My mum advised that I visit the Coles too and I told her never. She was going to call his Mrs Cole and I frantically forbade her.
‘‘Mum are you so desperate to marry me off? Are you mum?’’ Iasked her as we talked about it that day. She was going to say something but I cut her quickly, ‘‘don’t remind me that I’m twenty-eight and a masters degree holder. And don’t give me that we’ve-known-the-Coles-since-forever story.’’I saidin suppressed anger and leftmy room forher even though she had come to meet me there.
I went outside the house and walked around a while deep in thoughts then I found myself sitting on the swing that night with Mayowa just right beside me again. We weren’t swinging at all and not loved up either. But suddenly, Mayowa got up from beside me, no hug, no whisper. I looked sadly as he walked away and Isaw he had the bad cow heart I had bought in his hand as he left the house.
I winked endlessly. I frowned and winked again. What had just happened to me? I wiped my face and winked the hundredth time. I was not close to the swing neither was I dreaming but I had just seen that as clearly as a TV showing my favourite soap. Was that what they call a trance? No, I shook my head. I know I imagine things a lot and this must have been one of those times my imaginations look real.
Suddenly, ‘’Aunty Lola.”Shola called me and I turned.
‘‘Daddy just came back and he’s asked after you.’’ She said.
I sighed, the effect of what had just happened to me still freshas I followed her back into the house.
‘You cant believe what I saw today, darling.’ My dad was saying as we stepped into the house. He paused and I greeted him, then took my seat beside him. That was the way it had been since I was a toddler but I didn’t feel like a daddy’s girl tonight.
‘‘I went to see Ladion my way form the elders meeting at church.’ He continued after a small interruption. ‘‘And you can’t believe what I saw.’’
READ EPISODE 1 THE STORYTELLER: Cow Heart
Not in the mood to ask, my mum did, ‘’What was it? Are they alright?’’
My dad heaveda sigh, “Ladi Cole and his wife are grandparents already.’’He said.
Now that couldn’t have sounded better than a grenade, it was a perfect match. My mum’s eyes popped up like she would have them on the floor the next minute and I, I just frowned. A continuation of the numerous frowns I’ve had outside the house before then.
‘‘How come?’’ My mum asked and then my dad turned and called Shola the house help almost on the top of his voice.
She hurried out of her room and stood politely in front of him.
‘‘Sir’’ she answered the second time.
“Who is the father of the child with your mum?’’
There was some silence then shivering, I heard Shola call Mayowa.
‘’What?’’My mum exclaimed. I just looked on.
‘’Yes, There were two other boys in their house this evening and they are Mayowa’s children too.’’ Dad said. Then he turned to look at me, ‘‘Ladi and his wife have been covering this secret from us all this while. Their shuffling around the globe has been so that no one would know. Two grown boys, about age four and seven.’’
He was fuming now as he turned from me back to Shola. ‘’You,’’ he shouted, ‘‘Why didn’t you tell us about this?’’
Hangon, let me tell you how Shola came to be our house help. The Coles were leaving town as usual and we were in dire need of a domestic staff, so Mrs. Cole willingly gave us theirs with no stories attached.
Now shivering harder, Shola knelt before my dad and started crying, ‘’They told me not to say it sir. They are the one taking care of the child, sir. I’m not doing bad here sir…..’’
‘‘Will you shut up!’’ My mum who had been quiet all long scolded her.
‘‘Was it rape?’’I managed to ask and she shook her head.
‘‘He just traveled home like this and said he wants to marry me but I have to be pregnant first.’’ Shola replied.
“And you agreed? You slot!’’ That was my mum again.
‘‘Arike, stop that.’’ My dad scolded my mum. ‘‘Ladi and his wife knew about it. The poor girl just wanted a good life.’’
‘’It doesn’t matter darling, Shola is leaving this house first thing tomorrow morning.’’ My mum retorted.
‘‘Why?’’ My dad asked and my mum ranted on saying a lot of things. I watched as the poor girl rolled and the floor and begged my parents, then I left
the drama stage for my room.