#OMOJUWAFICTION: CLOSURE.- @ABDULMUIZZX.

Published:27 Nov, 2015

Yejide has started breaking things. Her hands used to be steady: she could thread the needle in a record time. Since last night however, after she had picked a call on her mum’s phone, her hands had started shaking uncontrollably. This has resulted in things dropping from her shaky grip. Two breakable plates were victims of yesterday. Today, her coffee mug and her small mirror took one for the team. And at her shop, later in the morning after she had summoned up enough courage to go to work where she worked as a tailor, she couldn’t thread her needle for the day’s job.

Papa looked at the grandfather clock the hundredth time. It was still a quarter past ten. Was it broken? He was sure he has been sitting in his armchair for more than fifteen minutes since ten o’clock. For the hundredth time, he resisted the urge to call Mama and failed again. Mama didn’t pick the call for the hundredth time.

“It is not your fault.” Papa silently muttered at the phone as the ringing tone slowly came to an end.

“It is not your fault.” He repeated for the sake of clarity, hoping against hope that somehow Mama would hear him from her shop where he was sure she was.He looked at the clock instinctively again. Now he was sure it was broken.

Mama decided to admire her new phone again. The phone was about a month old but she was still reeling with delight at the device. From a safe corner in her shop, she pulled out her big nylon-bag. From her nylon-bag, she took out her a big bag. From her big bag, she brought out her small purse. From her purse, she rummaged for the pouch that housed the phone. She then unzipped the pouch and took out the phone.

“Ah… I have missed calls.” She smiled to herself.

When Yejide got home that night, she met Papa and Mama arguing. Quarreling.

“Mama, you’re meant to hold your phone. Don’t put it in its pouch, then put the pouch in your purse, then put the purse in your big bag, then put your big bag in your bigger nylon bag. Yesterday you forgot it at home as usual. And if you don’t forget it at home, you bury it in your bag.” Yejide’s voice was soft as her parents’ were hard.

“I do that for safety, my daughter. I didn’t hear it ring. Why won’t I pick his call?” Mama defended her naivety.

“It is not your fault. I shouldn’t have allowed Dami to buy you that phone. We were fine when he used to call us on my phone. And I never get to worry about you then when you had no phone. Now you will tell me to call you. I will call a hundred times and you won’t pick. Even Dami has stopped calling your line.”

Then for a while, they were all quiet. Like they were trying to find some thoughts that had escaped their minds.

“Bush woman!” Papa blurted out suddenly. His laughter was contagious. Yejide and her mother joined him.

“Thank you. That was how you met me and couldn’t leave me.” Mama continued the friendly jab.

Yejide left them. She had always seen them like that ever since she was a kid. If they quarreled, which was always mild like this, they got back immediately. Even in their old age (Papa was sixty, Mama, fifty-five) they still managed to exude some romantic candor.

She could still hear their high-spirited laughter laced with intermittent coughing as she slipped her key inside the keyhole. Her hands were still shaking, she noticed.

Her world shook too yesterday.

Just yesterday, in the afternoon when she came back home early because there was not much to do at the shop, she heard her mother’s phone ring. Her mother had forgotten to take the phone with her to her shop again. She ignored the first ringing. Then the second one. She would have ignored it the third time. She was going to get something from the kitchen when the phone rang the third time. So she stopped by the dining table where the phone was and checked for the caller’s name, hoping it was her dad. It was an unknown number. Private number. Curious, she picked the call and her spirit quailed immediately the caller started speaking.

She undressed. Slowly. Deliberately. She replayed the conversation that shook her world just yesterday a millionth time in her mind. Hoping, for a millionth time, that she would remember something she had forgotten that the woman had said. Something that would negate what she now knew.

The replay came out the same way the millionth time.

“Hello…”

There was a brief pause on the other side. A brief pause that suggested a number of things. One, that the caller was relieved that the call had been finally answered. Two, that the caller was now speechless now that the call had been answered. Just at the moment when Yejide wanted to repeat her hello, a myriad of words came tumbling through from the other side.

