Tofunmi went out panicking. She sincerely hoped nothing was wrong with the okro because she made it and her mother was going to kill her if it turned out to be the issue.
When she got back outside, Sade was sitting in a corner looking sullen. She cleared her throat and her mother looked up at her “He didn’t like the food?”
Tofunmi shook her head “He wants to see you” Her mother stood up slowly and glanced at Sade who seemed to have shrunk into herself. She adjusted her wrapper and went into the house. Tofunmi went to sit beside her sister and stared. Sade glanced at her.
“Daddy is angry that you didn’t come and give him his food yourself. I told him mommy wanted to send you on errand”
Sade looked up quickly at that. She was about to say something when the raised voices stopped her. She looked at her sister, Tofunmi could see the wild panic in her eyes, she raised her hand to scratch her head “I’ve ruined it abi?”
Sade lowered her head and shook it. Tofunmi watched in horror as tears dropped from her sister’s face. Her vision blurred “What did I do wrong Sade? I did not want to hurt anyone.”
When Sade looked up, her eyes were red and Tofunmi could not find it in her to tease her on how albinic she was. Exhaling sharply, Sade responded firmly “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Tofunmi did not believe her. Something about the question in Sade’s eyes had her wondering if her sister was trying to reassure herself.
Their father stormed out of the house with their mother behind him and weeping softly, her wrapper had become undone and she was holding her right hand to her cheek.
Mr. Alao stopped a few paces away from where the girls sat huddled together and observed them a little while. Tofunmi touched her sister’s arm but realized that Sade had gone rigid. Tofunmi glanced at her. Her face was still lowered. She glanced at their father.
“Sade,” He called softly.
“Daddy,” Sade’s voice shook with her tears as she started to heave.
Sade started weeping softly and heaving as she stood up. She slowly walked to her father. Tofunmi didn’t understand what was going on. Her mother sat on the ground and stared blankly into the distance. Her father embraced Sade and continued to murmur in her ears as he patted her softly on the back. Slowly, Sade quieted. He still held her.
Gently he released her and reached for her hand instead. Sade started to cry again. She knelt in the sand “Daddy, please,” She sobbed. Tofunmi bit her lip. Had her father found out her lie? Why wasn’t he punishing her instead? She went to kneel beside Sade.
“Daddy?” She looked imploringly at him.
He turned towards her in fury “Will you get out of my sight?!”
Tofunmi did not need another telling, she stood up quickly and went to sit in a corner crying earnestly. She wanted to ask her mother but Mrs. Alao seemed far too removed from the moment. Sade was still on her knees crying and begging as her father tugged her hand.
Finally, he lost his patience and jerked her upright towards him. Sade cried harder “Daddy, please! Mommy?!” She cried as he dragged her in. Her mother didn’t look at her. Tofunmi heard her sister’s cries and suddenly it was quiet. Tofunmi sat on the ground near her mother and sobbed without really knowing why.
Image Source: Christianity Today.