The foolish niece
“Is she not?” Ojako asked uncertain.
What game is Tore playing now? His thought rattled as he stared helplessly at her.
“Well, I hate to burst your bubble uncle but she isn’t” she answered circling round him.
“Then whose, Tore? Are you trying to tell me that you’ve been sleeping with other men?” Ojako asked trying to keep the jealousy out of his voice. The thought of her lying with her legs wide open for some other dude was more than he could bear. She had to be pulling his legs.
“Oh no. she just popped into my belly…I’m the new Virgin Mary” she teased enjoying the irritation on his face.
“I’m serious Tore. Whose child is she?” Ojako asked fighting to keep his temper in check.
“Wale’s” she answered throwing her hands over his neck.
“Who the hell is Wale?” he asked throwing her hands back down.
“Some dude I slept with while you were in jail. Oh come on Uncle, did you really think I could wait that long?” Omotore asked laughing “A woman has got needs”
Ojako felt relief wash over him. At first he felt thankful that the child wasn’t his, but he couldn’t help but feel the pang of jealousy that was beginning to creep into him and soon, the doubt weren’t far off.
“So you couldn’t wait five years?” he asked annoyed.
“Five years is a long time Uncle…and besides, you weren’t calling or writing to me” Omotore explained sweeping her hands all over him.
“And that gave you the right to sleep with someone else?” he asked suddenly feeling irritated.
“Right? Of course I have the right to do whatever I want. Besides, it’s not like you are going marry me or something” she insisted in a mocking tone.
Ojako stammered trying to ignore the thrill of her hands in his pants. He still had his plain trousers on but had removed his Ankara shirt and so was left with his singlet which now stood in the way of his throbbing chest and the feel of her breath on his neck.
She was probably right, Ojako realized. He wasn’t going to marry her…marry his niece? That was the height of irrationality.
“And this Wale, he didn’t marry you, did he?” he asked warily. He wasn’t sure of anything anymore not especially now that he had just learnt that she had a child with someone else and was even foolish enough to keep it; probably she was also foolish enough to marry him, Ojako cursed.
Initially, he could stake his life that Omotore would never leave his side but now, that belief was gradually fading off. The thought that she was sleeping around while he was rotting in prison, left a sour taste in his mouth but somehow, he knew this wasn’t the time to let his rage get the better of him, not when everything was going as planned, Ojako thought
And certainly not now that we have succeeded in getting rid of Jite….
“No he didn’t” she answered pulling her hands from his trousers “the bastard ran off as soon as I told him I wasn’t going to risk my life by terminating the child. I was too far gone for that”
“You see?” Ojako answered pulling her back to himself “You are meant for me Tore and no one else. It doesn’t matter if we never get married or that you are now a mother. All I want is you and only you” he flattered her as he landed a kiss on her lips and drove his hands into her nightwear expertly finding his way to his favorite spot. He heard her moan as he thrust his finger into her sex, letting the wetness of it soil his fingers. Swiftly, he led her to the bed and threw the nightwear over her head.
“Like I said…I have nothing to say” Dafe retorted furiously as he began to climb the stairs up to the main entrance of the house.
“But sir, it’s been rumored that your mother did not die of natural causes” the sternest of the three reporters that was swamping around him insisted.
“Guards!” he yelled out in frustration. He didn’t know how they had managed to slip passed the security guards at the gate.
So much for their military training, he cursed beneath his breath.
These days, it has become almost unbearable to go out without these god damned reporters swamping around him like bees, especially now that their mother’s funeral was almost at hand. Tomorrow was the “D” day. Tomorrow, he would be saying farewell to an empty coffin. He still couldn’t believe that his father had had his mother’s body cremated. What was more infuriating was the fact that he had insisted on burying her ashes in an “imported” coffin. Somehow their father had supported Ejiafe’s idea of importing a coffin for their mother’s burial which was nothing but preposterous to Odafe.
What are these people up to? He lamented.
“We have to put up a show” his father had announced in one of their irritating dinners.
“At mother’s funeral?” Odafe asked angrily. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was quite aware of how influential his family was and how important it was to always put up a positive image to the public and to the press but an act at a funeral? Their mother’s funeral? Is father running mad? Odafe has thought furiously
“The world must not know what is going on here. It wasn’t my wish to have your mother’s body cremated. She had insisted on it before she passed away” his father had explained again.
Odafe had rolled his eyes. Then why import a golden casket for just her ashes? He had wanted to ask.
“We all know that a lot of people will turn up for the event, dignitaries from all the corners of the world. Besides the fact that your mother was a former Beauty queen way before most of you were born, she was also a political figure” his father had went on answering his unsaid question.
