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Nora: You should have stayed in
your room as
your father said. Always listen to
your elders she
said her eyes on father, who was
scowling at me.

He was obviously blaming me for
disobeying him,
but wasnt he the one who told the
police two
different tales? Adults are always
blaming kids for
things that they did.
Police: I consider this an
obstruction of justice.
We will hear from the boy if he
knows anything
about it the taller police man said
as he came
closer and squatted to my level.
Policeman: Your nanny Mary is in
the hospital,
she was attacked last night in this
house, her two
legs are broken, she may never walk
again, if you
know anything that will help us
catch the culprit,
your nanny will love that. I was
already weeping
at this point, Marys legs were
broken and she
would never walk again, who would
take care of
me now, I had lost my mother, now I
was going
to lose my nanny?
Leke: The last time I saw her, she
tucked me in
for the night, and she stayed with
me till I slept. I
woke up to a scream, a womans
scream. I was
too scared to come out, I thought my
father was
dead too
Policeman: Why would you think
that? I looked
at father, he had a pained look on his
face, and
Nora on the other hand was looking
intently at
me, hanging on my every word.
Leke: The last time I heard a scream,
my mother
died I said through choked sobs,
just the
mention of my mother brought
sadness and tears.
The policemen looked thoughtful,
and began to
scribble in their writing pads.
Policeman: So you did not see
anything that
night, except hear a scream?
Leke: I saw feet, they stopped at my
door, I was
so scared
Policeman: What did you do, did
you go out?
Leke: I cannot remember, I woke up
in my bed,
my father was with me
Bamidele: We found him passed out
by the door,
which is the reason we tried keeping
him away
from you. He just lost his mom, he is
traumatized father added. The
policemen kept
scribbling in their pads.
Policeman: What killed your wife?
At that father
stood up angrily from the couch and
walked over
to the policeman who had asked the
Bamidele: I wont allow you
disrespect me in my
own house, and in front of my kid. If
you have no
more questions, you best leave
Policeman: Being a brute wont get
anywhere, because we realized that
you as the
head of the family did not call the
police, you
covertly took her to the hospital. The
public only
know your wife died, but no one
knows how she
died, her burial, there was no lying
in state. Then
days later, your nanny is attacked in
this house,
you refused to call the police
Bamidele: If I did not call the police,
then how
are you here?
Policeman: One of your nieghbours
called. Mister
man, you will follow us to the station
to give your
Bamidele: I am going nowhere with
you, look
here, do you know who I am, do you
think you
can just come here and say rubbish.
If you are
not arresting me, I advise you go do
your home
work father replied.
Policeman: This is not the end, we
will be back
he said and they left the house.
Nora: It is all your sons fault, he is
so unruly
she said angrily. Father looked at me
in a way he
had never looked at me before, like I
was a
nuisance to him. He walked to me in
quick strides
and grabbed me by the arm.
Bamidele: You will do as I say he
said and
pulled me up the stairs
Leke: Father, father, you are hurting
me I cried
as he dragged me up the stairs.
When he got to
my room, he opened the door and
pushed me in,
this time he locked the door on the
other side. I
banged the door, but no one heard
me, or if they
did, they were forbidden to answer
me. I cried my
eyes out, till I fell asleep. In my
dream, I saw
mother, she had her throat slashed,
blood was
gushing out from the slit, and her
fingers were all
covered in blood. I screamed till I
woke up, I was
still screaming. I heard the door
rattle, it opened
and one of the female house
servants came in.
We called her IyaBiliki, I rarely saw
her because,
she was always in the kitchen.
IyaBiliki: Leke bobo, why you dey
shout like say
you see ghost, abi you see your
mama? she
asked. I nodded my head slowly, I
was disturbed
by what I saw of my mother and I
began to
wonder if that was how she died.
Leke: How did my mother die?
IyaBiliki: Omo mi, this question you
dey ask me,
ei big pass me oh. Na only your papa
go fit
answer you she said in a sober
voice, then she
held me to her bosom and began to
rock me.
IyaBiliki: Ha death, death is not fair
she said
aloud. The smell of soot and cooking
beginning to choke me from her
clothes, so I
pulled away softly. I didnt realize I
had been
crying, IyaBiliki seeing that I was
crying, made to
pull me again into her bosom, but I
shifted away
fast, I couldnt bear the smell that
emanated from
her one more time. I looked behind
her and saw
that she brought a tray.
IyaBiliki: Ha no mind me oh, I bin
dey bring food
for you, when I hear you dey shout. I
omiobe with correct brokoto I
smiled; this was
one of the joys of having Yoruba
parents lots of
meat and big ones too. I sat at my
table;IyaBiliki cleared my books to
one side and
dished my food. As I was eating, it
struck me, that
this was the first meal that I was
eating in my
room, and all by myself. When
mother was alive,
she made sure that she was home
for my meal
times, even if she rushed out
afterwards, but she
must be there to eat with me. I
missed my mother
all the more.
Two days after that incident, I have
restricted to my room, I was not
allowed out. So I
began to read all the books I had
read before, just
to fill the void I felt. I could not wait
for school to
resume, so I could escape my reality
and mix up
with other kids my age. The police
came to our
house with an arrest warrant for
father; somehow
they had concluded that father was
for the attack on Mary. When father
was arrested,
Nora became scarce in the house; I
was released
from the house arrest I had been
subjected to, by
father. I took this time to see Mary in
the hospital,
iyaBiliki who was now in charge of
taking care of
me, took me to see her. Her state
was grotesque,
her legs have been mangled. I
wondered who
could have done such horrible thing
to a simple
woman such as Mary.
Leke: There really is no God, if there
is, why do
good people suffer so I began to
sob, so great
was my pain. It was obvious from
where I was
standing, that Mary may never walk
again, if she
could not walk, then she could not
stay in our
house. It seemed to me, there was a
force trying
desperately to make me all alone. I
was scared of
that line of thought because, it
would mean, my
father was next. I went close, and
held Marys
hand, while I stared at her intently,
like I was
willing her to open her eyes. And she
Marys eyes opened and held me
strongly like she
was glaring at me, she held my hand
tightly and I
got scared, I almost whimpered
when she spoke
in a soft tone that belied her looks.
Mary: Leke, you are not safe in that
Something is out to get your family,
they killed
your mother. You have to leave that
house she
Leke: But Aunt Mary, where would I
go? I am
only six! I exclaimed.
Mary: But you are stronger than you
think, are
you not Leke bobo? she said, I
smiled in spite of
the confusion I felt.
Leke: Aunt Mary, I am scared. I saw
the feet
outside my door, I was scared, I am
still scared
Mary: I see the books you read, you
are stronger
than you know, call your maternal
grandfather to
come get you I nodded my head
even when I
knew there was no way I could
access grandpas
Leke: My father was arrested I said
simply, at a
loss of whatelse to say.
Mary wanted to speak but stopped,
she was
looking at someplace behind me. I
turned and
saw Nora standing there.
Nora: Adeleke, your father needs
you at the
police station. Mary, I am deeply
sorry about your
condition, hope you get well she
Mary: Leke, dont go she said even
as it seemed
like she was slipping back into
Leke: But my father needs me Mary
shook her
head slowly, and then her eyes
closed. I looked at
Nora, who stared back with a passive
face that
divulged nothing of her intentions.
Leke: Lets go I said and walked
ahead of her,
out of the room where Mary was

To be continued

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