THE UNKNOWN PRINCE 02

After mother’s burial, my maternal
family left the
house, and so did father and Nora. I
was left
once again to myself,
but this time,
there was no
counting the hours until mother
would be back
and filling it up with reading. There
was no
anticipating mother’s voice as she
shouts “Leke
bobo” as she climbed the stairs. The
house was
quiet and cold, it was like mother
had carried the
life of the house to her grave, or
perhaps, she was
the life of the house. With her sing
song laughter
that rang around the house and
made me smile
whenever I heard it, even with her
shouts when
she was angry with the house
servants, she made
the house alive. Now it was just cold
and dead. I
lay on my bed, not bothering with
my shoes. The
rain began to fall lightly, I thought of
mother in
the grave, the rain falling on her. She
had hated
the rain when she was alive, she said
it made
everywhere dank and colorless, but I
suspected it
made her cold, as she always layered
on clothes
when it began to rain. Who would
protect her now
from the pelting of the rain, she was
there alone
in the grave, not even her beloved
son had stayed
back to keep her company. A line
from a sermon I
heard in church sometime ago crept
into my little
mind.
“The dead has nothing to do with
the living” I
cried, I hit the bed, hoping to inflict
some of the
pain I felt on it. I heard the door
open, and before
I saw her, I knew it was Mary. Mary is
not
intrusive, I was only six but when
she enters my
room, she does it like am older.
Mary: “Leke, I brought you pop tarts”
she said.
The mention of “pop tarts” reminded
me of my
shopping spree with mother, a day
before
Christmas.
Christmas had come and gone, even
with the New
Year, and for the first time, the other
rich kids did
not get floored by me. All the
expensive things
mother had picked up for me, were
in my
wardrobe untouched, I detested
them.
“Take them away” I said in a low
tone, my throat
choked with sobs. Mary came to the
bed and
pulled me into her arms, and rocked
me like a
baby. Then, the door opened for the
second time,
and the devil’s mistress came in. She
was
wearing black, and she was wearing
a dark
makeup. She reminded me of
“Lucifer’s Queen”, a
book I read a fortnight ago.
Nora: “Don’t you have something to
do in the
kitchen or something?” she asked
rudely, glaring
at Mary.
Mary: “My job description is limited
to Leke’s
needs” she replied her, and began to
loosen the
lace of my shoes.
Nora: “Is he not a little old for a
nanny? Please
leave the boy, he can undress
himself” Mary got
up abruptly; I knew she was vexed,
but was trying
to control her temper.
Mary: “The boy has just lost his
mother, why are
you picking on him?”
Nora: “Why would you say a
despicable thing like
that?” she yelled on top of her voice.
My father
came in at that moment; he was
probably looking
for his executive secretary.
Bamidele: “What is going on here?”
he asked
looking frightened, like he was
expecting another
bad news. At that point, I realized I
was only
thinking of myself, but my father was
also in grief
too, he had just lost his wife, but
that’s what kids
should do right? Worry about
themselves, but I
am not like most kids, I understand
what Adults
do not expect me to understand. I
was not that
close with my father, we have our
moments, when
he was not busy being pursuing
millions. I was
still thinking that me and dad have
to grief
together, we have both lost the
woman we both
loved, when Nora opened her mouth
and released
the bomb.
Nora: “Adeleke is just being a
naughty boy, he
asked for pop tarts, now he said he
wants
chocolates” My eyes opened wide in
disbelief. I
knew adults lie, but they always had
a reason,
but she was lying for no reason.
What was she up
to.
Bamidele: “Give the boy whatever
he wants” he
barked, his frustration was evident
on his face.
Leke: “She is lying father, I asked for
nothing,
Mary was just here when she
entered and asked
Mary to leave, Mary…”
Mary: “It is alright, Leke’ she said and
patted me
on the head. Nora was so vexed that
Mary could
just stop me from giving an
explanation to my
father, that the veins of her neck
stood out and
her eyes became even darker. The
truth was, Mary
had a lot of leverage with my
parents because
they depended solely on her to take
care of me.
They saw she was good to me, she
gave them
peace of mind, and they could
pursue their
dreams without worrying about me.
Bamidele: “What do you want,
Leke?”
Leke: “I want my mummy” I said as
fat tears
rolled down my cheeks. Father
crossed over in
two long strides and pulled me into
his arms. He
began to weep, sobs shook his body.
We were
both sad, we had both lost our
woman.
Nora: “Bamidele, you know you have
to be strong,
you have a company to run” she said
as she
walked over to us and extricated my
father from
the embrace, then she embraced
him. I watched
them and wondered what kind of
secretary called
her boss by name and embraced him
in such
manner. My little mind could already
see what she
was doing, it was the reason she had
lied, she
was warming her way into father’s
heart.
