Shade’s mother heard the crash that came from her room and called out. “Shade! Shade??”When she got no response , she ran into the room and almost lost it when she found her surviving daughter lying on the floor. “Shade please open your eyes; shanu mi.” She ran into the adjoining bathroom and sprinkled water on her. After some frantic fanning, Shade sneezed and opened her eyes. She experienced a moment of disorientation before it all came flooding back. She looked at her mother and tried not to get mad.
“Mom, why?” she asked.
“Why what, dear? Don’t talk too much. What happened? How did you fall” she peppered her with the questions.
“Mom, stop. I know you hid Toke’s diary. Why would you do that?” she watched as her mother tried to come up with an explanation and failed. She continued; “mom, grandpa was… was…” she faltered. She couldn’t even bring herself to say it loud. It was too appalling and sick. Why would a father want to touch his daughter that way? What kind of mental illness would possess a man that he’ll be attracted to his own daughter? She couldn’t come up with an answer and she waited for her mother to explain to her.
She stood up, walked to the window and wither back towards Shade, she started. “Your grandfather is a very complex man. When my mother died, she refused to re-marry and devoted himself to my care. I was his little princess; a gift left behind by the woman he loved very much. He was always taking me everywhere, and I loved to sit on his laps and sometimes fall asleep in his arms. When I turned thirteen and had started developing breasts, I started feeling the embraces were no longer innocent or fatherly. At first, I was ashamed at myself for thinking that my father would do something that dirty. I felt I was the one who was evil and bad; little did I know some months after I turned fifteen, he came into my room and r-raped me. It didn’t stop there, for five more years, he did the same thing almost every night till I could escape to the university.
“But mother,” Shade interrupted tearfully, “how could you keep all these in without telling anybody all these years?”
“Shade, who would believe me? At first I felt it would stop, then I got old enough and realize that even if it did, my life was ruined anyway. So I kept holding on to the hope that I’ll leave one day and I’ll never set foot in his house again, and I did the first chance I got.” She concluded.
“Do you even love dad?” Shade asked. Her mum shrugged without replying. “Oh mom, did you… Oh God, is he the one that did… Toke?” Shade asked, her eyes huge with horror.
“No, no, he can’t be. That’s why I never let you girls spent even one day in his house, and he has never spent a night in our house either.” Her mom replied.
“That’s not enough mom, he is a monster and he could have found a way if he wanted to,” Shade said.
The days that followed, possibilities ran in Shade’s mind. She did not believe that history could repeat itself, but the thought kept coming to her head. She needed to talk to her mother again when her father wouldn’t be home. The opportunity presented itself when he had to go for his regular check-up at the hospital. His health was taking a downhill turn lately. He had diabetes, but his diagnosis was not severe. However, his lapses were becoming frequent; hence his visit to the hospital. Shade went in search of her mother and found her in the kitchen cooking her father’s separate stew. What arose her suspicion s was that she was shaking in a powdery substance that didn’t look like salt.
“Mom, what are you doing?” she demanded. Her mother was so shaken that the whole bottle fell into the stew.
“Jesus Christ, Sade you scared me.”
“Mom, answer me.”
“I was just putting a little salt in the stew, and now the whole bottle has fallen in,” she replied.
Shade walked over to the gas cooker, carried the pot and dumped it in the sink. Her mother was confused.
“Shade! Orie o pe ni? What did you just do?” her mother demanded.
“Mom, don’t lie to me o. I’m not a child anymore. I saw you clearly. It looked you were poisoning daddy’s food.” She didn’t even ask the question because she saw the answer in her mother’s eyes.
“Oh God, no no no …” BY Amoo Kristin
TO BE CONT’D.