I grab my son and head towards my room. Celebrate follows us.
“Why is that aunty removing her pant for you? Do you want to borrow it?” Oreoluwa asks and I cringe. My son is scarred for life.
I hurriedly search for a reasonable response one can tell a two year old who just witnessed a traumatic situation.
“Did you see her bumbum?” He couldn’t have seen it all. Could he?
He shakes his head. “No.”
Oh heavens be praised. The situation can still be salvaged.
“But why did she open her bumbum for you?” He asks again. I open my mouth and think of something to say, but for the love of me, I can’t find anything reasonable to say. Kunle bursts into the room and even though I am grateful for the extra seconds he’s given Ore to be distracted, I can’t help but be angry at him for bringing that insane woman to the house. I shoot him a venomous look but he ignores me and takes my son from me. Then like he is Ore’s father, he says gently, “Ore, did you see anything?”
“No” Ore responds.“But why did she remove her pant for mommy?”
“Because she is sick and she needs help and she knows mommy is a nice person. She needed mommy to get her help” he says calmly.
But my two year old is content with the response. He nods and laughs as Kunle tickles him. I watch them both adoringly. This man sure knows what to do and how to do it. He looks like he’s known my son since he was born. Who would know they just met some hours ago. My heart is drawn to this man and for the love of me I can’t explain why I’m accommodating the feeling but it makes me excited in a way.
Be careful Morenike Alabi. Thou shall not fall for this supposedly married man. I make a mental note to myself.
After what seems like a while of playing with my son, he hands him over to Celebrate. Then he pulls me out of the room with him.
“Listen Morenike, I have to sort a lot of things out right now and I don’t want you getting entangled in my personal life which is in a mess at the moment.” He pauses and stares at me. I think I see stress but I’m not sure.
Then, as if very painfully, he adds “I’m going to be gone for a while but I would return.” He gently raises my chin and looks adoringly into my eyes “Gosh you are so beautiful. It’s hard for a man to stay sane around you. Jeez, I almost kissed you in front of your son and Celebrity”
I don’t bother to correct him now. I just allow him to part my lips with his tongue and explore my mouth. I kiss him back, pouring my heart, my emotions into that kiss. It is different from the one we shared at the door, this one is meaningful, not just lust, it is full of sharing, of promise.
He releases me.
“I would be back soon” and then he leaves the room.
Christmas passes and so does the family thanksgiving but there is no sign of Kunle Davies or his “Mrs”.
When it is time to leave, I tell myself maybe Kunle is just not the man I need. When did I even start needing men? I stopped needing after Makin and mostly wanted, wanted to satisfy whatever sexual urges I felt, nothing more. Mobola and mommy London and every other person would be with Grandma for another week but I have to return to work.
I’m grateful I have a job because I desperately needed something to occupy my mind and stop me from thinking about Kunle day and night. My mechanic promised to be around to pick us before noon and I wait for him.
After Celebrate packs our stuff to the car, Grandma meets me in the room.
“I know how hard it has been for you to be around these people these past few days but I want to let you know that I am grateful you came.” She begins. “I know how you think about family considering the things your mother had to go through with Labake and how both Labake and your uncle refused to help your mother when they could have”
I try not to remember that part of my life. The time shortly after my mother’s bitter divorce from my dad and she had been left with no money whatsoever. I was in the university then and my father had cut off all financial responsibilities from my mother and of course me because he believed I’d share with her if I got any. Mommy London and my uncle had refused to help; they turned their backs on us and didn’t pick our phone calls or even return any. And for all of the family reunions we had during that period, they came with a lie I’m sure they must have fabricated all year long.
My grandmother frowned against divorce because of her strong Christian faith and gave my mom a room in her house but insisted she made up with my dad. But that never happened. Not until my father passed away in that tragic…well not so tragic accident he had with his mistress of fifteen years.
“We are not perfect, not as individuals, not as family. But everybody’s weaknesses are covered by the other person’s strengths in family. Never forget that. Teach your child the value of family and be a more responsible mother this coming year.”
I nod. I love this woman and I want to follow every one of her advice but I know forgiveness is hard and Mommy London and my Uncle have wronged me in ways I can’t begin to say.
“And as for Kunle…”
My heart skips a beat at the mention of the name. I don’t know what it is with my senses and this man. They take a leave when even his name is mentioned.
“I know he is a very good boy but be careful. He says that girl isn’t his wife…”
Oh he mentioned it to her as well. When though?
“…But she doesn’t look like the type that will go down without a fight. Be careful”
Ah well, she flaunts her vagina in public to prove a point, she sure is a fighter.
“Thank you grandma” I say and kneel. She smiles at me and pulls me up. I know she loves me and I hope to make her proud.
“Aunty! Dem dey do film on top your moto outside o” Celebrate shouts as he hurries into the room with my son in his hands.
“Film?” I’m confused.
He nods. “That madam wey like to dey off her paynt dey outside”
Tokunbo! I turn to look at my grandma and both of us race outside.
“Stay inside with Ore” my grandma yells at Celebrate as we make it to the door.
I watch, stupefied as Kunle tries to hold an agitated Tokunbo.
“You dumped me, cancelled our engagement and flirt around with that bitch! Now you want me to go back to Abuja? How can you? You promised to be there for me you moron!” She yells and I sigh.
“You know why I ended our engagement, quit this show and let’s get you to the park” he says calmly, clearly unaware of our presence at the door. But what are they doing here? I ask myself. Surely they didn’t leave their house to come settle their differences at my family house?
Some of my cousins arrive at the door, they must have heard noises. My grandma turns to look at them and then sternly tells them “get inside now before I serve each one of you a slap”
They all scurry like rats back into the house. I fold my hands and like a captured audience, continue to view this unfolding drama. And I am relieved that Kunle is really unmarried. Heck, I’m excited!
“Kunle, I am going to tell that woman she can’t have you!” Tokunbo yells pointing but not looking in our direction.
“You won’t do anything more stupid than you’ve already done, Tokunbo Williams. And damn you, the woman is not trying to have me” he responds.
Tokunbo nods slowly and tears trickle down her face. This is a movie, I note to myself. Nollywood, here’s your chance to tell a story. Haha!
“She is not trying to have you but you are trying to have her” she says, looking into his eyes, as if hoping his answer would be negative.
And I find myself hoping his answer would be positive. My heart beats as if Don Jazzy has decided to get creative in there, does he want me? Is he trying to have me? This is the only time I can know the truth, because he doesn’t know I’m here, standing, watching, listening to him say…
“No. I am not trying to have her”
My world almost crumbles…