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Kayode is my secondary school boyfriend, He was a year ahead of me in class even though he’s a lot older than me. I guess he’s one of those people who has slow education.
Kayode is a tall dark guy with broad chest but it’s can be confuse as those one we see on fashion show.
He is not that intelligent but he is a wise person. He knows about life as he’s older than me, he obviously has more experience than I do. He’s not too fine, but he’s manageable.
Some teachers had been against our relationship at first saying if at all I want to have a boyfriend, I should have dated someone on the same level as me, intelligent wise and wealthy look.
If only they knew that behind my wealthy look, there’s much suffering to it, they probably won’t say that. Only Kayode knows that. Kudos to my mum, she made it possible that no matter what we are going through, she made us look our best.
So it’s actually not easy to know that I go through a lot only if I tell one. Well kayode knew all this, After all, there’s more to love than just physical structures.
Although, relationships are not allowed in school but it doesn’t mean people don’t have a relationship.
At least, there are still some teachers who understand the hormone of teenagers even though I and kayode had not gone pass hugs, unlike all other teenagers who experiment things.
I started noticing Kayode when he defended a junior student from being bullied by the so called senior students. They don’t know anything except for bullying junior students. Kayode will always defend the junior ones.
This act quickly made him popular and loved in the school, especially the junior students, they see him as a father figure.
He will give his food to junior students or buy for them. Despite his huge physique he is very polite and he respects everyone.
We started talking when my textbooks were stolen and he helped me find them. If he hadn’t find those textbooks, I wonder what my father would have done to me. What about my step mother?
She will have a lot to say, the most painful part would be my father saying all sort of things to my mother. Even though mom would understand, I will not be happy.
I was in deep thought thinking about what to tell my daddy when Kayode walked up to me. SHOLAPE are these not the textbooks you were looking for?
I raised up my head to see my textbooks in his hands, I was amazed and so happy. I thanked him and asked how he found them.
He just told me to be very careful with my bag, he said some guys stole it during the break period. I quickly guessed it was one of the boys disturbing me.
They did it just to punish me. I thanked him again and we went our separate ways. We didn’t get along well after that, all we said to each other was just greetings.
As times goes on we got to know each other better and we became gist partners.
I was sitting all alone at the school backyard with a book on my laps which I was supposed to be reading but I was engrossed in my thoughts as tears filled my eyes.
Life hasn’t been good to my mum and I. Just yesterday, Hajia had told us to pay her money before she can help us with another one. Yet, my mum has nothing on her.
After all, the woman has tried, she has given us more than anybody could have.
Whenever we are short of money, seems Mummy’s sales isn’t going well and daddy hasn’t gotten the time to send the money to us, my mother would ask me to go to Hajia’s house to ask her for some little money as she won’t be able to go because shame wouldn’t let her.
I would go to Hajia’s while I greet her and kneel in front of her begging her to give us little money, which we would pay in no time. She would give me the money with so much pity in her eyes.
That woman is so kind hearted. She doesn’t even remember to ask for the money. But even if she had asked, how would we have paid back??
Before daddy sends the money, there are many debts which needs to be covered in which the people in question are not as lenient as Hajia.
Hmm! what a life! Hajia has helped us not once not twice. There are times she gives us food without us asking, God knows why. She probably knows the kind of condition we are in.
There’s nothing as stupid as people thinking you’re okay and they look up to you for help not knowing you yourself needs more help than they do.
Days we don’t get money, my mother will go to food vendors and pack the remnants of the head of fish which they had sorted out before cooking.
She’ll bring them home while she cook it with palm oil, Tin tomato and water. We would eat this with hard eba which she got the garri from our neighbours.
We dare not complain about this food because at that moment it is the best.
Although, rain is a source of blessing but to us, it’s a disaster. We never pray for rain to fall because if it does, it won’t be a peaceful night.
When we hear the strike of thunder, we start cursing under our breath because our ceiling was leaking. The rain will soak our room making us have an unwanted pool.
Days like this aren’t always good. There are days that makes me ask God what my offense is. Once it starts raining, my mother will put the bucket on our bed so as to savour water even though our body will have water drops.
She would wake us up and ask us to sleep properly on our small bed which rain had soaked half of it. I and my brother will lay vertically on the bed folding our legs trying to avoid the rain drop.
We would sleep so close to each other trying to protect ourselves from the water even though it’s unavoidable. My mother will lay a nylon and wrapper on the already soaked floor because there’s no space for her to sleep on the bed.
I and my brother are already occupying the dried place. She would sleep on the wet floor with little rain water dropping on her making the sound TO TO TO. If we are lucky enough, the rain will stop but mostly, it doesn’t stop for a long time.
