Monday, 28 May 2007

The Shit Hits The Fan Part 2

Papa, I am sorry I haven't written in a little while, but with practicing for the London to Paris bike ride, work and church, I was struggling to find time. Where did I stop? Oh I remember, I let you lead me back into the house. When my dad saw you, his eyes lit up. He was fond of you. I know it didn't really seem like he did, but he was always telling Toks that he needed to be more like you.

"Seun my boy, How are you? I have been meaning to call your dad. How is he"........My dad's voice trailed off as soon as he noticed that we were holding hands. The penny slowly dropped and he stared at us (for what seemed like ages) in disbelief. I swallowed the lump that had lodged itself in my throat. Silence. My mum came out of the kitchen and embraced you warmly. My dad had still not said a word.

Momsi noticed the tension and looked at my dad. "Toks, kilode? Is anything the matter?" she asked. I gulped. My dad clapped his hands together in disbelief. "This is who your daughter has brought to us. Or am I wrong? "He asked, directing his gaze at me. I wanted the ground to swallow me. "Yes dad" I answered. I looked at you, you were looking at the ground. I was so angry with you in that moment. I knew this was a bad idea. but you always felt that the two year jump start you had on me allowed you a certain wisdom. Sorry Papa, but that is bullshit. You should have listened to me. But you know what they say about spilt milk....

It was my mum that reacted first. she reached over and pulled my hand out of yours with such force that it hurt for days after. "My friend will you get serious. so this is who you want to marry abi? Did I do something to you that you would want to shame this family. eh? If I have wronged you Atinuke, let me know. A muslim. abi ori awon omode o da? I didn't kill my mother, you will not kill me." My dad was still silent. Its like he was waiting for you to say something. And then you did.

Aunty Bunmi, I know this situation is far from ideal, but I love your daughter and she loves me. We have weighed the pros and cons and we are prepared to fight the odds. We...

"Come on will you shut up" my dad roared, cutting you off mid sentence. You will marry my daughter over my dead body, now get out of my house" You hesitated, I could see that you didn't want to leave me to face the wrath. "Get out of my house" Popsi shouted again. I had never seen him so angry. You looked at me. I nodded that it was okay. There was nothing you could do. You would only make things worse. So you left. As I heard the door slam shut, I knew there would be hell to pay.

My dad turned to look at me. The venom in his eyes was frightening. I thought he was going to slap me, so I braced myself. "Tinuke, you are an adult so I will give you a choice. Either you stop seeing this boy or you stop living under my roof. The choice is yours" and with that he left the lounge. My mum was sitting on the sofa with her hand on her head. "Mummy, I began. "Tinuke, your father has said all that there is to say. I am very disappointed in you, but I am going to let your dad handle this matter" I burst into tears, she kissed her teeth and left the room.

I sat on the floor. What was I supposed to do. Leaving you was out of the question. Leaving home was another matter entirely. How could they make me choose. My head was a mess. I didn't know what to think. I heard the front door open, then Toks jnr came into the lounge. He looked at me but didn't say anything, he sat on the sofa. I was still crying. "Tinuke, he began, stop crying, it is not going to solve anything. You need to think logically. I just spoke to dad and he is angry. He will be calmer in the morning. For now, lay low and let things blow over. Why you decided to red flag the bull is beyond me, a softer more subtle approach would have been better." "Like what?" I asked. "Tinu, I don't know, but whats done is done. Bottom line is daddy can't chuck you out. He is just trying to scare you. You are the apple of his eye. He isn't going to just throw you away like that. Right



Wednesday, 16 May 2007

The Shit Hits the Fan (Part 1)

My dad called me princess today. its been so long since he called me princess, not since I"dishonoured" his family. It took me back to the good old days, when he still thought his little girl could do no wrong.

I remember how it all unfolded. It was just after I got my first job, popsi was so proud of his daughter, he told anyone who would listen that his daughter had done good. It was at this time, when I was in his good books that he called me into the lounge.

"princess, princess", I was on the phone to Tosin, who as usual was in a cantankerous mood. To be honest, I was glad for an excuse to get off the phone. I told her I had to go and went to see what my dad wanted. He looked worried. "Tinuke, come and sit with your daddy" he said. So I sat.

