“No daughter of mine is going to raise a bastard under my nose! You hear me!”
“I can’t take the guilt any longer. She needs her mother. She needs me. Daddy please.”
“I thought we settled this a long time ago. Why did I now send you to my mother when you were pregnant? She knows what to do when the child is old enough. You will not bring that child here!”
“I’m not bringing her here. Seems you have been too busy to notice that I haven’t been living here for some time. I’ve been with Aunty Shade”
“So it’s that small rat that is planting ideas in your head?” Chief Akinwumni glared at his wife standing beside him. “Talk to your sister and take care of this nonsense. E mi o r’aye gbogbo eleyii.” He dismissed them with a wave of hand and headed for the stairs.
“What kind of father are you?”
Chief turned back and advanced menacingly towards Titi
“What did you say?”
“She’s your granddaughter for Christ sakes. Don’t you care; at least a little? Oh, I forgot, all you care about is your reputation and your money.”
The back of chief’s hand smartly connected with Titilayo’s cheek with such force it sent her reeling sideways.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again! You ungrateful child.”
For the first time since the conversation, her mother spoke. “Chief Ejo, ema binu. Omode l’on se.”
“At twenty –two? Omode?” He faced Titi.
Her eyes were wide with a mixture of shock and fear, her hand cradling her hurting cheek.
“If you go after that child, don’t ever come back to this house again. In fact, don’t ever let me lay my eyes on you.” He stormed out of the sitting room.
“You’ve heard your father,” her mum said before following him.
A fresh set of sobs racked Titi’s body as her mind came back to the present. Why? God Why?
Titi heard the creak door . She turned towards it and saw Winnie. Winnie stood still when she saw Titi’s face wet with tears, “Titi. . . ki lo se le?”
Amidst her sniffling, Titi whispered, “O ti su mi jor.”
Winnie dropped her bag on the nearest seat and sat on the arm rest of the chair Titi was sitting in. She wrapped her arms around her in a tender embrace and softly whispered in her ears, “Let it out, just let it out. Everything will be alright, so gbo? Everything will be alright in the end.”
ABOUT TWO YEARS LATER
It was a bright sunny afternoon in the Yaba area of Lagos. Winnie and Titi’s flat was abuzz with activity. Bright coloured balloons and decorations hung in the sitting room. The sweet smell of jollof rice filled the flat. In one of the bedrooms, Titi was making sure the celebrant looked as pretty as possible while Winnie offered opinions on the different outfits there were trying.
“It will take the grace of God for me not to strangle that caterer if she messes up. No one is ruining this party!”
“I can’t believe she is already three”
“I know right. I’m celebrating like she is just one.”
“Hey, very soon we can start own TV show. Two and a half women, what do you think?”
“I almost threw my phone at you.”
As if on cue, her phone rang. “It better be the caterer telling me she’s at the door. Oh, it’s a text from Daniel, says he was held up, but he’ll be here.”
“You like saying that thing too much.”
The doorbell rang; Winnie went to attend to it.
Three hours later. . .
Daniel and Winnie were conversing in the kitchen, away from the noise of the festivity.
“It was nice of you to come.”
“I’m glad I was able to make it.” Daniel said
Winnie pulled a stool and sat. “So how did you guys eventually settle things?”
“Well, three months ago. I got a text from out of the blue. Give me a minute let me read it to you.
The pain has faded in to a memory. I still get angry at you sometimes.
But I understand now. – Titilayo.”
“When I saw that message I was like, THANK YOU JESUS!”
“We haven’t talked much since though, just an occasional hello, hi text. Actually, I was shocked when she invited me. I never knew about her little girl.”
“I couldn’t tell you that part; that was her story to tell you. I could only tell you where to find her that night.”
“And I’d always appreciate that. How did she take it?
“When you told her how I got to find her.”
“Oh! You know Titi and all her histrionics now. I explained to her that we are secondary friends that communicated once in a while. You were in Lagos one time on a business trip and you wanted to pay me a visit. I told you I wasn’t going to be home but my flatmate, Titi would be, and then you started asking questions based on a nudge you had and Lo and behold my flatmate turned out to be the same Titi you were looking for…blah blah blah. I’m just glad you two were able to work things out.”
“I thank God. I thank God for you. Winnie you’re a wonderful friend. I’m glad Titi has you.You are a wonderful woman.”
There was a moment of awkward silence.
“She introduced me to a Nosa after I came in. Who is he?” Daniel asked.
“Ooh! Nosa! That’s Nosa, the relentless. He works at where she banks. After failing so many times at trying to chat Titi up, he eventually told the security man one day to not to let her out of the bank’s security cabin until she gave him her number. Funny guy, they’ve been friends for about…I think eight months now. Titi didn’t agree for him until like last month. She wanted to take her time to develop herself, as she put it, before going into a relationship. She’s at peace and she’s happy.”
“Interesting. Nosa …He better not be messing around.”
“Ehen, Big Brother Daniel.” Winnie teased. “He’s a good guy jor and he’s a committed Christian. I even thought he might bolt when she told him about Ireoluwa, but he didn’t. She’s told him everything about her family, her past life before she found Christ. She’s really lucky, no sorry, blessed to have met a guy like him.”
“What about her family? Her dad? I know I’m asking a lot of questions. Just indulge me”
“You have kuku turned me to Minister on Titi affairs now. Well, no happenings on that front. They aren’t speaking. She is still estranged from her family.”
“Her aunt too?”
“Except her aunt.”
“This is where you two are hiding?” Daniel and Winnie were startled on hearing Titi’s voice.
“We’re just catching up,” Daniel answered, a nervous smile on his face.
“Well, you two should come and have some fun with the kids. You can catch up later,” Titi said loading a basket with PET bottled drinks from the frigde.
“Let me help you with that.” Winnie took the basket from her and left the kitchen.
“Beautiful daughter, she looks like you,” Daniel said just as Winnie left. He didn’t want any awkward silence.
“Thank you. Before you ask, I did plan to tell you then when I was ready. But…’’
“So how’s work? Winnie told me you are always travelling all over the country.” Winnie asked, looking to make small talk.
“Yes, I’ve just been transferred to port Harcourt. I’d be leaving next week.”
“Ajala Travel all over Nigeria.”
They both chuckled.
“I’m really happy for you, Titi. You’re glowing.’’
“I can understand that things aren’t going to be as before but if you ever need my help I’m here.” He said then he quickly added. “Don’t roll your eyes.”
Titi laughed because she had just restrained the urge to roll her eyes.
A voice called from outside, “Where’s the mother of the celebrant? It’s time to cut the cake, before Ire will destroy the icing oh.”
Titi shook her head and smiled, a sweet satisfied smile, “that’s my call. Come, let’s go take some pictures so that you and Winnie can “catch up” afterwards.”
Daniel smiled to himself, “Alright.”
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have towards you, says the lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil to give you hope in your final outcome- Jer 29:11 AMP.
Intepretations(not necessarily literal).
E mi o r’aye gbogbo eleyii- I don’t have time for this.
Ejo, ema binu. Omode l’on se. – Please don’t be angry. She’s Just being a child.
ki lo se le?- What happened?
O ti su mi- I’m fed up.
VOTE OF THANKS ( Biko, free me. it’s my blog)
I appreciate everyone who has followed this series. If you are new here you can catch up on the previous “episodes” here.
Thanks people for reading and for your patience and encouragement.
Eddy and E.Oset, your contributions were invaluable to this series.
Godwin & Jonny, for helping me pay attention to detail. ( I tried small).
Yes, yes…I don dey go.
Watch this space, for more projects.
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