THE UNKNOWN PRINCE 01 - Welcome to My Woven Words

THE UNKNOWN PRINCE 01

I was born with a silver
spoon; my parents were the crème

de la crème of society being that,

my mother was the only daughter of
the Oba of Lagos, and my father, the
chairman of Balon Oil group. Suffice it
to say, I was destined for a goodlife…
or not. I was six years old when
mother died. That day was the worst
day of my life, it was the day that the
stars aligned for evil, and the
Universe changed my lot. The day
before mother died, she had taken
me, her beloved son on a
shopping spree because Christmas
was in two days. She had been so
busy with her fashion house, that
I had thought that this year’s
Christmas would be my day of
mockery as I would not be wearing
any new clothes. We shopped the
length and breadth of Balogun
market, entering only the
exclusive stores with their
expensive, state-of-the-art interior
décor. In this kind of stores, you must
be a lighting from a 2016 model of car,
and be dressed in new season
clothes, for any of the salesperson to
attend you. After shopping, the
six years old me needed a break;
mother took me to a fast food
restaurant, where I had lots of ice
cream and pop tarts to satisfy my
little heart. How would I have known
that this would be my last time
with mother? It was like the biblical
last supper.I slept like a prince,
counting the days to Christmas, when
I could show off my new expensive
attire to the other rich kids in
the estate. I always wore the best
even when the other kids had richer
parents because, when money meets
a fashionista, a novel idea is birthed.
Mother was fashion oriented so she
had an eye for design and fabric, with
this precision;she picked my clothes
at the store. I was in lala land when I
heard a piercing scream; it
was unmistakably my mother’s. I
Jumped out of bed and hurried down
the lit hallway, down to my parents’
wing. Before I could turn the door
knob,a hand gripped me and
scooped me off my feet.Me: “Leave
me alone, I want to save my mother”
I Cried because, so close to my
parents’ room, I could hear mother’s
groans, amidst other voices. I turned
and saw Mary, my favorite nanny. Her
eyes were red rimmed like she had
been crying.Mary: “Leke bobo, your
mother will be fine, your dad will
take care of her” she whispered
and stroked my head as she usually
did on those nights that mother was
out late and I was unable to sleep.
She took me back to my bedroom,
and pressed down a door knob by the
bed lamp, which brought a maid to
the room.Mary: “Bring Leke, his
favorite hot chocolate”
she instructed. Leke: “I don’t want
chocolate, I want my mummy” I
wailed. We all heard footsteps
coming down the hall to my
bedroom, the door opened and there
was a young lady glaring at us.
She was lithesome, with very fair
skin, and deep dark eyes. She had
long black wavy hair, and she looked
like the people my science teacher
called“half caste” when she was
teaching us the races of the world.
She would have been beautiful,
but the aura and the permanent
scowl on her face,made it hard for
me to associate beauty with her.My
nanny Mary was beautiful, even
though she didn’t have the body that
this woman had, even though she did
plain sade braids, even though her
hands were callused from all the
hard work she had done in her life.
But she, not this woman was
beautiful, because where this
woman inspired fear, Mary inspired
love and security. So, I saw her as
ugly and in one of my moods in
the future, I would call her that, to
her face.Woman: “You will have
chocolate and keep your mouth
shut”Leke: “Who are you to tell me
how to act in my father’s house, go
away, I want my mummy” I retorted,
fat tears streaming down my eyes.
That was my first encounter with the
woman who would turn out to be my
tormentor. She did not reply me, but
the look she gave me, caused fear in
my little heart. I hid my face in Mary’s
arms and bawled my eyes out. I knew
in my heart that something was very
wrong with my mother, if not,who
was this woman? And why was she
ordering me around in my
house.When I woke up, the room
was empty; Mary was no where to be
found, she had pulled the curtains to
give the room a cool ambiance, but
my dreams had been filled with scary
scenarios that involved my mother. I
remembered I had heard my
mother scream last night, so I
jumped out of bed, in my Tom and
Jerry pyjamas, and rushed to
my parents’ room. My parents’ room
was also empty, so I rushed
downstairs to the living room,
and saw that my mother’s family had
arrived, father, Bamidele, was sitting
alone on a couch, and his face was
sober, his sister Aunt Jumoke
was sobbing and retying her wrapper
a thousand and one times.
Something had gone wrong while
I was asleep.Leke: “Father?” I called
softly, but my voice carried and
everyone turned to look at me as
I stood on the last stair, afraid to
move forward into the room. My
father stretched out his arms and I
ran, all the way into his arms. He
began to weep, holding me tightly
like I was his life line.Mother’s dad,
my maternal grandfather, the
Oba was sitting with his wives; he
looked at me and sighed, a long and
sad sigh. Oba: “Ha death, why are you
so wicked, could you not have spared
her for the sake of this little boy?” he
lamented. I turned to my father
and asked for my mother. At this
question, the women present, began
to sob and sing a sorrowful song in
Yoruba, iya ni wura. Leke: “Where is
my mother?” I asked again,crying. I
was having a bad feeling, and I knew
at that moment that something had
happened to my mother. Bamidele:
“Your mother has gone to meet
the Lord” my father replied me .Leke:
“My mother is dead?” I burst into
fresh wailing. I was just six years old,
but I was wise beyond my age. My
parents were business people, so I
was left to myself most of the time,
fending for myself meant, what I read
was not censored, so I read anything I
laid my hands on. I had begun to read
books about Metaphysics, and I was
also beginning to question the
existence of God. So I knew people
died and we would never see them
again, I also knew people died
not because they wanted to. Also,
having heard my mother’s screams, I
knew she had died a painful death.
Telling me “she had gone to meet
the lord”was not going to obscure
things for me.Leke: “What killed
her?” I asked between bursts of sobs.
The room fell quiet at my question;
it was a big question coming from a
child such as I was. Oba: “Somebody
should take this child away
fromhere” my maternal grandfather
said in a strong voice. Mary took me
from my father’s arms and up to my
bedroom.On the day that my mother
would be buried, I saw that same
woman who had shunned me the
day my mother died; she was
hovering around my father. I was
walking beside Mary, so I asked
her. Leke: “Who is that
woman?”Mary: “That’s your father’s
personal assistant”Leke: “What is
she doing here though” I murmured
under my breath. Mary: “Don’t be
silly, she and other staff are here to
condole with your dad”Leke: “And
was she also condoling with dad
on the night mother was screaming?”
I asked. Mary looked at me and shook
her head pitifully. While I was
conversing with Mary, the object of
my discourse walked up to me and
took my hand. On her face was
plastered a forced smile.Woman:
“Adeleke, I am Nora, you will be
seeing me a lot in your house, I have
to help your dad cope with the loss. I
suggest we get to know ourselves”
her red painted fingernails dug into
my supple flesh.Leke: “Everyone calls
me Leke, and please you are hurting
my hand” I mouthed off.Nora: “Aren’t
we a tad ill mannered, which
will change in time” she replied,
letting go of my hand.Mary: “Stop
taunting the child’ she said
simply, pushing me behind her. Nora
turned to stare at her and my
champion, Mary stared her down.
But Mary would not be there to save
me from subsequent attacks. Mary
would be evicted from the house in a
fashion almost like my mother’s....

To
be continue...