One, two, three, four. Then, turn. Six more steps.
This is where things get really tricky. I have to take 60 steps which takes me to those difficult stairs.
I’m not blind. No, far from it. I have just closed my eyes both literally and otherwise to this imposing house as I navigate its walls in the dark. No. Adetoluwani Bakre is not scared of anything especially when there is chocolate involved.
58, 59, 60. Turn. A step downwards…
My foot touches air and I go tumbling downwards, all the while, praying I don’t end up in an unnatural angle. I can’t break bones today, God. I have to keep moving.
I land on the landing with a soft thud and test my wrists and ankles gingerly. No pain. Okay. I push up on my feet and limp to the kitchen. I open the refrigerator and all the pain disappear at the moment. My brother is too selfish. I don’t know the sense in storing chocolate for days when I can eat them all. I dip my hand in and select varieties of candy bars. I dump them on the central island and grin mischievously. I bite into one and moan. The ecstasy is not even coming from the chocolate but from the ninja feeling. My father’s house is pretty large, so, maneouvring myself in the darkness from my room to the kitchen is a prowess that must be applauded- ninja style. I throw the last bite into my mouth and chew with happiness. I collect my trophy and put them in a plastic bag. Now, for the second part of the journey…
Someone clears their throat and light suddenly floods everywhere.
“Before you say anything, think carefully.”
“This is my father’s house. I can do as I please.” I say, falsely haughtily and look to the side while managing to glance at him surreptitiously.
“Well, this is my house. My rules stand.” My dad remains adamant.
‘No midnight snacks. You are 26 for crying out loud. Which other measures do you need me to take?”
I grin, mischieviously. They purposely cut off the light at night, so, I don’t wander about and feed my soul. How are these people my family? Thank God I’m not easily put off. “Okay, dad. I’m putting it back.” I empty my plastic bag back into the fridge and make to walk crestfallen past him. He pulls me gently and places a soft kiss on my forehead before releasing me. My mum died when I was five. There is not much I can say about her but one thing is sure, I thank her everyday for the man she chose to be our father. “I love you dad but why stock up when you don’t want me to eat.”
“It’s not like I don’t want you to eat. I just want you to leave my house. Nobody wants to marry…”
“Marry?” I don’t need him to complete the statement. I already know the tail end.
“Arrgggh.” He throws out his hands in exasperation and walks out. “Just stop stuffing your face.” He throws over his shoulder as he disappears.
I walk back and pack everything back and some extra.