3rd Of September, 2016.
Sometime in the future…
“Un-freaking-believable! Oh my God!”
“The cute guy just passed by his window again. Aren’t you curious about his life? He is always indoor. Always!” Melvina says and pouts.
I have a white towel wrapped around my head and another one tied around my body covering it to midthigh. “Leave the dude alone please.” I say, tiredly.
She sighs and turns from the window. “I wish he could just come out alone one day. He is always with those scary looking dudes.” She says and sighs again.
I ignore her statement and give her a meaningful glance. She makes to leave the room but I clear my throat warningly and she walks back to the window to draw the curtains close.
“Thanks.” I say simply as she passes me. I let my towel drop as she closes the door gently behind her. I pad the rest of the way across the room to my wardrobe. I open it and look through my pile of clothes. They are mainly tops and ripped jeans. Just one dress I got from my boyfriend as a gift for my birthday. Yes. My boyfriend, Tony. I’m not going to consider why I need to validate that. Anyways, I look through the clothes again. I flick through them with my hand. Some African textures sewed into contemporary styles and some western ones. It’s a pity they are all marred by rips and paint stains. I’m naked in my room except for the towel wrapped around my hair and I’m staring absently. Hmm. Problem of the day. What to wear? I need clothes. I pick a top and jean. These should do. All my clothes look exactly the same. My subconscious tells me. I make up my mind to try buying a different set of clothes today but first I must deliver Mr Adefila’s paintings.
“Melvina!” I scream after I’m done dressing. Oh yeah. I forgot to tell you who Melvina is. She is my companion. She is everything to me and I mean that literally. Nothing shady though. Yuck! Get your mind out of the gutters. I think she is about five years younger than me though I’m not so sure. “Melvina!” I call again as I search through my bag pack for my car keys.
“Yes?” She answers.
“Where have you been?” I look at her and eye her in distaste.
“I was…” She starts to say but I interrupt her.
“Please!” I say impatiently. “I’m going to drop some paintings for a client. I will be back with Tony this night. He is staying over so prepare his meal too.”
“Okay.” She says and frown. I don’t know what the deal is between them. They always seem to disagree. I don’t care about it; they are adults.
“Hmmhmm.” I say and watch her for few seconds. “Anyways, Bye. He might be here before I get back. Make sure you don’t scratch each other’s eyes out first.” I say at last. When I get downstairs, I check my backseat for the painting. I had Melvina carry it to the car earlier this morning. My car is a honda accord. Very old model but no cash to change it yet. Besides, it serves me well. My phone starts to vibrate in my pocket. I fish it out and glance at the screen. It is Mr Adefila.
“Hello.” I say into the phone and scratch my blonde Mohawk hair.
“Uwa, where are you?” He asks.
“I’m on my way sir.”
“I’m waiting for you. My wife and children are arriving today. I want the painting hanging large in the sitting room when the house is empty to intensify their surprise. I want everybody to be.” He is excited and worried.
“I understand, sir and will resume making your wish come true if you would just hang up.” I say, patronisingly.
“Alright.” He says grudgingly. “I guess I will see you soon then?”
“Most definitely.” I state and smile.
“Okay.” He says before hanging up.
I sigh and bend into my car, adjusting the position of the painting so that it doesn’t get destroyed. When I’m done, I close the door and walk around the trunk to get to the driver’s side. That’s when I see him. One of the scary men working for the guy in the next house walking towards me. He is like three feet away. My heart is beating fast. What does this hulk want from me? Make that ‘What does this ogre want from me?’ I think when he is in front of me.
“My boss sent me to you.” He says as soon as he reaches me. The scar on the right part of his face twitches with every syllable.
I look at him without saying a word. He produces a neatly folded white paper. He walks away as soon as I collect it from him. I unfold the piece of paper.
I don’t mean to be rude… Yeah yeah but he intends to. I think. …. but use the curtain while taking your shower and please tell whoever that is to stop peeping through my window. She is violating my privacy.
I open my mouth and can’t close it for almost a minute. I want to go and knock on their gate till my knuckles are sore but I don’t have the luxury of time. Imagine the guts!
I hate this estate.
Sometime in the past.
“Don’t you ever talk to me. Ever!” The pregnant lady screamed. There were three people in the room. The pregnant lady, a man and his mother. “This child is mine and mine alone. Get out of my house.” She stood abruptly and folded her arms against her breasts.
“Your house?” The mother scoffed. She was an old woman who was pushing sixty but it didn’t show. She was the poster woman for age with grace. An expensive set of diamonds hung around her neck. Identical pieces of diamonds adorned her ears. She looked around the sparsely furnished house with disgust. “Trust me, that’s the first thing on my list and I’m going to fulfill your wish as soon as you agree to give us custody of the child when it is born.” She said.
“Over. My. Dead. Body.” The pregnant one stated.
“Fareedah, please listen.” The man tried to cajole. He reached for her shoulder but she waved it off.
“Don’t touch me, Olumide.” She said firmly with tears in her eyes. “You lost that right a long time ago.”
“No child of my family will grow up in this shack.” The mother stated behind them.
“Let me handle this, mother. You have done enough.” Olumide turned to her and said.
The woman gasped. “Very well then.” She said. “It is good you yield now, dear.” She said to Fareedah at the door and finally walked out.
“I’m not releasing my child.” Fareedah said firmly, raising teary eyes to the lover turned stranger towering above her. She might have appeared weak but her spirit was strong and unyielding. “I am not.”
Not even God could tear this baby from her arms. She resolved.