On entering inside, she saw the little girl tip toeing into the kitchen and followed her immediately. She saw the potatoes in her hand and knew what she was up to immediately. As she reached for the gas to turn it on, she quickly rushed to her, held her hand and flung it backward almost dislocating it from its joint. The girl gave out a painful shriek which resonated in the whole house.
Mary: “What are you trying to do you this mad girl?” she looked at her angrily. Remembering how she cannot have her own cute little girl like that made her even despise the girl the more.
Kemi: “But I am hungry. I want to cook the potato” she said, holding her painful shoulder with tears drizzling from her eyes.
Mary: “What are you crying for? Are you mad? Did I touch you?” she yelled.
Kemi: “My hand is paining me. I am hungry” she hiccupped.
Mary: “You are always hungry. Has there ever been a day you weren’t hungry? Useless children of a useless mother. Let me hear you tell me you are hungry again and see what I’d do to you. Rubbish! The sight of you even irritates me” she spat out disdainfully.
The girl just looked down, trying to control her tears. The hunger gnawing at her stomach made her unable to hear all the insults being hauled at her.
Mary peeped out to see who it was when she heard voices outside. The officers were trying to prevent Morenikeji from entering the house.
“Let her in” she screamed from the kitchen, she was curious as to why the woman still had the guts to step into her compound.
Kemi: “Aunty Keji” she ran into her aunty’s open arms when they met in the sitting room.
Morenikeji: “Oh dear baby! How are you doing? Where is your brother?” she said, placing the girl on her laps. Mary stood watching the two of them, waiting for when to strike.
Kemi: “Aunty I am hungry” she said.
Morenikeji: “I can see that. I know you will be is the reason I brought food for you and your brother” she reached into her bag and brought out the food flask, spoon and water. It was like taking food to people in prison.
Kemi: “Thank you aunty. I will remain for Abiodun. Abiodun cannot come out yet because daddy is angry with him” she said sadly, pushing the food hurriedly into her mouth while her aunt watched her intently.
What exactly are they doing to these children? Look at how unkempt and under nourished the girl is. I feel so angry right now I might actually commit murder. She thought, casting Mary an angry look.
Mary: “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Morenikeji: “Are you not feeding this children at all? Why does she look so malnourished? And why does she have tears in her eyes? where is my nephew?” she asked all at once.
Mary: “Ehhh see me see trouble o. All these questions for only me? Why don’t you ask them yourself? Are you like this cos I allowed you into my house? Wonders shall never end indeed” she spinned round and round mockingly.
Morenikeji: “If you are ill treating these children, don’t forget you will have yours someday and they might be in the position to…”
Mary: “Hey hold it right there” she shushed her, holding her palms up. The mention of her having her own someday spurned a fit of rage in her.
“You cant just barge into my house and start hurling abusive words at me. I can throw you out anytime and give this food she is eating to the dogs. Who knows you might have poisoned it to kill them just the way you killed yours”
Morenikeji: “Mary” she was left speechless by her rude utterances.
Mary: “Yes? You called me? Please hurry up and leave this place. You are an unwanted visitor” she said casting Kemi and annoyed look as she was struggling to stay awake while still eating.
On reaching home, she met her co-wife weeping silently on the sofa in the sitting room, she walked up to her wondering what could have been amiss.
Morenikeji: “why are you crying?” she asked taking her seat opposite her.
Akanke: “Nothing” she replied trying to hide her tears.
Morenikeji: “Nothing but you are crying? Okay o” she said and made to stand up.
Akanke: “Actually ma, I have just been wondering when our husband will be back. I am tired of staying in this house with the man I call a husband not even showing up at all” she complained.
Morenikeji: “What do you want him to come and do?”
Akanke: “What do you mean by that? won’t he come home to make me a mother or isn’t that why I am here? In case you have been the one advising him against coming back then you should desist from it. It does not speak well of you at all”
Morenikeji: “What do you mean by that?”
Akanke: “I am just saying if you know you can no longer have children then you should use your own palaver to thwart someone else’s plans. I am still young and I want to start enjoying my life now”
Morenikeji: “I refuse to take this to heart. What on earth is wrong with you children of nowadays? You feel you can eat your cake and have it?”
Akanke: “Some people actually do eat it and still have it. I am just warning you o since I respect you a lot. Turning my husband against me is not good of you”
Andre: “I don’t understand this at all. How long has it been since we set up this company and no one has come to patronize us at all. Even those who peep in keep rejecting the hungry looking children you brought in from Cotonou. Please what is the way forward, this suffering is becoming too unbearable” they were both in a beer parlour, sharing one Hero.
Gabriel: “Why don’t you calm down? It hasn’t been long na”
Andre: “Do you want it to reach ten years first before we start making profit? I have spent all my savings on this. We even resigned from work so tell me, what kind of patience are you talking about?”
Gabriel: “Hmmmmmm…you have a point there. We can’t even afford two beers. It is unfortunate. I have an idea though”
Andre: “Please let me hear it. As it is, anything you bring up will be good enough as long as it will procure a solution to our problem” he said inching closer to him.
Gabriel: “Well we can start kidnapping able bodied people especially ladies. We might not even need to kidnap, all we have to do is lure them in with money then give them a drug which would make them lose their memories. From there, we can start renting them out”
Andre: “Jeesus Christ! Who told you they won’t have families that would start searching for them?”
Gabriel: “we can go for prostitutes. Those ones hardly have anyone looking out for them”
Andre: “So what kind of drug induces memory loss?”
He smiled when he saw his daughter sleeping peacefully on the floor when he got home. she also looked very neat and happy in her sleep. As he watched her, he remembered that day made it the third day Abiodun had been in confinement. He called one of the officers in to help him get the boy. Few minutes later, the officer carried him in and dropped him at his father’s feet, unmoving.
Joseph: “Why is he like this?” He asked rhetorically. “Abbey… Abbey” he called but the boy did not stir.
The officer quickly went into the kitchen, brought out water and splashed it on him severally but still he didn’t stir.
Officer: “I told you sir that this punishment was too much for the boy” he complained.
Question: Will Andre really do as Gabriel suggested? Is Abiodun dead?
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