“I didn’t mean to wait this long. I certainly didn’t mean for this madness to go on for this long. There is no excuse for my actions. They were purely selfish. I can’t look in your eyes and tell you things that would make you cringe. Things that have given me joy…pure, selfish joy. I’m sorry, Mariam. I need to be forgiven. I need to make peace with you, with myself, with my God. I’m dying, Mariam. The breast cancer is in its advanced stage. There is nothing more to do than to wait for death. My doctors say otherwise. But I know they are just lying. Besides, it is my body. It is tired, I know. I can feel it giving up. It is not going to fight any longer. We’re not going to fight any longer. You’re a woman like me. We survive by intuition, by being suspicious… I know you must have suspected Ralph and I. You are right, Mariam…”

“Aunty Linda?”

Silence on the other side.

“Aunty Linda.” A statement this time from Yejide. A confirmation.

“Oh my God. Yejide. Yejide is that you? Oh my God. You sound so much like your mother. I’m so sorry. Oh my God.”

Click.

After undressing, Yejide stood in front of her standing mirror. Naked, she wondered if she has the same figure as her mum when she was her age. With her eyes closed, she slowly examined her left breast with her right hand, pressing it down firmly but softly as she ran her fingers through the rounded mass of flesh. With her left hand, she did the same with her right breast.
Her hands shook throughout the self-examination.

Aunty Linda.

Aunty Linda was family. Yejide grew up in her hands. She was the one who thought her how to wear make-up. She was her mum’s maid of honor. Just last week, her whole family had gone to see her at the hospital. Her mum had cried her eyes out. Yejide too had been withdrawn from her activities since that day. She was just getting over the gory sight of Aunty Linda’s disease-ravaged body. And now this.

“My father has been cheating on my mum with Aunty Linda.” Still naked, Yejide finally admitted the naked truth to herself.

She wondered how her mum would have reacted to the sordid revelation. But that could wait. The question was how would she react. Her hands shook as she wrapped her bosom with a large white towel. On her way to the bathroom, she heard her mum silently sobbing while her father was consoling her. She retraced her steps back to the sitting room.

“Linda is dead, Yejide.” Her mum raised her head and looked at her with tearful eyes.

Yejide stood still. Like a figurine.

“Oh my God. Oh my God.” She said a million and one times.

All the while, her father held his wife as her body heaved up and down. He said nothing.

Sometimes, you say it best when you say nothing at all.

“My best friend is dead, Ralph. My best friend is dead. She promised to call me this week…that she wanted to tell me something. She couldn’t. She couldn’t.”

Yejide moved towards her mother like she was in a trance. She took her in her arms, drawing her away from her husband’s grip. And they cried together.

“She called you, mum. She called you yesterday.” Yejide said with a shaky voice. A shaken voice.
“She did?” Her mum cried louder.
“Yes. She called you yesterday afternoon. You forgot your phone at home yesterday. Remember?”
Her mum nodded her head slowly. Then she asked what she alone didn’t know among the four of them, “What did she say?”

Yejide wiped the tears from her eyes with shaky hands. With shaking hands.

“She wanted you to forgive her, mum. She said you should forgive her if she has ever wronged you. That you were the best thing that ever happened to her.”

“Forgive her for what? Linda never wronged me. I may even have wronged her, unknowingly maybe. But she never hurt me once in her lifetime.”

Unknowingly. Yejide moved in for the kill.

“That was what she meant too, mum. Unknowingly. She wanted you to forgive her for any wrong she might have done to you, knowingly and unknowingly. She wanted you to pray for her soul to rest in peace.”

In her grief, Yejide’s mum forgave her friend. She could have absolved her of all her sins if she could. She prayed for her soul to rest in peace. Her husband said amen. She fell silent after that. She moved back into her husband’s arms and he held her tightly. Tighter. Her head rested on his chest. Peacefully.

Yejide and her father looked into each other’s eyes. Her father blinked first. In his eyes, Yejide saw remorse. She thought she saw some other things. She stood up then and looked at her father again. He didn’t say it out. She didn’t hear it. He only formed the words with his lips and she saw it. Thank you. And she nodded. Twice. You’re welcome.

The following morning, while she brushed her long long beautiful black hair, Yejide noticed that her hands were not shaking.

Muyis Adepoju

#OMOJUWAFICTION

Related Posts

Recent Posts

BREAKING: Police raid PREMIUM TIMES head office; arrest publisher, journalist.

