The war between Itohan and Nicole began. Both of them claimed ownership of the bedroom. In the morning, Itohan needed to change her clothes then prepare for her daily business, but they refused to open the door. She hit the door several times and when they door refused to open, her son told her to go like that. That morning she went wearing the previous day clothes. Before she left, she instructed that after school Efosa should come straight to the shop rather than go home.
“I go wait here until you close”
She returned with her son in the evening to discover that what she cooked that morning had disappeared. Either it was eaten or thrown away. All her cooking utensils were packed in a corner.
“Who eat the food wey I cook this morning?” She asked Nicole as she entered the kitchen. Nicole hissed and proceeded to get a glass cup.
“Nicole, na who eat the food wey I cook?” Itohan asked but she hissed again.
Despite itohan’s pregnancy, she leaped on Nicole and dragged her hair.
“If you no talk who eat my food, I go kill you for here and nothing go happen.”
It was Nicole’s scream that brought Nosa to the kitchen. He saw that Nicole’s eyes were red and she was screaming. He gave Itohan a terrible slap on her face.
” Beat me if you like, if she no talk wetin happen to the food wey I cook this morning, she go die here” She said still holding on to Nicole’s hair.
“Na we eat am” Nosa said then hit her again.
Itohan very angry now bounced on Nicole. She stopped when Nosa hit her with a wooden spatula. Itohan fell like a heap on the floor and began to cry.
Efosa annoyed now that his father hit his mother, began to fight his father.
Nicole crying by now, requested to be taken to the hospital. Nosa cried her to the car and drove to the hospital. Efosa helped his mother up and they went to the sitting room. Both of them began to cry.
“Don’t fight this woman again. Whatever she does just ignore her” Efosa advised.
Itohan refused to comment on what he said.
“Let’s always leave home early and return late to avoid problem” Efosa told her
“Efosa, I no fit run from my husband house oo na she go run”
“But no fight her again”
Itohan had the opportunity to enter her room when Nosa took Nicole to the hospital. She took her bath and slept on the bed. She had slept far before Nicole and Nosa returned. They met her on the bed and Nosa ordered her to leave the bed for Nicole but she refused.
“Chair dey for the sitting room. Tell her make she go sleep there” She told Nosa.
“You see this house so, na Nicole get am. The bed wey you lie down too na for Nicole. Abeg leave this room”
The surprised Itohan sat up on the bed and looked at Nosa.
“Don’t look at him that way. Listen, if you try that nonsense that you just did again I will lock you up. This is my house, everything except your clothes and cooking utensils belong to me. I pay the security man. Go ask him, if you are not comfortable, leave us alone” She fired.
“Yes, leave us alone Itohan” Nosa added.
“Let me tell you Itohan, Nosa is mine. You took him from me, now I have taken him back”
“So na juju you use for Nosa?”
Nicole and Nosa laughed.
“She is not using juju. I love her” He told her.
“Please get out from the bed” She ordered. Itohan stretched very well on the bed”
“Come carry me”
Nosa dragged her out of the bed and pushed her out of the room. He locked the door, then asked Nicole to lie down and sleep.
“Stupid woman” He kept muttering to himself.
Days ran into weeks and there was no peace. Nicole was enjoying herself while Itohan was emotionally drained. Nosa was always on Nicole’s side. They would abuse her and call her illiterate. Nosa doesn’t give her money for upkeep. He doesn’t care about them. Twice Itohan heard him talking to Osadebamwen on the phone.
“I don’t have money. Don’t call me again. Do you think I mint money. Come home if your mother can’t pay your school fees” He cut the call.
When Nosa refused to send money to her daughter, all the money Itohan saved, she sent to her. Till date, he never bothered to know how the girl was faring in school.
Itohan stood at the door and knocked. She knocked six times before Nosa opened the door.
“What is it?” He asked.
“I wan see you” She told him.
“See me now!”
“Wetin I wan discuss na only for your ear” She said.
As he was about to follow her to the sitting room, Nicole called Nosa.
“Where are you going to?”
“She wants to tell me something” He said pointing at Itohan.
“Tell her to say whatever she has to say here” She ordered.
Turning to Itohan he said.
“Say it here, Nicole wants to hear it too”
Them tears started falling from Itohan’s face.
“Efosa need money for school fees. Time no dey again”
“How much is it?” He asked
Before she could answer, Nicole was already standing behind Nosa
“There is no money. Nosa doesn’t have money”
“Yes, I don’t have money. Nicole knows me more than you” He said.
Itohan entered her son’s room and wept. Efosa tried to console her, but she kept crying.
“I nor get money again. All the money wey I save na im I take send to your sister. Who go borrow me money?”
“Don’t cry again”
Itohan couldn’t go to shop because, what she was supposed to use, she didn’t buy them the previous day. She was very tired and needed to rest. The heart break couldn’t allow her close her eyes and sleep.
Throughout the day, Itohan kept thinking of how she would get money for her son’s fee. Osas too had been calling that her feeding money had finished. She needs to buy some text books and balance her school fees. The fear that Efosa would miss exam and Osas unpaid balance made her fall ill. She was not eating nor sleeping well. She had stopped going for her business and the little she had is what she was using for herself and son.
Both Itohan and Efosa locked themselves in the room. Silence became their companion. The days rolled by and one evening Itohan was on the bed lying down when she started noticing smoke entering her room through the window. She stood up suddenly and went outside only to discover that Nicole was burning all the baby items she had bought. Itohan had bought those items and locked them in a part of the wardrobe.
Nicole saw her coming and started laughing.
“I am going to make you pay for what you did” She said
Efosa who wasn’t home, came in and saw what was going on. He saw his father coming out of the house with more baby items for burning. He saw his mum standing like a statue, looking into the fire but seeing nothing. Nicole and Nosa’s laughter trailed them as they moved into the house. Itohan sat on the chair. She was too shook to utter a word. Efosa got her a glass of water but she declined it.
“I wan sleep Efosa” She told him.
Itohan lay on the bed but sleep eluded her. She was going through emotional trauma. Her heart was racing.
“Nosa wetin I do you? Wetin happen to you?” She kept asking herself.
Efosa noticing that his Father and Nicole were with the security man at the gate talking, he entered the room. He saw his father’s wallet and took one of his ATM cards. He took few money from his wallet. As he was about to leave, Nicole’s handbag caught his eyes. He opened it and saw bundles of money. He removed some cash and quickly closed the door.
Then he entered the toilet, hid the ATM card in his trouser and planned to withdraw his father’s money. He was no longer going to watch his mother cry. He knew his ATM pin. When he entered the room, he saw his mother sitting on the bed praying while he sat beside her and joined the prayer.
To Be Continued… . . .
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