"You know your mum and I are proud of you. You are an intelligent woman who knows what she wants out of life, but my dear, you don't know everything." My heart stilled, had he found out about you? Had uncle Femi betrayed my confidence? My mind was racing.

He continued, "I see you on the phone all the time talking to someone, I know it is a man. What kind of home training does he have if he starts to see someone's daughter without their permission? Tinu, more importantly, what kind of home training do you have that you did not seek our approval before dating this man?"

See me see wahala, popsi is stuck in neverland, which boy would come and ask him for permission to take me out? The thought alone would garauntee me a lifetime membership to single hood. I didn't say anything.

"Call him", popsi continued. "Invite him to dinner, tell him your father would like to meet him" Ah, I almost choked on my tongue. See who? Popsi would have died if he knew who the "man" was, what the hell was I supposed to do now?

I did what anyone would have done, I bluffed. "Daddy, I am not seeing anyone, just because I am on the phone does not mean I am talking to a boy. You know I like to gossip with my friends if I had a boyfriend, I would invite him over." I held my breath, did he believe me?

What happened next shocked me, my dad reached over and slapped me across the face. "Liar", he shouted. "Am I raising a prostitute and a liar? You know what the bible says about these things. So if you don'thave a boyfriend, who were you saying i love you too to? Eh, you can't talk abi? Tomorrow evening you had better bring this boy with no home traing home" and with that, I was dismissed.

I was stunned. What the hell was I going to do. I knew that if you turned up, there would be hell to pay. And that my dad would make sure that taht was the end of you and me. He knew I had a boyfriend, he was expecting someone tomorrow. I was freaking out.

I did the only thing I could do, I called you. You were quiet as I told you what had happened. When I finshed, you told me that you would fix it. You called me back later to tell me that you had a plan. "Go and apologise to your father for lying and tell him that your boyfriend will be coming to dinner." I asked if you had found someone to play a role and you said yes. You promised to email me the boys story so I would know what to say when asked. I felt a little relieved.

The next day, I still hadn't received the email from you, so I called you from work. No answer. I kept trying all through the day. No answer. I was going crazy with worry. I contemplated calling popsi and telling him that I had to work late, but I knew that it wouldn't go down well. So I bit the bullet and went home, consoling myself with how much I was going to make you pay for all this worry.

I looked at the time as my dad strumed his fingers impatiently on the sofa, "where is he? no manners" he muttered disapprovingly. I sighed. This was definitely going to be a long night. Only I didn't know how long. The door bell rang and I flew to answer it. It was you. "Seun thank God, I have been going out of my mind, why didn't you answer your phone, where is the boy?" I asked looking over your shoulder. There was no one behind you. I felt my stomach drop as I realised why you hadn't been picking up your phone.

"Tinuke, you know we have to do this. If you brought someone home and they eventually find out about us, how do you think it is going to look? We would just be making things worse for ourselves. It's time babe." You knew I would object. I wasn't ready to face my parents. I knew they would be livid.

I let you take my hand and lead me back into the house. Time to face our destiny.


Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Preacher's Daughter is not a Stripper

Happy birthday Papa. This is the first birthday that I have not been a part of in some capacity in almost 10 years. Our anniversary was hard for me and I am bracing myself for a hard day, but it will pass. I keep trying to imagine what we would be doing if you were still with me. i remember the last birthday I spent with you. Do you remember, I bet you are laughing wherever you are.

It was the big 25 and your parents were in Naij. I wanted us to have a party but you didn't want a fuss. I kept saying that 25 was a landmark and should be celebrated. You just wanted to chill, maybe hang out with a few friends etc. I was adamant, so we compromised.