She will sleep in it like that. After all these, she wakes up with fever which I have to take care of her. But I couldn’t take care of her properly because I had to go to school.
That was all I was thinking of when kayode walked up to me. Apparently, he had heard me say “God why me” outside my thought which made him come closer. When I noticed he was the one, I didn’t look at him twice.
I stood up as if to walk away. Then stopped me by holding me by the arm. He told me I’ve been crying. I didn’t wait for him to finish his statement when I busted into tears.
I told him everything without him asking, I didn’t even realize what I was doing. I guess I just needed someone to talk to, I guess I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me. There he was, Kayode was the someone.
He listened without interrupting me, looking at me patiently with so much pity and anger. I wonder why he had mixed feeling, holding me like I was a new born baby and he was afraid of letting go.
I told him everything leaving no stone unturned. I felt great after this I told him thank you and I left. He didn’t say a word either. He looked at me looking speechless and like he has just been hit in the head.
I left him while he looked motionless. I’m the one who’s supposed to be feeling this way why him?
I met him the next day to thank him for being a good listener, since then, we’ve been friends.
I could tell him anything and he could do the same thing. Turns out behind the ugly and tough look, there’s a soft heart. He asked me out some months after and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
I’m sure he called to check up on me because of the way I acted in school earlier. I said to my mum after I had narrated the whole thing to her. She smiled and told me to be careful.
But before that, she looked at me from head to toe, eyeing my body and shaking her head as if she was looking for something missing in me.
God this is so awkward. Regardless of how close I and my mum are, we’ve not had this kind of conversation. So Sholape, you have lost your.
Oh no mum, I cut her before she finishes her statement… mummy no I’m still a virgin. Kayode has agreed to wait for me. I intend to keep it till the night of my wedding Mum, I said.
She smiled and said you know your virginity is your pride, Keep it well it would earn you a lot in future. I rolled my eyes at her statement knowing that was what she was going to say.
I felt awkward yet relieved, knowing I’m no longer hiding anything from my mother. I hugged and said thanks best friend, you’re the best. She picked at my nose in return warning me not keep anything from her from now on.
I was in the kitchen trying to cook a pot of concoction rice with palm oil as the main ingredient which has always been our savior since Thy kingdom come when I heard my name Sholape!
Oh Mummy I’m coming, let me light the stove.
Saturdays are always good to me. At least I get to spend enough time with my mother and Sunkanmi. Even though we don’t have money, we still make ourselves happy in our own little way. Mummy I’m here, I said to her.
Oko mi (my dear) I don’t feel okay at all, please boil water to make pap for me when you’re done cooking my mother said.
Mummy I will but before then, try to lighten up a bit, I don’t like your look I said to her.
She looked at me with a smirk on her face. Oh my mum! If only I was old enough I would buy you the world, I thought to myself. My mum has been feeling this way since two days ago when the last rain feel.
It has filled our room as usual. If only she had listened to me when I told her to lay on the bed with Sunkanmi while I sleep on the floor but she insisted. She always wants to take care of us not knowing I want to take care of her in return too.
If I wasn’t home, she would have done all the house chores by herself despite the fact that she’s sick.
She’s so hard working. I turned back to give her a look thinking she would look at me in return so that I can tell her everything will be okay but she was lost in thought.
Oh my God is it just me or is she really looking this way?? My mother looked so old, older than her usual self while she sat on the stool in our backyard.
Not only was she looking old, she also looked small and unkept as she tied a navy blue wrapper around her chest with one side of the wrapper loosed making it seem like her breast is going to fall out of the wrapper if she makes a slight movement.
What could be wrong with my mother? Could fever make someone have such a drastic change within a short period of time?? Could something be weighing her down?? I know she’s thinking of how to make a better life for us.
Oh maami I’m sure if there was a problem, she would have told me. We don’t hide anything from each other. Nothing will happen to my mother, l said shaking my head in disapproval bringing myself out of my thoughts.
I gave her a look again but she doesn’t seem to realize I’ve been standing there all along.
I went back to the kitchen to start the preparation of my concoction rice while I sing “Mummy oh oh oh wa pe laye, Mummy eh eh eh wa jeun omo, e ni ba ni ko ni ri be a fo lo ju, a kan lapa ko si enu trailer a run tu we” (Mother, you’ll live long, mother you’ll reap the fruit of your Labour, whoever says contrary to these will be disabled and will die of an accident)
While singing, alot of thoughts crossed my mind again. What if something is really wrong with my mother and she’s not saying a word to me? Who will cater for us?
Who will be there for us? Olorun ma je I said so loudly not realizing I spoke out of my thought.
