‘Shevo!!’ His mother screamed on sighting him; he hadn’t been home for two good years.’Maami’ he said as he clung to her for as long as he could.
‘Where is Baami’?
‘In his study.He spoke about you some minutes ago.You should go see him’, she concluded.
Shevo disentangled, picked up his luggage and headed straight for the study. His father’s study was a relatively small compartment that had enough space for his consulting table and three chairs:one at an end and two at the other, two wooden drawing tables and stools, a four by four shelf where books, drawings and sketches were neatly arranged.
‘Baami’, he bent double almost immediately. ‘Get up and take a seat’, his father replied.
‘You really have become a man’, Shevo chuckled bashfully.
‘I’m glad you came. Shevo, it’s Makanju again. The last time she came home, she was carrying another baby, and I fear…’ he paused. ‘She just called to say she was recuperating in a friend’s house and wouldn’t say more’,he concluded.
Instantly,Shevo knew what that meant. He knew he was going on another journey in a day or two to Kouande in Benin to ascertain the real thing that’s going on with Makanju. He also knew that he wasn’t prepared for this, not even now that he had to abandon his academics. He stood up without saying a word and walked slowly to the sitting room to collapse in the three-seater.
‘But why… why Makanju every time? Or are these karmic mystics?’ He thought as tears streamed down his face.
Makanju grew rapidly and innocently in unknown mysteries hovering round about her. At the tender age of three, she was molested by a neighbour who escaped justice and at age ten, was hit by a motorcycle; that resulted in her curvy ankles. Funnily, in those early years, no one noticed a thing not even the most observant person in the family–his mother.
Makanju had always nursed the dream of becoming a medical doctor as a child and had really worked hard to earn the support of her parents who never forgot they waited ten years for her arrival as the first child. But the twist to all that came in the first days of her school leaving exams, little Makanju lost her memory, she lost her mind!! It was a devastating and chaotic turnaround, the type that was never envisaged. Immediately the journey to restore her started, she was taken to a church, then to another and then the asylum. Everyone wailed and prayed but two good years went by before she was sane again.
Oshiya woke up with a slight headache as he concluded plans to move that night into Nikki and then permanently to Parakou where he hoped to start life afresh. He didn’t really have to bother about the presence of Kalakuta security personnel;it was a porous border. Things moved in and out without proper checks except for smugglers that refused to play by the rules. And if they proved a little difficult, a few bucks would make them grin like the fools they were.
‘Mima, iti yi ma’ he said aloud to his weary grandmother. Her response was quick and crisp ‘Fi Iliran siwan’. There were no cries, no emotional farewell speeches from both ends as he walked into the setting sun.
Parakou had been the ancestral home of his paternal ancestors and he had grown to hear interesting tales of the intoxicating wealth of his great grand uncle and how tight-fisted he got at a point. About one year into his death, his kinsmen found the pot he had kept so much money and buried beneath his bamboo bed. His ears also tingled at the tale of the bravery of two of his daughters–his great grand-aunties–who joined king Ghezo’s Dahomean Army only to perish a few years later in the Dahomey-Egba war.
A day had gone past before Shevo left for Kouande to be with Makanju. He couldn’t shove his fears aside as he journeyed, their steps were very loud in his heart. He knew his sister needed help but the type was really unknown.
‘Hi’, a little voice beside him whispered just when their bus was fast approaching the most famous park in Kouande. At first, Shevo thought he heard that some yards away. He had been lost in thoughts but that jerked him back to the present. He turned very slowly and saw a lass give a smile invitingly. ‘Oooohh not now’, he thought.
Shevo was not the usual kid that was alien to things like this, he had been self-taught since he was a teenager. He was quick to complete ninety-five percent of his growing cycle at thirteen with a fine face, an average body size to match and had his first sexual encounter with an older teenager on his fifteenth birthday.
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