“So please, on no account should that casket be opened” he continued ignoring the ‘not-again’ confusion on Odafe’s face. “I will assign some guards to make sure that never happens”
“I don’t get it” Odafe retorted. There was so much he could take. He was already furious that he wouldn’t have a body to say his farewell to but the fact that they had to keep on lying even to the point of her final departure was just uncalled for. Importing a golden casket he could ignore because it had become obvious his family didn’t know what else to do with money and besides, this was their mother’s funeral, golden casket, silver casket, bronze casket, whatever, he didn’t really care but…“Why can’t we tell them she was cremated? Didn’t you just say it was what she wanted? People can understand that, can’t they?”
“No they cannot.” his father had answered firmly, rising to his feet. Odafe saw the irritation written all over the man’s face but he could care less.
Now, there were reporters questioning him about his mother’s death.
What was he to make of that?
From the corner of his eyes, he could see the security guards dragging them out of the compound as he pulled the entrance door opened and stepped into the sitting room.
Shouldn’t he be used to it by now, being mobbed by the press? He wondered wearily as he bolted the door. It was part of his family daily lives; their famous, rich and influential lives, he knew. It was a necessary price to pay, his father had often said, but he couldn’t help but admit it was one of the things he never missed when he was away from his family and now he wished for nothing more than to be back to his own quiet life with his wife and unborn child. He just couldn’t wait for the funeral to be over and done with.
The Gina’s incident
From experience, Odafe had come to know the press was known to be snoopy, digging up unnecessary dirt, twisting and fabricating stories and lies. Odafe remembered the night he had snuck out to visit his girlfriend Gina back when he was still in secondary school. His parents had forbidden him from seeing her because according to them, he was too young for a relationship and she was definitely not his type.
What did they know?
But reluctantly, he had obeyed his parents because they had grounded him and cut off all his savings and credit cards. He had no choice but to break up with her. Gina was devastated. He remembered vividly the disdainful look in her tearful eyes as she looked him over and then dashed away. She wouldn’t speak with him for months even in school until that fateful night.
He had received a text message from Ex-girlfriend Gina asking for a meeting and so, as quietly as a mouse, he had snuck out of the house and drove all the way to their meeting spot but she never turned up.
Worried, Odafe waddled into her parent’s house in search of her only to find the front door of the house ajar which was so unlike the Ejieke’s. Curious, he rushed into the house to find his beloved Gina on the sitting room floor covered in a pool of blood. Horrified, he yelled out for help but it was obvious that there was no one else in the house and so, he dialed his phone for an ambulance and then his parents.
“Mum!” he wept into the phone, suddenly lost for words. There was so much blood…
“Odi?” his mother asked sounding confused. Her voice was low and quiet. “Why are you calling my phone? Aren’t you in the house?”
“Mum, Gina Gina….” he cried pulling his lumped ex-girlfriend’s body closer to himself. The lifeless of it frightened him and he began to call out her name desperate for her to wake up.
“Odafe, where are you?” his mother asked with the tempo of her voice rising at each word.
“Mum. I’m in Gina’s house. Something has happened. She is bleeding…” he sobbed as he wrapped his arms around her body urging her to open her eyes.
“Odi! Listen to me…are you there? Odi?” he could hear the desperate voice of his mother calling but he wasn’t listening. Gina wouldn’t open her eyes even though he could see the slow rise and fall of her chest. The cream blouse she had worn had been thrown over her head and her head was covered in bruises in ways he could only say he’d seen in horror movies. Her jeans trousers had been pulled from her waist and thrown several inches away and her underwear was still stuck between her legs and sneakers. She was naked, Odafe suddenly realized as he got up slowly to look round the room. Nothing besides a small stool had been moved from its place. The big television set hung on the wall was intact, the red cushion chairs and couches had not been displaced. Even the car keys and mobile phone were lying idly on the shelf.
This was a rape attack… Odafe realized as he pulled further away from the body and stared at the bruises on Gina lips.
Still with his phone glued to his ears, he could hear his mother telling him to leave the house immediately.
“Get out of there, Dafe. Did you hear me?!” it was his father now yelling into the phone.
“But Gina…” he stammered confused as he listened to the rage of commands blasting into his eardrums. Completely lost and frightened, Odafe turned and fled the house. Few hours later while wrapped up in a blanket sipping tea, he saw his name plastered all over the news as the prime suspect of the rape attack. Bloody reporters! It had to take all the monetary muscles of his father to get his name wiped off yet Gina’s rapist was never found…
“Sweetie, you are back!” Rhoda announced drawing him back from memory lane as she rose from the couch she’d been sitting and hugged him tightly. The memories were gone in a flash.