The Nigeria police have raided PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher.   The publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, was arrested alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.   Plain-clothed officers conducted search at the office shortly after 5p.m. Thursday, and said they were acting on a complaint filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.   The arrests came days after PREMIUM TIMES turned down the army’s demand to retract news stories about the Nigerian Army and its operations.   The paper’s Editor-in-Chief,...

UPDATE: Nigerian air force ‘overflies The Gambia’ as ground troops prepare to strike.

The Nigerian air force is flying over The Gambia, an official said, as African troops prepare to force incumbent Yahya Jammeh to quit after his December election defeat. "I confirm that the armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia," Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told AFP. "They have the capacity to strike."

BREAKING: Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia.

Adama Barrow, the man who won The Gambia's disputed election, has been sworn in as president. Mr Barrow took the oath at the country's embassy in Senegal. He has been recognised internationally. But Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down and his term in office has been extended by parliament. West African leaders have tried to persuade Mr Jammeh to admit losing the election. They have threatened to remove him by force. Mr Jammeh lost last month's elections, but wants...

Comic Relief: Even Google is confused about who the President of Gambia is.

As ECOWAS troops continue to march into Banjul the capital of Gambia, in a bid to oust the incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh whose tenure expires today, there has been much uncertainty about the state of the presidency of Gambia.   Presently, the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow is being sworn-in at the Gambian embassy in Senegal. This unfolding event and more gives rise to the question; "Who is the president of Gambia?" and this has turned out to be a difficult question...

Senegalese troops take over Gambian border as Jammeh’s mandate ends today.

Yahya Jammeh, the Gambia’s longtime president, was holding out in the capital, Banjul, on Thursday after last-ditch diplomatic efforts to persuade him to stand down appear to have failed. The country has been in a state of political uncertainty since Jammeh refused to cede power to the winner of last month’s presidential election, using the courts and parliament to try to extend his 22-year rule. His mandate ended at midnight but he has steadfastly refused to hand over to Adama Barrow,...

BREAKING: Nigerian Senate loses bid to stop deployment of troops to Gambia.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki on Thursday deflected a move asking President Muhammadu Buhari to approach the National Assembly for permission before embarking on any military action in Gambia.   A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from Enugu state, Chukwuka Utazi, had raised a constitutional order which was rejected by Saraki who presided over plenary.   Standing on order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Utazi quoted section  5 (4) of the 1999 constitution which required the consent of both Houses...

Gambia’s president is refusing to leave office — even as foreign troops near.

Twenty-three years after taking power and more than a month after a shocking election loss, Gambia's defeated president isn't ready to step down. But by Thursday morning, the pressure on Yahya Jammeh mounted as the country lurched towarda political crisis. Troops from neighboring Senegal moved to the border with Gambia, a tiny West African country on the Atlantic Ocean. Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz arrived in the capital, Banjul, the latest in a series of African leaders who have...

Buhari’s Military Action In The Gambia Without Approval, Senate Says.

 The Senate on Thursday criticised the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for deploying troops to The Gambia without seeking legislative approval. The Nigerian Air Force had moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets, led by Air Commodore Tajudeen Yusuf, to Dakar, Senegal, which is the...

Journalists Write Buhari On Southern Kaduna, Call For Stakeholders Conference.

Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), a leading Nigerian media rights group, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to launch an intensive campaign aimed at mopping up arms in the hands of non-state actors across the country, especially in the Northern states. This is necessary to stem the tide of violence that threatens the country's stability, the media group stated. JODER also urged the President to create time to visit Southern Kaduna, saying such a step will boost the dwindling trust...

EFCC Arrests LG Councilor, Six Others For Diverting IDPs’ Rice

A supervisory councilor with Mafa local government area of Borno State, Umar Ibrahim, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) in Maiduguri over alleged diversion of 300 bags of rice meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.   Ibrahim, who supervises the local government’s agricultural department, was arrested alongside others named Bulama Ali Zangebe and Modu Bulama in a sting operation carried out by officials of the EFCC zonal office in Maiduguri.   According to...