We had a little come chop for you; a few of your friends and a few of mine. I remember waking up really early to slave over the cooker. After a couple of hours in the kitchen, I had begun to wonder what had possessed me to talk you into having a party. Anyway, Labake and Aramide were there too and they conveniently woke up after all the real work had been done. They helped me clean up and you went to the store to buy some drinks

The party went off without a hitch, as usual, it ended up being more than "a few friends". I didn't know half the people there but you were having fun and that really was all that mattered to me. By 3a.m, I was shattered and the party was winding down. I guilted Labake and Aramide into seeing the few guests that were left off, I wanted to go to bed and I wanted to give you your "birthday present"

I had bought a PVC nurses outfit from a seedy little shop on Berwick Street and I wanted to dance for you. I put on some music, went into the bathroom and changed into the little outfit. I came out, did a few "stripper moves" and started to dance slowly and what I thought was sexily. I heard you stifle a giggle and I stopped. This was not how I saw this playing out in my head. It was meant to make you horny not laugh. I pulled up the zipper of the dress and stormed into the bathroom. "Baby come on," you said, clearly still laughing. I came out in a towel, having removed the offending outfit. I was sulking. "you are so sweet and definitely sexy", you said as you took my hand, "but you have to admit that shit was funny". I punched you in your stomach. We fell on the bed laughing, it was funny, what had I been thinking?

That night, you made love to me and I fell asleep in your arms. You had this way of hooking my neck in the crook of your arm, with your leg over mine. It wasn't the most comfortable way to sleep, I have to admit. But I have never felt safer than when we where in that position; my head on your chest, listening to rhythm of your heart beat and your even breath. You didn't snore, thank God for that.

The best part of falling asleep with you was waking up with you. Seeing your face always put a smile on my face. My gorgeous 6ft of dark chocolate, complete with ripples in all the right places; with a smile that always reached your eyes. Papa, Master of my heart. Happy Birthday.


Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Our First Kiss

My mind took me back to my childhood and the day I met you. I was 12 and my mum made Toks and I accompany her to an old friend's house. We didn't want to come and we made a fuss, but you know my mum, she was having none of it.

When we got to your house, your mum introduced us to you and your younger sister, Aramide. We played sega mega drive with you while our mums finished catching up. You and Toks hit it off, you were the same age and liked the same things. The same couldn't be said for Aramide and I, I was a girly girl and she was (and still is ) a bit of a tom boy. You and Tokunbo became really good friends and you started coming round often.

Fast forward 2 years, I was 14, you were 16. Toks and you were planning to go to some party. There was hype about the party amongst my friends and I wanted to come too but Tokunbo refused. So I went above his head. My mum didn't see why I couldn't come too. Truth be told, I think Momsi still thought that parties consisted of "aunty give me cake" dresses and dancing chairs. We all piled into the car. You guys were annoyed but I didn't care. I was excited to be going to my first real party.

As soon as we got there you guys jabod me. My friends were there so it didn't really matter. Some guy asked me to dance and we danced for a while. You were either jealous or just over protective because you came over and broke us up. "easy, she is only a baby" you said as you pulled me away from him. The guy smiled and said that I didn't look like a baby. You told him I was your younger sister and led me away by my hand. I was annoyed. "What now?" I asked. "Do you want Tokunbo to beat the living daylights out of you ? You better behave yourself." you replied. I kissed my teeth. "Lets go and see if Sunday is here" you said, ignoring my obvious annoyance at being interrupted. Sunday was our weekend driver. He hadn't arrived.

"Do you have a girl friend?" I asked "Why?" you asked in return. "Well, Tokunbo has one, I was just wondering" I answered. "No, not yet" you replied. Silence....

"So, do you really think I am a baby?", I continued. "I just said that to save you from Toks, you are more mature than most of the girls in my class" you answered back. I suddenly felt self conscious. I think that was the first time I was aware of you as a guy, not just Tokunbo's friend.

"Erm, should we go and check for Sunday agian?" I asked. You nodded in reply. We stood up at the same, suddenly you leant in and kissed me on my mouth. Not an open mouth kiss, but a kiss non the less.

All the way home I was silent, even Tokunbo noticed. "what is wrong with you?" he asked. "Nothing" I replied, looking at you out of the corner of my eye. You avoided my gaze.

4 years passed before we talked about that kiss. You told me that you knew you liked me but I was Tokunbo's little sister. As time went on, you decided you more than liked me.I often wonder why it took us so long to get it together. I guess it was a good thing because we both got to experience what was out there.

Sometimes I look back and it feels like wasted time, time we could have spent together. But man proposes and God disposes.