As she was basking in the joy of the moment, Mr Cole opened the door leading to their room and barely acknowledging her, walked straight to the wardrobe, put on a T-shirt, changed his shorts into a pair of jeans, ‘I’m going to the bar’ he told her and left.
Mrs Cole watched him but didn’t say a word, not even a response to what he said. The mere sight of the man, dampened her countenance. When he left, she resumed working on her laptop.
After about 2 hours, she was tired and decided to suspend the work. She saved it and shut down then laptop then went to the kitchen to fix dinner for the family.
She was in a good mood that night, she decided to make pancake, she knew all her children liked it. Bimbo came to join her in the kitchen.
‘Where are your siblings?’ she asked her.
‘Sis Seyi is sleeping, bro Bayo is in his room’ Bimbo replied.
‘That boy is always in his room and I’m sure the door is locked as usual’ Mrs Cole said as she measured out the flour.
‘Guess what’s for dinner’ Mrs Cole asked, excited. She always liked the beam on Bimbo’s face every time she smiled.
‘What mummy? What?’ Bimbo jumped with excitement.
‘Pancakes!’ Mrs Cole smiled.
‘Yeeeeeeeey thank you mummy. You’re the best’ Bimbo said and hugged her mum.
Mrs Cole was moved by her daughter’s gestures. As Bimbo held on to her, she remembered why she was still in this marriage. She knew her children where worth all the sacrifices.
‘Why don’t you go and call your brother so the cooking can be faster’ Mrs Cole told her.
‘Okay mummy’ Bimbo said and zoomed off to call Bayo.
As was her usual custom, she barged into the room without knocking or being told to come in. Bayo, on the other hand, wasn’t prepared. His door wasn’t locked this time around.
‘Bro Bayo, mummy said…’ she froze immediately she opened the door. Her hand glued to the door knob and her words stuck in her mouth. The innocent girl was traumatized by what she saw, it was the last thing she expected to see when she opened the door to her brother’s room.
‘What’s your problem, Bimbo? Don’t you know how to knock?’ Bayo asked, angry and ashamed at the same time. He had been caught red handed and there was no hiding this time around.
He quickly put on his trousers and a T Shirt ‘I said you should get out of my room’ he shouted at his sister who was still in shock. Her innocent mind could not comprehend what she had just seen; her brother masturbating. As he kept shouting at her, she transited from shock to fear. What she had just seen, nothing or no one could ever wipe off her memory. ‘What could be worse?’ She wondered. She felt like a terrible sinner. She began to blame herself, tears immediately began to well up in her eyes.
‘What is it? Why are you now crying?’ Bayo asked, wondering the reason for the tears.
The tears began to flow and she began to sob. Bayo walked up to her and began to pat her but as he did, she cried more. He didn’t want their mum to hear so he began to beg her to stop crying. This only made things worse. ‘Bimbo please I’m begging you, stop crying’ he pleaded.
Mrs Cole heard Bimbo’s voice and from the kitchen shouted ‘What is going on there?’
Bayo pleaded harder ‘Bimbo please don’t let mummy come and see you crying. I will buy you sweet’ he tried to bribe her.
Nothing he did or said pacified her.
Mrs Cole couldn’t take it anymore. She left what she was doing in the kitchen and went to check up on Bimbo. ‘Bimbo what is it? What happened? Why are you crying?’ she asked as she squatted to the level of her height.
Bimbo couldn’t speak. No words could come out even if she tried. She looked petrified. She threw her hands around her mother’s neck.
Mrs Cole hugged her ‘It’s alright my dear’ she said softly as she looked up to Bayo who was standing in front of her and asked ‘what happened?’
‘Bayo shrugged his shoulder ‘mummy I don’t know, she just got to my room and started crying. Maybe a bee stung her or something’ he lied but unfortunately for him, he was so terrible at lying.
‘A bee? From where would it have come? Won’t there have been a bite mark on her body?’ Mrs Cole asked, not convinced with his reply. She patted Bimbo on the back, ‘sorry my baby, stop crying, mummy is here now you hear?’ she consoled Bimbo who gradually stopped crying and managed to gather the strength to whisper in her mum’s ears ‘mummy I’m scared’.
Mrs Cole couldn’t fathom what could have made Bimbo scared all of a sudden. She wondered if it had anything to do with what she opened up to her about her uncle, Gboyega earlier that day. ‘Don’t worry my baby, uncle Gboyega will never step into this house again’ she assured her.
Bimbo stopped crying but remained quiet.
Mrs Cole stood up wondering what could her have triggered the fearful panic she just witnessed Bimbo have. It was a drastic contrast to the excited Bimbo that had just left the kitchen. ‘Come, I’ll put the TV on Cartoon network for you’ she told her as she held her hand and walked towards the sitting room.
‘Bayo, join me in the kitchen, I’m preparing pancakes’, Mrs Cole told Bayo.
‘Okay ma’ Bayo followed them behind, his heart racing as he prayed within him that Bimbo would keep her mouth shut about what she had just seen.
Mrs Cole turned on the TV while Bimbo sat on the couch opposite it watching Teen Titans.
She returned to the kitchen and with Bayo’s assistance, prepared dinner. As the last pancake slice was being fried, Seyi who had just woken up and was very hungry walked into the kitchen.