Why Buhari was not invited for Trump’s inauguration – Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described the non-extension of invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the Donald Trump’s inauguration as a clear signal that the president does not enjoy international relevance any more. The governor said that the development was a very clear signal that Buhari’s government would not enjoy tangible support from the new US government. Fayose, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka,

Child Trafficking: Police Intercepts Another Syndicate. [Video]

The Plateau State Police Command has intercepted another syndicate specialised in trafficking children to the south east region of the country. The Police rescued 16 children at a motor park in Jos, Plateau State. The Public Relations Officer of the Command, ASP, Mathias Tyopev told Channels Television that the suspect, a female was apprehended at the Gada Biyu motor park while boarding a vehicle in company of the...

Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Rickey Tarfa’s Appeal

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has reserved judgement in two different appeals filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, challenging his trial for alleged age falsification and obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties. The appellate court presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba reserved the two appeals for judgement after hearing arguments from the appellant’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) and that of the respondent, Rotimi Oyedepo. Mr Tarfa had appealed against the rulings of...

Rann Bombing: NAF Sets Up Board to Investigate Accidental Air Strike

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has constituted a board of senior officers to investigate the accidental air strike on January 17, 2017 at Rann village, Borno State.   Among its terms of reference, the Board is to determine the immediate and remote cause as well as the circumstances that led to the incident.   A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, reads: “This is with a view to forestall future occurrence. In addition to a...

Kaduna Government Proposes 1Bn Naira To Tackle Malnutrition

The Kaduna State government has said it is proposing an annual budget of 1 Billion Naira, to tackle malnutrition, among children in the state. Governor Nasir El-Rufai disclosed this at a summit on emergency nutrition action plan held in the state capital. The governor announced that as part of efforts to address hunger and starvation in the state, his administration will set aside funds to take care of 50,000 malnourished children in collaboration with UNICEF. He however called on the citizens...

Enugu police rescues kidnapped girl sold for N350,000 in Abia

The Enugu State Police Command said that it has burst a kidnapping and human trafficking syndicate that abducted and sold a four-year-old girl in Abia for N350,000. Ebere Amaraizu, the command’s spokesman, said in a statement that the little girl’s kidnap was aided by a family member from Inyi community in Oji River Local Government Area. According to Mr. Amaraizu, the little girl went missing from school without a trace at about 12:45 p.m. on December 15, 2016 and was only...

Woman arrested for stabbing PHCN official in Akowonjo

A joint effort by security operatives attached to the Lagos State Command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has led to the arrest of a suspect identified as Mrs. Ediale Ayodele.   The suspect was apprehended for stabbing an official of power distribution network, Ikeja Electric in the Akowonjo axis of Lagos State.   According to a report by PM News, the suspect who resides at No. 6, Ayodola Close, Akonwonjo, allegedly stabbed the official who was on a routine...

Gambia: Adama Barrow Reaches Out To Jammeh

Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has again appealed to outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to step aside in the supreme interest of his people and safe the Gambia from civil strive. Mr Barrow said  Mr Jammeh’s refusal to step down will result in a military confrontation and the loss of lives and destructions of public and private properties. President Jammeh’s mandate expired on Wednesday but he is refusing to relinquish power to Adama Barrow, who was declared winner of last month’s election. He had vowed...

University student bites off neighbour’s ear – Police

A 30-year-old student, Tobi Justice, who allegedly assaulted his father’s tenant by biting off his left ear, was on Thursday in Lagos released on a N50,000 bail.   The Chief Magistrate, Alexander Komolafe, who gave the ruling, also told the accused to present two sureties in like sum.   The accused, a student of the University of Abuja, had pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge bordering on assault occasioning grievous harm and breach of peace brought against him at an Ikeja Magistrates’...

Osun State Government identifies 458 unregistered schools

The Osun Government on Thursday gave two weeks ultimatum to owners of unregistered schools in the state to register them with the state Ministry of Education or stand the risk of closure.   The warning is contained in a statement signed by Festus Olajide, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Oshogbo.   The ministry said that it discovered that 458 schools in 11 local government areas of the state...

Nigerian lawmakers propose bill to jail Ministers, others who defy them.

A bill that could see officials of the executive arm of government thrown into prison if they fail to honour a summon by the legislature has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.   The bill also recommended an alternative fine of up to N1 million for any official found guilty of contempt of the National Assembly.   The sponsor of the bill, Sunday Karim, said during plenary on Thursday that lawmakers were frustrated by frequent refusal of members of the executive...