“Yeah” he answered placing a kiss on her forehead “How’s my son doing?” he asked rubbing her protruding belly.
“He’s fine” she grinned as she gestured him to one of the cushions in the sitting room.
“I saw the reporters. How did they get in?” she asked curiously.
“I wish I knew but I’m guessing they followed me. Do you know that they were asking if I knew what killed my mother? Ree, can you just imagine?” Odafe asked trying to keep his anger from his voice.
“Really? Killed? What do they mean by that?” Rhoda asked stunned.
“I don’t know. It’s all over the internet and newspaper. Everyone is blogging about it” Odafe answered angrily.
“This is serious” Rhoda exclaimed calmly.
“I don’t know why anyone would think my mother was killed” Odafe lamented quietly.
“Oh honey” Rhoda moved closer to him, and then wrapped her arms round his shoulders.
“Don’t worry about it. I think there is some sort of mistake” She consoled.
“Yeah there is and besides, not everything in the newspaper is true” Odafe answered rising to his feet.
Captain Efetobo stared down at the picture of his wife grinning in a frame. She had the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. It was what first attracted her to him on that fateful day they had met in a club. He had just returned from a field trip and had leisurely hit the club with two of his buddies, Daniel and Ovie. He could recall that day as vividly as he could remember his first shooting lessons.
She was dressed in a lemon green blouse, and a short jeans skirt with her hair wrapped up in a ponytail. She was laughing into her drink with two other girls, Bridget and Dima-he later learnt- giggling beside her. Struck by her beauty and ignoring the fact that there was obviously a long queue of men fighting for her attention, he had walked up to her and whispered something into her ears. He couldn’t remember now what he had said but somehow, it had worked like a charm because timidly, she had excused herself from her friends and they had gone outside of the club to talk while the other dudes glared after them in jealousy. That was one of his best nights, Captain Efetobo admitted smiling at the memory. Talking with her and hearing her laugh at his lame jokes, had been priceless.
It wasn’t long after then that he proposed; six months, seven months perhaps, he wasn’t sure but she had been so excited, dressed in a short red gown that was slit behind to expose almost the whole of her straight back. Resting on her conspicuous thighs was a silver purse that matched the color of her shoes. Her hair was thrown down to expose their curly and dark brown texture. She held a smile that could light up the whole town and lips that were so red and mushy that Efetobo was afraid that if he kissed them, they might melt away. Her cat-shaped eyes held him spell bound that for a moment, he was unable to speak. He had dressed in his favorite grey suit and pants and was hoping to God that he looked as dashing as his friends had flattered. This was the day he’d been waiting for and he must look his best.
“You look beautiful!” he answered breaking the silence. Even though the Rosebud restaurant and bar was sparsely crowded, it felt like it was just both of them in the room.
“Thank you” she grinned again, exposing her perfect set of white teeth. Efe felt his breath cut. God! I hope I’m going to survive this night.
“Efe” She laughed, “You look tense. Is everything okay?” she asked resting her hands on his.
“They will be” he answered blushing as he looked from her hands to her face.
“You sure?” she asked again, this time with a look of concern.
“Of course” he answered grinning. I just hope I’m right.
The waiter was soon at their table, pouring into their glass cups, some ice and then champagne.
“You know, you got me worried after the pageant last night. I saw you scowling. What happened?” Onajite asked spooning up a sip of the tasty soup from her plate.
“Oh that! That was nothing. Just stress you know” he answered trying to keep the uncertainty from his voice.
“Jite, I need to ask you something. He said after a moment’s silence of sipping and lungful thinking. “Are you cheating on me?”
“What?” he heard her exclaim as a look of confusion crossed her face.
He didn’t know what next to say. There’d been rumors and there were blogs writing about her affair with her model director Chima. It was all over several gossip magazines, so he’d been told. He hadn’t braced enough courage to see for himself, afraid that possibly if he did, it might just be true but he knew better than to listen to rumors and read gossip magazines especially when he could easily find out the truth….from the horse’s mouth.
“Cheating on you? What could possibly make you think I’m cheating on you? I mean…God!” She asked, her face covered in rage and probity.
Efetobo felt his breath ease. She isn’t lying. He suddenly felt stupid for asking. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t been able to sleep for days over some silly rumors. There was no way Jite would have left him for some hungry ass dude. She was his! His only and she was going to be his wife…
“I’m sorry for asking such a question, Jite. I’m truly sorry” he apologized pulling back her hands and squeezing them reassuringly. She grumbled and then picked up her glass cup but just as she was about to take a sip, she paused recognizing what was in the cup mixed with the liquid. Efetobo grinned.
Dropping to his knees next to her, he asked “Jite, will you do me the honors of being my wife?”…………