‘Ope o (Thank God) pancakes. I’m so hungry’ she said as she cut a little from the fried slices.
‘Sleeping beauty is awake’ Mrs Cole said smiling at Seyi
‘And she is hungry’ Seyi said. ‘What inspired pancakes?’
‘What can I say? I was in a good mood and I felt like making them, it has been a while.’
‘Yes it has’ Seyi agreed ‘where is Bimbo?’ it was unusual not seeing her in the kitchen when her mum is preparing any food she liked.
‘She is watching TV in the sitting room’ Mrs Cole told her.
‘That’s unlike her’ Seyi said. ‘I hope she is okay’
‘Bayo go and check on your sister?’ Mrs Cole instructed him.
‘Who? Me?’ he asked, almost stammering.
‘No, your twin brother in Japan’ she said sarcastically and hissed. ‘How many people are bearing Bayo here?’
‘Don’t worry mummy, I’ll go and check on her’ Seyi said and left the kitchen. When she got to the siting room, she met Bimbo sleeping. She took the remote control and reduced the volume of the TV.
‘I better wake her up, dinner is ready’ Seyi thought. She tapped her gently ‘Bimbo…Bimbo’ she called her name in a soft tone.
Bimbo woke up and initially looking around wondering where she was ‘where is mummy?’ she asked Seyi, with sleep still in her eyes.
‘She is in the kitchen. Food is ready’ Seyi told her.
Bimbo got up and went straight to the kitchen.
‘B Baby, how are you?’ her mum asked her with a smile.
‘Fine.’ She usually didn’t say much whenever she just wakes up.
Mrs Cole served two slices of pancake in a plastic plate and offered Bimbo. ‘Is two okay for you?’
Bimbo nodded then collected the plate and went to the dining.
‘How many can you finish, Seyi?’ Her mum asked as she took a plate ready to serve her.
‘Four for now’ she smiled.
Mrs Cole served four slices in a plate and gave Seyi. ‘Pour out juice for yourself and your siblings.’
‘What of you?’ Seyi asked ‘don’t you want juice too?’
‘And for me too. That’s how I always forget myself’, she shook her head.
Seyi took three glasses and a plastic cup then poured out the chilled chivita she took from the fridge.
‘How about you Bayo?’ Mrs Cole asked.
‘Me?’ Bayo appeared disoriented and agitated.
‘Bayo what exactly is wrong with you tonight? Why have you been shaky and jittery? How many slices can you finish?’ Mrs Cole asked, holding a plate for him.
‘Four…four is okay ma’ he stammered.
She served his food and handed it over to him. ‘Go and sit with your sister on the dining table’ she told him.
‘Mummy please can I go to my room?’ he asked.
‘No! Go and stay with your sister. When did that rubbish start? Don’t let me get angry with you this night’ she snapped at him.
‘I’m sorry ma’ he apologized and took his food to the dining.
The dining table was wooden and oval shaped, it was surrounded with six chairs. Bayo sat three chairs away from Bimbo while Seyi sat right beside her.
Mrs Cole came to join them at the table. ‘Bayo when you are done eating, go and iron your uniform and Bimbo’s uniform for school tomorrow. Okay?’
‘Okay ma’ he answered.
‘Seyi, I know you’d be tired of staying at home. Are you sure you don’t want to start considering A-levels?’ Mrs Cole asked her.
Seyi knew her mum was right. It had been five months since she finished from school and the universities she had applied to study Law didn’t seem forthcoming. ‘I’m beginning to consider it mummy. I’ll get more information about the good ones available’ she told her mum. That was the first time in a long time they both agreed on something that important, perhaps because Seyi wanted nothing more than to be out of the house.
Bayo was the first to finish his food, ‘mummy thank you’ he said as he stood up and took his plate to the kitchen. He washed it and went to his room.
‘Mummy thank you for the meal’ Seyi said. ‘I think I’m ready for bed, it appears I’d be sleeping early tonight’ she told her mum.
‘Alright dear’ Mrs Cole said then quickly added ‘before I forget, how was Sope’s place? Hope you enjoyed yourself.’
‘Sope’s place?’ Seyi wondered what her mum was referring to.
‘Is that how fast you have forgotten how you were begging me that you wanted to go to Sope’s house?’ Mrs Cole juggled her memory a bit.
‘Oh Sope’s place. It was fine. I didn’t stay long, I wasn’t feeling too well so I asked the driver to drop’ Seyi lied again. It was a proof of the saying ‘you always use one lie to cover up another.’
‘Really? Hope you are fine now’ Mrs Cole asked.
‘Yes mummy, much better. Thank you.’
‘That’s fine. Take your sister inside. Both of you should go and sleep. I’ll wait for your daddy to come back’ that was Mrs Cole’s daily cross she had to carry.
‘Goodnight mummy’ Seyi said as she held Bimbo’s hand ‘let’s go and sleep’, she told her baby sister.
‘Goodnight mummy’ Bimbo said as she followed her sister.
‘Goodnight dear’ Mrs Cole said as she watched them go inside.
To be continued… Next Week Sunday! Please drop a comment on your thoughts on this so far.
What things have you learnt, and what do you think happens next?