Nora: “Come on, let’s go make you
some tea to
calm your nerves, you are meeting
with the
investors from…”
Leke: “You know what else I want,
dad? I want
her gone” I interrupted her, pointing
my finger at
her.
Nora: “Oh my God, Bamidele, your
son is being
nasty” she began to cry, her mascara
ran down
her face, she looked just like a witch.
Bamidele: “Apologize to Aunt Nora
now, Leke”
Father thundered, gone was the
man, who was
crying at the loss of his wife.
Leke: “I am sorry” I said, trembling at
father’s
anger.
Bamidele: “That’s better, Mary I do
not know
what you have been teaching this
boy” he said.
Mary looked up at him, with pain in
her eyes, this
was the first time, father complained
about the
way she handled me. She turned and
looked at
Nora; she was obviously blaming her
for this
change.
Nora: “Let’s just go” she murmured
and pulled my
father out of the room. Mary told me
to go to the
bathroom and shower, after which I
wore my
pajamas and another day without my
mother
ended or so I thought.
I fell asleep the moment my body hit
the bed, my
six year old body was tired, even
though my mind
was still trying to comprehend the
things that
were changing. Then a piercing
scream rend the
quiet atmosphere in the house, it
was coming
from a room on the same floor. I got
up with fear
in my heart, was I going to lose my
father too. I
had woken up to this type of scream
and my
mother had died after ward, was it
my father’s
turn. I was too scared to move, I
stood in front of
the door, unable to turn the knob. I
saw the
shadow of two feet stop in front of
my door, and
my heart lurched into my mouth, the
feet traipsed
down the hallway, as the scream
grew louder. The
fear of the unknown gripped me and
paralyzed
me, I fell down in a heap.
When, I woke up, my room was lit by
the sunlight
streaming in, through the flowery
curtains Mother
had decorated my room with. Fear
gripped me as
I thought of last night.
Leke: “Father!” I screamed out in
fear, I could not
bear to lose my father; he was all I
had now.
Bamidele: “I am here son, do not be
afraid” he
replied as I hugged him fiercely, and
then I
noticed Nora looking down at him
with a
menacing glare. I looked around and
could not
find Mary. That was when I
remembered the tiny
detail about last night. It was a
woman’s scream
I heard.
Leke: “Father, where is Mary?” I
asked eagerly.
Father looked at me with sad eyes
and began to
pat my head. I pushed his hand away
angrily; he
was trying to hide something away
from me.
Bamidele: “Calm down Leke, Mary is
going to be
alright”
Leke: “She was alright when I went
to sleep last
night.” Before my father could
explain further, he
was informed by one of the
housekeepers that
policemen were downstairs waiting
for him.
Bamidele: “Adeleke, please stay in
your room and
do not come out” he said and
ushered everyone
out, he closed the door but did not
lock it. I sat
on my bed and pondered. My father
had never
called me “Adeleke” before; things
were changing
fast, too fast for my little mind to
comprehend. I
went to my reading table where a
picture frame of
mother stood; I picked it up and held
it to my
chest. After a while, I dropped it, my
curious mind
wanted to know what was
happening downstairs
and why Mary had not come to my
room. I
opened the door confidently,
knowing everyone
was downstairs and walked down
the hallway in
a hurry. I went down the stairs, in
slow quiet
paces. Just before the landing, a bit
obscured
from people in the living room, I
squatted to
listen.
Police: “How long has Mary been
working for
you?” I arched my eyebrows, why
were they
talking about Mary? I asked myself.
Bamidele: “Since Leke my son, was a
baby. He is
six years old now” father replied.
Police: “One last question, where is
your son?” I
heard the police man ask, it seemed
I came when
it was all over.
Bamidele: “My son is not in the
house, he went to
be with his grandfather” I heard
father lie to the
police man. Why was he lying to a
policeman? I
asked myself, nobody was giving any
answers.
Police: “Mary is still in coma at the
hospital, it
seems she went into the shock. I am
surprised
though that someone that has been
with your
child since infancy will be attacked in
your house
and nobody from this household is at
the hospital
with her”
Bamidele: “I had to take care of my
son” he said
before he realized he had told the
police that his
son was away from home.
Police: “Is it the same son, you told
us went to
his grandfather’s?”
Leke: “I am here, no need scolding
my father” I
said as I walked down to the living
room, father
just shook his head in resignation.
.
.
.
To be continued
On Saturday, 22nd of April 2017

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