The pot of rice was done I was about boiling the water for my mum when she walked passed me telling me it’s getting late that I should be quick with whatever I’m doing so we could eat on time.
Hmmm was the only thing I managed to say because I was too busy concentrating on her trying to figure out if something could really be wrong and she is not telling me.
Her look was all that seem different, she looked weak but still walked the same. It’s probably the fever I said to myself.
I served our food and the rest of dinner was silent with a heavy sigh from my mum breaking the silence.
I looked at her immediately and she looked away as if she was trying to hide something from me.
She hid her face even when I was going to take our plates to the kitchen. I ignored her because I didn’t want to push further. It was dark and the power has being seized. She was already on the bed when I walked in.
Oh my God, it seems it’s going to rain again, I went to get wrapper to cover my mother. I was about covering her body when I felt her temperature. What?? I drew away from the feeling of her body, it was as if I dipped my hand into an oven.
Mummy you’re running temperature I said to her, it’s nothing Sholape I’ll be fine.
Mummy lets go to the hospital, Rara ooo with which money?? She replied
Mummy but …….don’t worry oko mi, it’s Nothing, before tomorrow, I’ll be alright.
Okay, I said.
I sat on the floor, praying the rain doesn’t fall while I watched my mother and brother sleep. I was determined to watch them all through the night but I soon fell asleep as nature can’t be cheated.
It was early in the morning when I woke up. I couldn’t find my mother on the bed, while my brother slept like someone who has no worries.
Of course he doesn’t, I mean what does a child know? Thank God it didn’t rain, I said quietly almost in a whisper.
I got up lazily from the bed in search of my mother as if she was missing. I can’t go a day without my mum.
Mummy! I shouted. where are you?? Mummy! Mummy!
She’s nowhere here, I kept walking and shouting her name when I spotted her at the backyard.
Mummy, good morning ma. What are you doing here all alone?? I asked.
Good morning Sholape, how was your night?? She said all these while she was trying to to hide her face from me, bending her head as if she was going to enter the ground. Mummy what’s wrong??
Why aren’t you looking at me??
Have I offended you?? She didn’t say a word but she kept moving her head left and right.
Are you crying? I squat too look at her as if I was going to go back inside her womb. I raised her head up, I was surprised at her look. She looked worse than yesterday.
What could be going on mummy?
What are you not telling me? I asked. She didn’t say a word while she kept crying like a baby. For a moment, I wished she was a child that I could beat so she could talk.
Mummy talk to me. Sholape I’m sick, she finally said.
By this time, I couldn’t hold my tears back. I hate seeing my mother in such pain.
Mummy what kind of sickness??
She didn’t reply, she just kept on saying I’m sick. She started praying at the middle of her sob saying my effort won’t go in vain, I’ll reap the fruit of my Labour while she cried hard saying the evil plan of my enemy won’t succeed. I kept saying Amin.
Mummy why are you taking like this?? Don’t worry, no one will take my place, she said.
This isn’t fair, why is she not saying anything? At this point, I was thinking all sort and crying like I wanted to make a pool out of my tears. The rest of the day was sad and quiet.
It was lunch period. I was the only one left in the class, all of my classmate had gone for lunch.
What is my joy? What is lunch in my life at this moment? My Mother is lying critically ill at home and she wouldn’t even tell me what’s wrong. What if she dies? Ha God forbid!.
Sholape this is the third time I’m calling your name, you were lost in thought what are you thinking?
Are you not going for lunch?? Kayode said.
I’m not hungry, I replied.
Baby something is wrong, why won’t you tell me, he said, I looked at him wishing he could read my mind because I wasn’t ready to talk.
I wanted to tell him everything but I couldn’t find myself talking. It seems like I’ve lost my voice. He kept on saying talk to me.
I managed to say Mummy when tears found its way. He didn’t take his time In pulling me closer for a hug, rocking me back and forth saying everything is going to be okay, Calm down baby, don’t rush it, you can talk to me whenever you want.
I’m always here to listen, he said.
I was calm and he told me to sit down, He would get my lunch.
By this time, I wasn’t crying anymore. He left, I’ll tell him as soon as he’s back. I just want to talk.
He came in with a bottle of Fanta and a pack of food which I have no idea of what’s in it.
He was about getting close to me when I said; my mum is very sick, She looks old and weak, She won’t tell me what’s wrong, I said to him.
The look on his face changed, shaking his head sympathetically.
I’m sorry to hear this, She’s gonna be fine, You won’t lose her, He said to me trying to smile, in other to convince me.
He managed to hug me and make me happy telling me I should remember he’s always there for me. I wish we could go further than hugging but he’s been trying to obey me seems I told him I wanted to keep myself till the night of my wedding.